In A Super Rare Interview, Beyoncé Looked Back On The Time She Cut Off Her Hair To Feel Liberated While Raising Her First Child Amid Heavy Rumors That Jay-Z Cheated

The year after Beyoncé gave birth to her and Jay-Z’s first child, he was accused of cheating on her numerous times, with one model publicly claiming that he asked her to be his “in town chick.”

This weekend, Beyoncé sat down with Essence for a super rare interview ahead of the launch of her new haircare line, Cécred.

Beyoncé in a metallic gown with plunging neckline, touching her earring, looking at the camera

And throughout the wide-ranging conversation, she looked back on her memorable decision to cut off her hair in 2013 — which was amid the time that her husband, Jay-Z, was accused of cheating on her.

Jay-Z in a black suit and Beyoncé in a gold dress at The Lion King premiere

As fans will know, it’s no secret that Beyoncé and Jay-Z — who got married in 2008, and now share three kids together — have been rocked by infidelity rumors multiple times since they first got together.

Jay-Z and Beyoncé sitting courtside at a basketball game. Jay-Z wears a black cap and Beyoncé sports a chain necklace

But 2013 was arguably one of the worst years for the couple, with Jay-Z being accused of cheating on Bey numerous times over the space of a few months — the first of which being exactly a year after she gave birth to their first child, Blue Ivy.

Jay-Z, Beyoncé and Blue Ivy onstage

In January 2013, rumors swirled that Jay-Z had had an affair with Rita Ora, who got signed to his label, Roc Nation, in 2008. Rita denied the speculation at the time, and she has continued to shut the rumors down over the years.

Jay-Z in a black suit seen conversing with Rita Ora in a patterned outfit, both smiling

But in spite of this, Jay-Z came under fire once again later that year in August, when rapper and model LIV publicly claimed that he’d come on to her and tried to make her his “in town chick.”

Jay-Z speaks at a podium during an awards ceremony, wearing a formal black suit and holding a trophy

And a few months later, in November, Jay-Z fueled infidelity rumors further when he was spotted partying with a bunch of models in Belgium — around the same time that he and Beyoncé were apparently planning to divorce.

Beyoncé in a beaded outfit with feathers and Jay-Z in a white suit on stage

Beyoncé kept a low profile at the time, but in 2016, she gave fans some super raw insight into how she was feeling with the release of her album Lemonade, which heavily hinted at Jay-Z’s infidelity.

Lyrics from Beyoncé's song "Hold Up"

The year after Lemonade came out, Jay-Z admitted during an interview with the New York Times that he had in fact cheated on Beyoncé — and he would go on to discuss his infidelity further in his song lyrics.

Beyoncé sitting, looking up, wearing a v-neck top with bow detail, at an indoor event

Amid all of the buzz around Jay-Z’s infidelity in 2013, Beyoncé surprised fans by chopping off her signature long hair and rocking a pixie cut. And looking back on this move now, Beyoncé admitted that she chose to cut her hair because she wanted to feel “liberated” during this period of her life.

She said, “I remember the day I decided to just cut all my hair off. I didn’t have a particular style in mind. It wasn’t an aesthetic choice, but it was a very big emotional transformation and metamorphosis that I was going through.”

Beyoncé onstage

“So much of my identity as a performer has been connected to flowing hair. Cutting my hair off was me rebelling against being this woman that society thinks I’m supposed to be,” she explained, before going on to explain how “becoming a mother” played a huge part in her decision.

Beyoncé onstage

“I was a new mother, and something about the liberation of becoming a mother made me want to just shed all of that. It was a physical representation of me shedding the expectations put upon me. I just wanted it off,” she said.

Jay-Z holding Blue Ivy, who is kissing Beyoncé on stage; Beyoncé in a sparkling bodysuit

Beyoncé went on to note that her hairstylist completely freaked out when she cut off her locks herself.

Beyoncé stands at a podium with a Grammy, wearing a black leather dress with a plunging neckline

“Neal Farinah, my hairstylist and friend, was freaking out because it was really long, really thick and really healthy. I just got the scissors and chopped it off. It was very intentional. And it was what I needed to do,” she said.

Beyoncé at 'The Lion King' premiere, wearing a draped gold gown with an off-shoulder detail

“And after that, I became super brave. It was the first step to many more audacious decisions I made in my life and my career that have led to who I am now,” she added.

Jay-Z wearing a black sweatshirt and cap seated courtside with Beyoncé in a dotted dress and heels

You can read Beyoncé’s full interview with Essence here.

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