Beyoncé Reflects on Turning 40 in a Letter to Fans: "I'm So Grateful to Be Grown"

Photo credit: Instagram
Photo credit: Instagram

Beyoncé turned 40 on September 4, amid an outpouring of support from fans and peers. Oprah posted a video message, too, promising her that "the 40s are everything you have been waiting for," and calling them "the beginning of everything."

About two weeks after her birthday, Beyoncé responded to the well wishes with a handwritten, heartfelt letter posted to her website. "I'm so thankful for every inspiring human who took the time to send me all the beautiful messages," she said. "I cried tears of joy and was covered in chilly bumps. Your videos, your posts, your countdowns, your playlists and your well wishes, I will cherish forever. I'm grateful to everyone involved, especially the fans, for the time and level of detail it took to organize such beautiful tributes. I admire and respect all of you and I thank you from the bottom of my heart."

Beyoncé previously opened up about entering into the 40s in an interview with Harper's Bazaar. "I’ve spent so many years trying to better myself and improve whatever I’ve done that I’m at a point where I no longer need to compete with myself," she said in the Q&A. "I have no interest in searching backwards. The past is the past. I feel many aspects of that younger, less evolved Beyoncé could never f*** with the woman I am today."

That message is echoed in the letter, in which she describes finding fulfillment and peace in getting older.

Beyoncé wrote, "This is the first year that I really understand what it means to be alive and to live in the moment. It's the first time that I have an understanding of how fragile life truly is, how hard life can be at times, and therefore how important it is to stop and smell the roses during the good times. I thought I knew that at 21 or 30...but I didn't. The more mature I become, the more I understand and the deeper my joy grows. There's a freedom and liberation knowing that I've made it to the other side of my sacrifice. I'm finally giving myself permission to enjoy the seeds I've worked so hard to plant my whole life."

There's a freedom and liberation knowing that I've made it to the other side of my sacrifice.

She gave a message to anyone else who is in, or entering, their fifth decade. Speaking from experience, Beyoncé says it's great. "Whoever tried to condition women to feel that we are supposed to feel old or unhappy when we turn 40 got it ALL THE WAY F'd UP. This has absolutely been the best I've felt in my life. I'm so grateful to be GROWN, GROWN!"

The letter ended with her acknowledging her fans, who she says she "grew up" with. "Most of y'all met me when I was 15, and we have grown up together. You bring sooooo much joy into my life. I hope my art can continue to bring a little joy into yours," she wrote, signing the letter with "deep, deep" love.

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