Beyoncé Makes Powerful Speech About the Fashion Industry's Race-Based Dismissal of Destiny's Child

"They didn't want to dress four black, country, curvy girls."

Beyoncé at the CFDA Fashion Icon awards
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Beyoncé won the CFDA's Fashion Icon award, and—while wearing the most bomb Michael Jackson-inspired outfit ever—delivered a gorgeous speech about what fashion has meant to her identity and career. 

In case you aren't familiar with Beyoncé's early sartorial experiments, she spent her days circa Destiny's Child looking like this:

Destiny's Child

(Image credit: Getty Images)

And it's all thanks to her mom, Tina Knowles, the only person who would dress her daughter thanks to an industry that was pretty in-the-box (by which we mean racist/sizeist). 

"When we were starting out in Destiny's Child, high-end labels, they didn't want to dress four black, country, curvy girls," Beyoncé said. "And we couldn't afford designer dresses and couture. My mother was rejected from every showroom in New York. But like my grandmother, she used her talent and her creativity to give her children their dreams."

Okay, get ready, because a Game of Thrones reference is coming your way.

"When I wore these clothes on stage I felt like Khaleesi; I had an extra suit of armor. It was so much deeper than any brand name."

Beyoncé revealed that her mom designed her wedding dress and her first Grammys dress, and ended her speech with an intelligent take on the industry's ability to change beauty standards.

"We have an opportunity to contribute to a society where any girl can look at a billboard and magazine cover and see her own reflection. Soul has no color, no shape, no form. Just like all of your work it goes far beyond what the eyes can see. You have the power to change perception, to inspire and empower, to embrace their complications and see the true beauty. To show people how to embrace their complications and see the true beauty and strength that's inside all of us."

Beyoncé for all the fashion awards! Oh, wait, she literally just won one.

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Mehera Bonner
Entertainment Editor

Mehera Bonner is a celebrity and entertainment news writer who enjoys Bravo and Antiques Roadshow with equal enthusiasm. She was previously entertainment editor at Marie Claire and has covered pop culture for over a decade.