BOSTON • After the birth of her first child, Blue Ivy, in 2012, Beyonce admitted that she "believed in the things society said about how my body should look".
"I put pressure on myself to lose all the baby weight in three months and scheduled a small tour to assure I would do it. Looking back, that was crazy," she wrote in the September issue of Vogue.
"I think it's important for women and men to see and appreciate the beauty in their natural bodies," added the 36-year-old pop icon, who posed for the cover without make-up, hair extensions or wigs.
Beyonce called for a greater acceptance of naturally curvy figures, saying she is listening more to her body after giving birth to twins Rumi and Sir by caesarean section last year.
The singer, who is married to rap mogul Jay-Z, revealed that her health had been at risk before undergoing an emergency C-section.
After giving birth, the star - who said she weighed 99kg when she gave birth - felt she "needed time to heal" from the effects of the surgery.
"During my recovery, I gave myself self-love and self-care and I embraced being curvier. I accepted what my body wanted to be," she added.
She made a triumphant return to the stage at the Coachella festival in April, dazzling fans with a nearly two-hour set. She prepared for the event by going vegan and eliminating alcohol, coffee and fruit drinks.
The feminist-minded singer also reflected on raising a son and said she wants him "to know that he can be strong and brave, but that he can also be sensitive and kind".
"I want my son to have a high emotional IQ, where he is free to be caring, truthful and honest. It's everything a woman wants in a man and, yet, we don't teach it to our boys."