Yesterday, to surprisingly little fanfare, Cosmopolitan reposted a 2006 interview with Beyoncé in which, Cosmo writes, she essentially predicted her future. It’s an intriguing glimpse behind the curtain, one that she hasn’t really given us in quite a while, despite releasing ostensibly revealing “documentaries” like HBO’s Life Is But A Dream and that five-part Beyoncé documentary that was posted on YouTube, which seem candid but actually tell us nothing.
What’s most fascinating about this Cosmo time capsule — which has grown so old in its eight years that it only exists as a scanned copy of the physical magazine’s pages — isn’t the accuracy of Bey’s predictions, but the fact that she was so candid, she basically revealed the blueprint (insert ironic Jay Z reference here) for her future world domination.
The Beyoncé we know today is a ***Flawless, self-assured woman who barely deigns to release a PR statement, instead smushing rumors under her stilettos with a coy Instagram post (the “J+B” nail art to counter divorce murmurs) or snappy lyrical allusion (“Of course sometimes shit goes down when it’s a billion dollars on the elevator”).
But the young, 24-year-old woman who’d only recently broken out of Destiny’s Child, the group she’d anchored since age nine, told Cosmo a bit more than her future self would allow. She stressed not talking about your relationship in public… while talking about her relationship in public:
I don’t try to hide [my relationship with Jay Z]. There’s nothing to hide. People see us, but we just don’t talk about it, and I think that’s absolutely helped us. The minute you start talking about it, that’s all people want to talk about. And then the really big rumors start happening.
Her feminist roots showed beautifully and gracefully: “I’m both [a guys’ girl and a girls’ girl]. I usually go out with a bunch of guys… to dinner or a movie or a party. But I think it’s important for women to be around other women and learn from each other.” She also spoke, refreshingly, about her strict diet — admitting to a lack of perfection that clashes, just a wee bit, with “I woke up like this”:
I love food. I grew up in Texas with these big portions of good food. For the last month, I’ve just been decorating my house and enjoying life and eating anything. But next week, I start rehearsing, so I’ll start running again and eating healthy four times a day, cutting back on carbs, anything white, anything that tastes too good.
Anything that tastes too good? No wonder she could put a giant picture of her ass in the BEYONCÉ album art.
Perhaps the most intriguing bit of the interview, however, comes when she’s asked how her friends would describe her. “They’d say I’m laid-back and calm — and kind of motherly,” she says. Not surprising. But here’s the kicker: “I can be goofy and silly, but I don’t really laugh at myself.” I cannot recall ever, ever hearing a celebrity say she (or he) doesn’t laugh at herself. It’s always, “Oh, I don’t take myself too seriously,” or “You’ve got to be able to laugh at yourself!” But when you think about Beyoncé’s position at that time — she had just one solo album under her belt, and her latest acting gig was The Pink Panther — she still had a lot to prove.
The interviewer called her “a pop princess,” but there was absolutely no mention of “The Queen,” or my personal favorite moniker, “King B.” She needed to be taken seriously because she wasn’t yet on top, and leading by example was the perfect way to do that. Beyoncé herself may not have been flawless yet, but her path to today’s “Bow down, bitches” definitely was.