Hot mama is right. Beyonce has always projected an air of unshakeable self-confidence -- and with good reason -- but she says she didn't really come into her own until she gave birth to daughter Blue Ivy Carter in January 2012. That event was a turning point for her, not just as a wife and mother but as a woman.
The 31-year-old opens up about that and more, including her thoughts on marriage and how she deals with hurtful rumors, in newly released outtakes from her February GQ interview. (Earlier this month, the Grammy winner nearly took over the web when she appeared on the cover of the magazine in a cropped T-shirt and skimpy bottoms for the "Sexiest Women of the 21st Century" issue.)
"When I gave birth, that was the first time I truly let go and surrendered. And it taught me how amazing that feels," the "Crazy in Love" singer tells GQ. "Giving birth made me realize the power of being a woman. I have so much more substance in my life. And expressing that excitement and that sensuality and the connection I have with my husband -- I'm a lot more comfortable with that now. I actually feel like my child introduced me to myself."
Which is not to say she didn't know who she was when she married hip hop mogul Jay-Z in 2008. Talking to the magazine about their four-year marriage, the superstar says: "I was independent before I met my husband, and we have such a natural chemistry and a genuine relationship, and it's based on the things that relationships are supposed to be based on. I've seen, growing up, when a woman or a man in a relationship -- it doesn't matter which one -- doesn't feel confident, they feel a bit trapped. Your self-worth is determined by you. You don't have to depend on someone telling you who you are."
That advice has helped Beyonce not just in her marriage but in her career, too. It's what allows her to rise above hurtful rumors like the one that said she was faking her pregnancy with Blue Ivy. "It's not personal to me, and it comes along with the job," she tells GQ, "but the lack of respect -- people will just go too far sometimes."
Incidentally, the singer is facing another minor controversy now, regarding her rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" at President Barack Obama's inauguration ceremony on Jan. 21. According to a rep for the U.S. Marine Band, which accompanied her performance, Beyonce chose to lip-sync to a track of the song instead of singing live. (All music was pre-recorded in case there were technical difficulties the day of the event.)
In any case, there's no doubt that she can put on a good show. As U.S. Marine Band rep Kristen DuBois told the New York Post's Page Six, "We all know Beyonce can sing."
And look good doing it. In a new behind-the-scenes video for GQ, the star shows off her incredible post-baby body -- just in time for her Super Bowl halftime show on Feb. 3, where she'll be joined by her Destiny's Child bandmates Michelle Williams and Kelly Rowland.
This article originally appeared on Usmagazine.com: Beyonce: Giving Birth to Blue Ivy Made Me "More Comfortable" Sharing My "Sensuality" With Jay-Z