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Beyoncé Had the Most Virgo Response to Why She Sets Boundaries

“A lot of who I am is reserved for the people I love and trust,” Beyoncé, queen of setting boundaries, revealed in her new Harper’s Bazaar cover story. “Those who don’t know me and have never met me might interpret that as being closed off. Trust, the reason those folks don’t see certain things about me is because my Virgo ass does not want them to see it.… It’s not because it doesn’t exist!”

The musician, who can only be described as a living legend, covers this month’s Harper’s Bazaar, the magazine’s Icon Issue. In an accompanying interview, she opened up about her family, turning her heartbreak into art, learning how to make visual albums, and the latest installation to IVY PARK that pays homage to Black cowboys. As she prepares to celebrate her 40th birthday, she’s also opening up about the work that got her here — and how she protects her inner self in a world where the meaning of celebrity is constantly evolving.

Her teenage years were key to her superstardom and monumental success. She told Harper’s Bazaar that she was struck by a piece of scripture from James 2:17 that reads, “Faith without work is dead.” That passage informed her work ethic. “If something wasn’t helping me reach my goal, I decided to invest no time in it. I didn’t feel like I had time to ‘kiki’ or hang out,” Beyoncé said. “I sacrificed a lot of things and ran from any possible distraction. I felt as a young Black woman that I couldn’t mess up. I felt the pressure from the outside and their eyes watching for me to trip or fail. I couldn’t let my family down after all the sacrifices they made for me and the girls. That meant I was the most careful, professional teenager and I grew up fast. I wanted to break all of the stereotypes of the Black superstar, whether falling victim to drugs or alcohol or the absurd misconception that Black women were angry.”

We’re in a time where people are seeing the importance of prioritizing mental health and setting boundaries. Those discussions extend to celebrities, too, and the access and insight some fans have often felt entitled to from famous people. However, Beyoncé has long been ahead of the curve in terms of controlling her narrative and centering her art in conversations involving her name.

“I’m grateful I have the ability to choose what I want to share. One day I decided I wanted to be like Sade and Prince,” Beyoncé said. “I wanted the focus to be on my music, because if my art isn’t strong enough or meaningful enough to keep people interested and inspired, then I’m in the wrong business. My music, my films, my art, my message—that should be enough.”

Beyoncé has not only maintained her spot at the top of the music industry while also raising three kids, but she’s also using what she has built to uplift Black people. She’s supported education and disaster relief through her platform BeyGood, plus she continues to inspire and support the next generation of artists through Parkwood Entertainment. Beyoncé is proving that you never really have to peak — and she’s looking forward to what she can create next.

“I’ve spent so many years trying to better myself and improve whatever I’ve done that I’m at a point where I no longer need to compete with myself. I have no interest in searching backwards. The past is the past. I feel many aspects of that younger, less evolved Beyoncé could never f*** with the woman I am today,” she concludes with a laugh.

Read the whole interview over at Harper’s Bazaar.

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