LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 26: Recording artist Beyonce performs onstage during the 2016 BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater on June 26, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/BET/Getty Images for BET)
Kevin Winter/BET—BET/Getty Images
By Jessie Van Amburg
September 2, 2016

Beyoncé: Singer, actress, designer, documentarian, mother, wife, feminist. She has long made empowerment a part of her personal brand, from championing the power of women and girls in Run the World (Girls), challenging traditional beauty norms in the song Pretty Hurts and making statements on race and marriage in Lemonade. And on September 4, the artist will celebrate her 35th birthday.

Celebrate with a collection of some of her most inspiring and empowering quotes:

On power: “To me, power is making things happen without asking for permission. It’s affecting the way people perceive themselves and the world around them. It’s making people stand up with pride.” (Elle Magazine, 2016)

On expectations: “Over time, I have learned to focus on the things I want to focus on in the time frame that I set. I no longer have to work based on someone else’s expectations or pressure. I put enough pressure on myself! (Garage Magazine, 2016)

On independence: “I don’t feel like I have to please anyone,” she says. “I feel free. I feel like I’m an adult. I’m grown. I can do what I want. I can say what I want. I can retire if I want. That’s why I’ve worked hard.” (Vogue, 2013)

On overcoming setbacks: “When I’m not feeling my best I ask myself, ‘What are you gonna do about it?’ I use the negativity to fuel the transformation into a better me.” (Complex, 2011)

On self-care: “Women have to take the time to focus on our mental health—take time for self, for the spiritual, without feeling guilty or selfish. The world will see you the way you see you, and treat you the way you treat yourself.” (Elle Magazine)

On self-improvement: “I watch my performances, and I wish I could just enjoy them, but I see the light that was late. I see, ’Oh God, that hair did not work.’ Or ’I should never do that again.’ I try to perfect myself. I want to grow, and I’m always eager for new information.” (GQ, 2013)

On women’s rights: “Equality is a myth, and for some reason everyone accepts the fact that women don’t make as much money as men do I don’t understand that. Why do we have to take a backseat?” (Life is But a Dream documentary, 2013)

On raising feminist children: “We have to teach our boys the rules of equality and respect, so that as they grow up, gender equality becomes a natural way of life. And we have to teach our girls that they can reach as high as humanly possible. (The Shriver Report, 2014)

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