On Thursday, Harper’s Bazaar unveiled their latest cover story on the inimitable Cardi B with a series of fairytale-inspired princess photographs that are pretty killer (I love Rapunzel and her weave). The interview, which takes place at her favorite nail salon in the Bronx, focuses on her personal life: there’s a bunch of stuff about her ex, Offset and her experiences with fame, but most eye opening are her candid remarks about motherhood and its challenges.
I get the sense that Cardi and journalist Vanessa Grigoriadis did not get along very well—and not only because she writes that Cardi gave her a “a ‘c’mon, stupid’ face,” when she asked if the rapper cared about money in addition to her career and child (??)—but by the lack of any sort of politics talk in a time when Cardi’s clearly articulating issues with our government to an audience that might not be as invested with the inner workings of a corrupt system as others.
Her “Money” music video dropped in December and prominently featured Cardi breastfeeding—a modern Madonna nursing Jesus, arguably the first image of its kind in a mainstream rap music video—so Grigoriadis asked if Cardi breastfeeds her daughter, Kulture (nicknamed KK). She doesn’t, and her answer quickly became a conversation of postpartum depression:
“It was too hard,” she explains. In fact, she spent most of the time after the baby was born in a haze of postpartum depression. “I thought I was going to avoid it,” Cardi says. “When I gave birth, the doctor told me about postpartum, and I was like, ‘Well, I’m doing good right now, I don’t think that’s going to happen.’ But out of nowhere, the world was heavy on my shoulders.”
Cardi also described the ways her body has changed since giving birth:
“As a new mom, Cardi is still experiencing aches and pains. “For some reason, I still don’t feel like my body’s the same,” she says. “I feel like I don’t have my balance right yet. When it comes to heels, I’m not as good at walking anymore. I feel like I’m holding a weight on me. I don’t know why because I’m skinnier than I’ve ever been. But there’s an energy I haven’t gotten back yet that I had before I was pregnant. It’s just the weirdest thing.”
And that baby Kulture has helps her put petty drama into context:
“Sometimes I’ll see something online and it’ll piss me off, and then my baby will start crying or something, and it’s like, ‘You know what? I’ve got to deal with the milk. Forget this.’” She’s thinking about pulling back a little from social media. “I’ve noticed that every time you respond, you just make things worse, so I’m over it. I’m just over it. I really don’t need it, and sometimes it just brings chaos to my brain.” She adds, “I can stay off social media. I’ve been trying.”
Wish I could say the same.
Even though Cardi’s been pretty private about Kulture (she didn’t release the first photo of her daughter until five months after she gave birth), she also spoke about the limitations of what she can do as a mother. It’s impossible not to sympathize:
“It’s really annoying and we don’t have a life. We have to hide her all the time. I can’t go to L.A. or Miami and walk down the beach with my baby. I want to go shopping with my baby. I want to take a stroll with my baby. Sometimes I feel bad for her because all she knows is the house.” But can’t you put on a baseball cap? I ask. Will people still recognize you? “Yeah,” she says. “It’s my nose.”
Read the full cover story here.