Beyoncé rarely gives interviews and almost never speaks about her private life. But the singer has shared perhaps the most intimate look into her life in a new short film she narrated herself.
In the candid video - which celebrates the one-year anniversary of the self-titled visual album, Beyoncé - the singer divulges her views on being a feminist, losing a close friend to cancer and how she learned to handle conflict.
"You can't put your finger on who I am. I can't put my finger on who I am. I am complicated. I grew up with a lot of conflict and dramas and I've been through a lot, just like everyone else," she says.
Speaking about her tour photographer and close friend, Yosra El-Essawy (pictured above with Beyoncé and below), who battled with oesophageal cancer and passed away in October this year, Beyoncé said, "I feel like my body is borrowed, and this life is very temporary."
She continued "I watched my friend's body deteriorate, and to see someone pass on so gracefully put everything into perspective. We do not value ourselves enough — especially young people do not appreciate how brilliant our bodies are. I've always been very specific and very choosy — very choosy — about what I do with my body and who I want to share that with."
The star was at the centre of a media furore earlier this year after a video was released appearing to show her sister Solange physically attacking Beyoncé's husband Jay-Z.
And in comments that may well allude to the incident, the singer said "I was brought up seeing my mother trying to please and make everyone comfortable. I always felt like it was my job to fix the problem. People-pleaser. But I'm no longer afraid of conflict, and I don't think conflict is a bad thing."
"I know that when you grow up, when you learn a few things, you're no longer afraid of letting go. You're no longer afraid of the unknown. You're no longer afraid of going certain places in your body or mind that might make you feel uncomfortable. It all starts when you can look in the mirror and say, 'I like this person,' you know?"
The star spoke about her six-year marriage to Jay-Z and how it hasn't made her any less a feminist.
"People feel like they lose something when they get married, but it doesn't have to be that way. There's nothing more exciting about having a witness to your life. I always considered myself a feminist, although I was always afraid of that word, because people put so much on it, when honestly, it's very simple: It's just someone who believes in equality for men and women. Men and women balance each other out, and we have to get to a point where we are comfortable with appreciating each other."
The also singer opened up about her views on fame, saying, "I sometimes wish I could be anonymous walking down the street like everyone else."
"Now that I'm famous it's really, really difficult to do very simple things...When you're famous, no one looks at you like a human being. You become property of the public. There's nothing real about it."
So what's her secret to happiness? "Happiness comes from you. No one else can make you happy. You make you happy. And one thing that's for sure: The love I have for the music, my husband, for my child—it's something that will last far beyond my life."
Listen to the full monologue below.
Main images: Rex Features, Yosra El-Essawy/Facebook