There's been plenty of buzz about who shot Vogue's September cover—23-year-old Tyler Mitchell, a black photographer who Beyonce advocated for—but it's the story within the issue that's now attracting attention. In it, Beyonce reveals that she gave birth to twins Rumi and Sir via emergency-C section. "I was swollen from toxemia and had been on bed rest for over a month," and many weeks in the NICU followed their birth. She describes Jay-Z as "a soldier and such a strong support system for me," during the experience. "I am proud to have been a witness to his strength and evolution as a man, a best friend, and a father." But she digs deeper into what such a major surgery meant for her, and how she has embraced her "fuller" body.
That wasn't the case after her first child, Blue Ivy, was born. "I believed in the things society said about how my body should look. I put pressure on myself to lose all the baby weight in three months, and scheduled a small tour to assure I would do it. Looking back, that was crazy." She's prepared to "go into beast mode" whenever she decides she wants her six-pack back, but for now she's embracing her "little mommy pouch." She adds, "I think it’s important for women and men to see and appreciate the beauty in their natural bodies. That’s why I stripped away the wigs and hair extensions and used little makeup for this shoot." Read the full article, which explains why she thinks "God blessed me with my twins," and see the photos here. (Read more Beyonce stories.)