You’ve seen the latest jaw-dropping photos of Beyoncé—in fact, all your tongue-wagging and retweeting pushed GQ to unveil its February cover earlier than intended–and likely adjusted your workout routine accordingly. And you’re not alone! When it comes to Ms. Knowles, the word mayhem is an understatement. She invokes a feeling of empowerment with her music and growing business empire, and has fostered a fanatical, if not obsessive, passion among her biggest fans. We’re buying what she’s selling, with little need for a pitch.
But like many have noticed, her almost too-perfect Instagram shoots and famously closed-off public persona can be off-putting; it eliminates an important aspect of reality we ‘ve come to expect from our superstars these days. With an impending post-baby comeback on the horizon, likely to start with either a Justin Timberlake feature credit, a Destiny’s Child reunion, or a halftime performance during a certain sporting event, let’s dive into her fabulous life–as seen through the pages of Gentleman’s Quarterly–and try to unearth some juicier details of the woman we call Queen, shall we?
She’s Obsessed with Detail
A true Virgo, Beyoncé’s perfectionism not only manifests itself during her live shows but throughout her day-to-day life. She employs a “visual director”–who’s captured thousands of hours of the star on film since 2005–and archives footage of everything from her award show performances to at-home movie nights, thus giving her the ability to actively look back on accomplishments, experiences and even media moments. Because in doing so, Bey realizes, “you know, I can always say, ‘I want that interview I did for GQ,’ and we can find it.” A fellow nostalgia-lover? We can handle that.
She’s Remains Committed To Getting Better
After four solo albums, 16 Grammy Awards, millions of dollars and the adoration of people around the globe, you’d think that Bey would kick back, throw on an episode of Downton Abbey and just chill. Or that the rigor with which she approaches her live act would diminish ever so slightly given the assumption fans who cry at the sound of her voice probably wouldn’t mind if she recycled choreography from when she was 17. Wrong. “I approach my shows like an athlete,” she tells the mag. “You know how they sit down and watch whoever they’re going to play and study themselves? That’s how I treat this. I watch my performances, and I wish I could just enjoy them, but I see the light that was late. I see, ‘Oh God, that hair did not work.’ Or ‘I should never do that again.’ I try to perfect myself. I want to grow, and I’m always eager for new information.”
She’s Not Afraid To Throw Down
As dream big sisters go, Bey has to be at the top of most people’s lists, behind, maybe, Mindy Kaling and Ina Garten–the proximity to fresh baked goods is always a good thing. While her younger sister Solange has successfully established an identity and style that’s entirely her own, growing up in Houston, she always had the protection of Beyoncé and her fists to fall back on. “I can’t tell you how many times in junior high school, how many boys and girls can say Beyoncé came and threatened to put some hands on them if they bothered me,” the “Losing You” singer recalls. It’s hard to imagine Bey dirtying her Louboutins or raising a fist today, but she still possess that fiesty nature, often channeling it as a way of warming up before a big show.
She Has a Healthy Ego…
Newsflash: Faux modesty is so 2012. “I now know that, yes, I am powerful,” Beyoncé explains, echoing what a sizable contingent has been saying for over a decade. “I’m more powerful than my mind can even digest and understand.” Let this be a lesson to Taylor Swift and anyone else who has ever practiced the act of fake surprise.
And a Potty Mouth
“It’s like a blackout. When I’m onstage, I don’t know what the crap happens. I am gone.”
The CRAP, Bey? We tried. Maybe she is truly just too perfect to use bad words. Someone’s gotta set an example for Blue!
[Photo: Terry Richardson / GQ]