The Trump Administration is doing its best impersonation of a trash bag as it tries to keep Muslims outside its borders, but Vogue Arabia highlights the beauty and hustle of Muslim Somali-American model Halima Aden on the cover of its June issue. Mic.com reports that she is the first hijab-wearing model to cover any edition of Vogue.
Aden described the moment as “surreal” in an Instagram post yesterday (June 1). In a video on the magazine’s website, she talks about why it’s important for her to appear on the cover. “Every little girl deserves to see a role model that’s dressed like her, resembles her or even has the same characteristics as her. I think beauty is for everyone,” the 19-year-old model says.
Ruth Negga is the January 2017 cover model for Vogue Magazine. The Irish-Ethiopian actress is starring in Loving, a film directed by Jeff Nichols, about an interracial couple who desire to be married in 1958 Virginia. Loving is the first full-length film to be screened at the new National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Ruth delved to Vogue about growing up with interracial parents and losing her father at a young age. Ruth and her mother went to Ireland and was waiting for her father, but he died in Ethiopia in a car crash. She found out via a letter. “This was 1988. There wasn’t any grief counseling for kids.” Ruth admits to going to therapy in her early 30’s to deal with the loss of her father.
Ruth identifies as Irish-Ethiopian, adding, “I become very territorial about my identity because it’s been hijacked by so many people, with their own projections.” Deep and a struggle, many racially ambiguous women must address. Ruth explains, “I’m always very careful to say I’m Irish-Ethiopian because I feel Ethiopian and I look Ethiopian and I am Ethiopian. But there are 81 languages in Ethiopia, and I don’t know any of them.”
In the October issue of Vogue, three-time cover girl Lupita Nyong’o talks about growing up in Nairobi, and her desire to see more African narratives represented in Hollywood and beyond. “I want to create opportunities for other people of color because I’m fortunate enough to have a platform to do that,” she said.
Recently, Nyong’o starred in “Eclipsed” on Broadway, playing a 15-year-old girl held captive by a rebel officer in Liberia. In her latest film, “Queen of Katwe,” she plays the mother of a Ugandan girl who becomes an international chess master. (The film opens next week.) And she’s also working on the forthcoming film adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s “Americanah“— a love story that centers around two Nigerians.
“Being able to use my platform to expand and diversify the African voice … I feel very passionate about that. It feels intentional, meaningful,” Nyong’o said. She was drawn to “Queen of Katwe,” she said, because it was “based on a true story, an uplifting story out of Africa.” Nyong’o also reflected — not for the first time — on the significance of seeing darker-skinned women represented and celebrated as beautiful.
“Alek Wek changed how dark people saw themselves,” she said. “That I could do the same in a way for somebody somewhere is amazing.” She added, “The European sense of beauty affects us all. I came home from college in the early two-thousands and saw ads on TV with a girl who can’t get a job. She uses this product. She gets her skin lighter. She gets the job. The lording of lighter skin is a common thing growing up in Nairobi. Being called ‘black mamba.’ The slow burn of recognizing something else is better than you.”
Working on the set of “Queen of Katwe,” Nyong’o said a young Ugandan-British woman came up to her and said: “I’ve never had so many people call me beautiful until you showed up. I get called to auditions I never would have been called to before. I know it’s because you exist.”
Serena Williams is the first black female athlete to land a solo cover of Vogue, and the tennis pro looks absolutely breathtaking (she last fronted the magazine for the June 2012 issue alongside Ryan Lochte and Hope Solo). Serena sports long natural curls and a slim-fitting blue sheath dress on the cover, finishing her look with minimal makeup and a simple tennis bracelet (natch). Famed photographer Annie Leibovitz shot the stunning spread, which also features tennis star (not to mention Serena’s best friend and top competitor) Caroline Wozniacki.
In the editorial, Serena lets her enviable figure do the talking in a second skin wine-red gown that hugs her body in all the right places. Beyond looking beautiful in couture, the star athlete opens up about the pressure of being top-ranked on the courts. (It’s no surprise that Anna Wintour tapped her for the annual Shape issue—the Vogue editrix is a self-proclaimed tennis enthusiast).
“It’s hard and lonely at the top,” Williams admits in the interview. “That’s why it’s so fun to have Caroline and my sister, too. You’re a target when you’re number one. Everyone wants to beat you. Everyone talks behind your back, and you get a lot more criticism. God forbid I lose. It’s like ‘Why?’ Well, I am human.”
Williams announced her Vogue cover in a sexy bikini snapshot on Instagram (why not?), which shows the star athlete kicking back with a copy of the issue. (Really, though, that body!)
Lupita Nyong’o is stunning — and her new ad for Lancôme proves this yet again. The beauty brand’s first ad featuring their newest spokesperson released this week, and Nyong’o looks radiant with her glowing, chocolate-colored complexion.
The Oscar-winning actress became endorsed by the beauty brand in April — and her first ad highlights Lancôme’s Teint Idole Ultra 24H foundation, a smooth blemish-free product which is “available in 28 shades for all skintones.”
The foundation is being touted as one of the brand’s more diverse products, which provides “endless perfection” for women of almost every complexion.
And with the current Vogue magazine cover girl promoting their product, Lancôme seems to be sending a message of appreciation for diversity and consumers of color.
If anyone was still wondering if breakout actress and Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o was having the best year ever, Vogue just solidified it. The 12 Years a Slave star, 31, made her first appearance on the most coveted of fashion magazines, covering Vogue’s July issue.
Gordon Parks was a master of many arts: photography, film making, music and fiction. But the world almost missed the opportunity to experience and enjoy his major contributions. Born on Nov. 30, 1912, to a family in Fort Scott, Kansas, that already included 14 other children, Parks was declared stillborn when his doctor couldn’t detect a heartbeat. Thanks to another doctor who thought to immerse him in cold water, which got his heart beating, he survived.