Has any one woman so neatly and efficiently commanded the adoration, the fandom, or at the very least, the respect that Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter has in her 34 years?
When someone mentions Beyoncé, it’s easy to think of her as only the cultural phenomenon that has dominated pop culture for much of the last decade, not to mention the nearly 30 years that she’s been performing. She’s responsible for not only most of the pop hits of the past years, but also cultural instances that will forever be in our canon: the “Single Ladies” dance, freakum dresses, #flawless, and of course, the surfboardt.
However, Beyoncé wasn’t always Queen Bey, and we’re willing to bet that she didn’t always wake up “like dis.” A peek back into the archives shows a baby-faced Beyoncé in those famous all-matching girl-band getups with Destiny’s Child and lots and lots of metallic body paint. As Beyoncé’s career and life have evolved, from dating and marrying Jay-Z to adopting different stage personas (Sasha Fierce and Yoncé, anyone?), so has her style. Here, the best looks from Beyoncé throughout the years.
1998: The early years of Destiny's Child meant matching metallic ensembles designed by Tina Knowles.
1999: Referencing her Texas roots with a cowboy hat and bandana-print tank
2000: Matching sequined bikini tops and white bottoms for the red carpet in the early '00s
2001: Body jewelry matching one of your hit songs? Why not.
2002: Double denim and Manolo Timbs for a "Total Request Live" appearance
2003: Full-on sparkle during the "Dangerously in Love" era
2005: Bey went full-on Old Hollywood for the Oscars in 2005.
2006: Silver body art to match a cropped two-piece look during a 2006 performance
2007: Almost as golden as the awards at the Golden Globes
2008: The first of many, many leotards
2010: Golden in a glamorous cut-to-there cocktail dress with Rihanna
2011: Showing off a pregnant belly in an orange Lanvin gown
2012: Queen Bey showed off a tight bod in a sheer Givenchy gown just months after giving birth to Blue Ivy.
2013: Who run the world? Beyoncé flexed her girl power performing at the Beyoncé Bowl (also known as the Super Bowl) with Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams.
2014: Before the infamous elevator-gate, Bey stunned at the Met Gala.
2015: If you've got it, flaunt it—Beyoncé wore the most naked of all naked dresses.