We now know the origin story of one of Destiny’s Child’s most popular songs.
In her September cover interview for Harper’s BAZAAR, Beyoncé reflects on her decades-long career. And while speaking about writing and producing songs at a young age, she shares the inspiration behind “Bootylicious,” a pop song that since its release has become a body-positive anthem.
Beyoncé says that she actually wrote the song in response to the criticism she was receiving regarding her body. “I remember when I started hearing people criticize me after I had put on some weight. I was 19. None of the sample clothes fit me. I was feeling a bit insecure from hearing some of the comments, and I woke up one day and refused to feel sorry for myself, so I wrote ‘Bootylicious,'” she says.
She adds, “It was the beginning of me using whatever life handed me and turning it into something empowering to other women and men who were struggling with the same thing.”
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The 39-year-old also shares that her father and former manager, Mathew Knowles, encouraged her to write her own songs and “create [her] own vision.” Her parents played a big role her career, especially her mother, Tina Knowles-Lawson, in helping her establish a good work ethic.
“My mother has always been my Queen and still is. She has always been so strong and is filled with humanity. She worked 18 hours a day with calloused hands and swollen feet. No matter how tired she was, she was always professional, loving, and nurturing. I try to handle my work and run my company in the same way,” Beyoncé says.
As for “Bootylicious,” the empowering lyrics and iconic “Edge of Seventeen” sample makes it one of the best girl group songs in history. “Edge of Seventeen” singer Stevie Nicks spoke with ELLE last year about her experience appearing in the “Bootylicious” video alongside Destiny’s Child.
“Without all the make-up and everything, they just looked like three really cute, little teenage girls,” Nicks said of the group. “Then of course, they’re just like me, they put on—whatever it is that makes them—them. Whether it’s your boots or jacket or whatever, then they became Destiny’s Child, and I saw it. It was really a marvel to see.”
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