Black-girl-tember has arrived! Some of our favorite powerhouses are gracing the covers of twelve – yes, twelve- magazines for the most anticipated and profitable issue of the year. Before I start rambling on and on about Black girl magic and all of its glory, or the many people who have said that Black cover girls don’t sell magazines, let’s run down the list, shall we?
Tracee Ellis Ross
Tracee Ellis Ross for Elle Canada. Ross -who is always vocal about women’s rights and social equality – sat down with Elle Canada and between talks of her personal style and self-care, requested that everyone stop giving women (including her) a deadline on marriage and children.
“I want to shift the language,” said Ross, “It drives me nuts. It contributes to this idea that young girls dream of a wedding and not the lives that they want or how they want to use their talents and what they want from their world. Marriage might be a part of that. But it might not. If I had one life mission—which this isn’t because I have so many others!—it would be to dismantle that myth, that false belief.”
If you haven’t already, tune into her powerful TED Talk, A Woman’s Fury Holds Lifetimes of Wisdom.
Insecure creator Issa Rae for Ebony Magazine’s Fashion Issue is phenomenal. Rae’s journey from a start-up web series to a wildly successful television show on a major network is inspiring, relatable, and a constant reminder to creatives to keep going.
While we’re recognizing greats, thank you to the founder of Ebony Magazine, John H. Johnson, for giving us a platform of this magnitude to celebrate who we are. “We wanted to give Blacks anew sense of somebodiness,” Johnson famously said, “a new sense of self-respect.”
Beyoncé Knowles-Carter for Vogue’s September issue was shot by a 23-year-old Black man named Tyler Mitchell. Mitchell is the first Black photographer to shoot a Vogue cover in the magazine’s 126 years. Moment of silence, please, for this iconic moment.
Beyond that, sis is (almost) make-up free, wig-free, and spiritually free for the cover; dropping gems about self-love and self-preservation.
As if we expected anything less than spectacular, Rihanna is killing the cover of British Vogue! The Barbadian beauty is the first Black woman to cover a British Vogue September issue. That’s right, Ri is stomping through barriers draped in Prada, Alexander McQueen, and her very own, Savage X Fenty lingerie.
If you remember, former British Vogue editor-in-chief, Alexandra Schulman made headlines last year after telling The Guardian that throughout her 25-year career at British Vogue, only 8 women of color have graced the cover. She explained that this is because “people have to recognize the person who you’re putting on the cover,” said Schulman, “[the magazine] would sell fewer copies. It’s as simple as that.”
Since accepting his new role as EIC for British Vogue back in November 2017, Edward Enninful has been showing out! He has featured many women of color on the cover (almost as many as Schulman featured throughout her entire British Vogue tenure) to include: Oprah Winfrey, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Adwoa Aboah, Adut Akech, and Selena Forrest.
Slick Woods and her unborn gem are covering Elle UK! Can I share her testimony from my point of view? I remember seeing Slick Woods modeling clothes for Urban Outfitters (instantly loved her gap and bald head). Sometime after, I began seeing her on major runways and later as a campaign model for Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty and PUMA collaboration.
Shoutout to Ms. Woods. Hard work brings results, people. Always remember.
Other gals covering issues this month are Tiffany Haddish for Glamour mag, Yara Shahidi for The Hollywood Reporter, Lupita Nyong’o for Porter, Aja Naomi King for Shape, Zendaya for Marie Claire, Naomi Campbell for Paris Vogue, and, although Mama O covers her namesake magazine each month, we’re including her just because, well, she’s Mama O.
Tina Knowles Lawson, the mother and driving force behind Beyoncé and Solange Knowles, owns a stunning collection of contemporary black art. At the link in bio, the high matriarch of pop culture and curator Kimberly Drew (@museummammy) discuss Knowles Lawson’s art collecting journey, from a $500 painting to high-end auctions. Photograph by @GigiLaub in @MsTinaLawson’s Los Angeles home.
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Keeping in tune with Black girl September, Tina Knowles Lawson is inside Vanity Fair’s September issue (ironically) talking about the importance of representation and supporting Black artists. Joined by curator Kimberly Drew, Lawson said, “When my kids were growing up, it was really important to me that they saw images of African-Americans,” she continues, “I’m so happy that I did, because both of them are really aware of their culture, and I think a lot of that had to do with looking at those images every day, those strong images.”
Yara Shahidi shared a throwback via her Instagram story of last year’s September issues, and let’s just say, melanin wasn’t on the radar. She captioned, “No shade at all. But this was last September.”
None taken, sis, they know what you mean. That Black girl drip is something serious.