While flaunting her washboard abs on the steamy July/August 2021 cover, Taylor recalls the story behind the cover photo shoot and how it's an important marker in her "journey of self-reflection and self-confidence." Taylor announced her retirement from music in December, shortly before she hosted Billboard's Women in Music, and she's grown more comfortable behind the camera as a director, going by the name of "Spike Tey" and earning the video director of the year award at the 2020 BET Awards and BET Hip-Hop Awards. But when the time came for the singer, actress, choreographer, dancer and director to step in front of the camera, she opened up about feeling "nervous."
"Somebody pinch me!!!! Maxim Hot 100 to be named the 'Sexiest Woman alive' by literally living in the skin I’m in. WOW," she wrote as part of a lengthy Instagram post on Monday (June 7). "Stepping back in front of the lens has been a journey of self-reflection and self-confidence. Living up to name and title of this shoot wholeheartedly made me nervous. As a entrepreneur, wife, a busy mother of two & working behind the lens in my director bag I tend to hide behind my sweats & vintage tees, My 'Spike Tey' glasses, and whatever hair style I’ve mustered up that day under my @theauntiesinc snap back! So I as you can see I don’t have much time to be and feel sexy."