Beyonce’s new documentary Homecoming, which is about her groundbreaking Coachella performance last year, reveals many behind-the-scenes details about what it took to make that huge undertaking a reality. Thanks to the doc, we now know that one of her biggest challenges before the event was losing the weight that she gained during her last pregnancy. Beyonce had postponed the performance to 2018 because of this pregnancy and Homecoming showed how determined she was to get back into fighting form.
At one point during the film, Beyonce reveals the restrictive diet that she used to lose the pregnancy weight and it involved cutting out bread, sugar, dairy, meat, fish, and alcohol.
“I’m hungry,” she declares in the voiceover as we watch footage of her despondently eating an apple.
She also pulls the curtain back on her workout routine as she says that she was going to Soul Cycle as well as doing rehearsals for the show.
But her hard work and dedication pay off and we see her celebrate hitting one of her weight loss goals by trying a costume from The Formation World Tour. She calls her husband Jay Z to show him and although he seems happy for her, his reaction pales in comparison to her excitement.
Beyond her personal weight loss struggle, Homecoming also shows the passion that went into the preparation for the show which has been nicknamed Beychella. Beyonce drew on the culture of HBCUs, or historically black colleges and universities, for creative inspiration and incorporated marching bands, step dancers and majorettes plus collegiate-themed costumes. Quotes from African-American luminaries such as Audre Lorde, W.E.B. du Bois, Nina Simone, and Maya Angelou are also sprinkled throughout the piece.
Beyonce confesses that she had dreamed about going to an HBCU when she was younger, but by the time she was in her early teens Destiny’s Child was making their mark in the music industry. So since she missed out on that experience, she brought it to the stage.
“The music and those vocal rehearsals, that’s the heartbeat of the show,” she says. “I wanted it to feel the way I felt when I went to Battle of The Bands … and put my 22-year career into my two-hour homecoming performance.”
The documentary has earned rave reviews from Beyonce fans collectively known as the Beyhive and the fact that she released a live album of the Coachella performance was the icing on the cake. Their appreciation pushed several Beyonce-related hashtags to trend in the United States for hours. According to Billboard, there were 500,000 tweets made about Beyonce after the film’s release.
Homecoming is available for streaming on Netflix.