Every so often, a female model or celebrity is blessed enough to exclaim the following words: "I'm on the cover of a magazine!" Yet, the chances for a Black woman to be able to utter those words are slim to none.
As trivial as this pursuit may seem, it is a dream that is longed after by thousands -if not millions- of women around the world. Every girl wants to feel beautiful, and with you or your likeness appearing on the cover of a magazine it validates you. In regards to popular culture -more specifically fashion- VOGUE Magazine is considered to be the best, not only is it one of the world's oldest fashion publications (established in 1892), it is also viewed as the "ultimate" testament to fashion, portraying the highest ideal of women's beauty; what you see on the cover and within the pages of VOGUE is generally de rigueur!
But given America's love/hate relationship with segregation and racism, Blacks have never really been considered "in" ...so it's with that notion that it then becomes a mark of distinction (read: arrival) for a Black woman to be placed -not only within the pages of, but- on the cover of VOGUE Magazine.
Although VOGUE has long been a champion of using a great number of Blacks on its covers (more so than most other fashion publications), their dramatic choice to place "back-to-back" Black women on the cover has raised the eyebrows of many this year; most notably was VOGUE Italia's "A Black Issue" in 2008 (which followed the heels of the fashion industry's scandal of not using enough Black models).
(Sessilee Lopez covers VOGUE Italia's "A Black Issue," July 2008)
I always believe that when people see themselves looking good, they in-turn feel good and they ultimately do good ...so it's refreshing for Blacks to be able to see reflections of themselves on the cover of a most prominent magazine, because they aspire to be more like 'those' positive images, rather than mirror the too-many negative images we have all seen in the media.
US VOGUE's March 2009 cover featured a glowing Michelle Obama, the First Lady of the United States of America (an achievement within itself)...
The April 2009 cover featured a radiant Beyonce' Knowles...
And the May 2009 cover (albeit a group photo), featured the lovely Mrs. Liya Kebede (a now 3-time US VOGUE cover girl), along with Ms. Jourdan Dunn...
* Liya Kebede's 2 other US VOGUE covers:
As aforementioned, throughout the 20th/21st centuries, VOGUE has had a longstanding history of being more ethnically diverse when casting its models, and for Black women that's been a great thing because its proven that a 'majority's' ideal of beauty has at least shifted towards a more culminating representation of all human skin tones.
VOGUE (Black) covers throughout the years:
Ultimately, the fact that VOGUE has not only responded to but has also addressed the fashion industry's snubbing of Black models, proves that this publication does deserve an applause... even if it still has a long ways to go in becoming 100% ethnically diverse.
I'm just thrilled that for the past few years, VOGUE's perennial muse has been none other than Liya Kebede. She has appeared on the cover of virtually "every" VOGUE magazine brand worldwide- from Paris to Portugal, and her beauty and personality is so stately, elegant and real... she's also one of my longtime favorites (meeting her in-person was a dream for me)!
ROCK ON MY BEAUTIFUL BROWN-SKIN DIVAS!!!