Hi, How are you? Welcome to the month of September where by now you have probably seen a meme that says, “Wake me up when September ends.” Which you’re probably saying with the voice of Green Day in your head. Well, I would like to officially introduce you to the new and improved September where we don’t sing Green Day songs, but instead we celebrate black beauty, the power of black women and the history making of black women.
This new found September comes to us in celebration of all the black women we, black women, were able to see and identify ourselves with on the cover of magazines for August and September issues. This is a big deal.
July 31st British Vogue released their September cover of Rihanna, the first woman of color to be featured on a British Vogue cover for the month of September in all of the 102 years. Not to mention being published with the first black editor-in-chief of British Vogue, Edward Enninful. This is history making.
The September issue of British Vogue is such an important cover because it is 400 pages that set the tone for the next fashion season.
The shoot was styled by Edward Enniful where he knew he would use Rihanna for his first September cover.
.@Edward_Enninful’s on his September issue cover star: “I always knew it had to be @rihanna. When it comes to that potent mix of fashion and celebrity, nobody does it quite like her” https://t.co/zsMMEDyuZD pic.twitter.com/pOy4fppHI8
— British Vogue (@BritishVogue) August 2, 2018
On the cover Rihanna was seen sporting thin eyebrows in a floral head piece, shot by fashion photographer Nick Knight.
This cover reveal was followed by American Vogue announcing Beyoncé on the cover of the September issue as well August 6. On the American Vogue cover Beyoncé is also seen wearing floral head gear and a modest white dress.
In Beyoncé’s cover story she opens up about marriage life, her self acceptance journey after having kids and about being a black woman that black girls can see themselves as. Beyoncé has taken on a very important role by stating that and by continuing to show that, which I will be the first to admit that I always thought she hadn’t. I thought this because I felt she was not vocal on being the role model we could see ourselves as and it was not until she said it that I realized she has been doing that my entire life by simply being the boss woman that she is.
This cover was the first ever cover shot by a black photographer.
Tyler Mitchell is the 23-year-old young black photographer from Atlanta. Hand picked by the queen herself, Beyoncé. Tyler Mitchell was the first ever black photographer to shoot a Vogue cover. I had to say it twice to let it sink in. This is history making.
These covers were not left alone during the releases in August for the month of September. They were joined by Zendaya stunning on the cover of Marie Claire, Lupita for PORTER, Issa Rae for EBONY, Tracee Ellis Ross for Elle and many more iconic queens gracing and inspiring us that we can be seen and that we are seen. As beautiful black women.
If it isn’t obvious why moments like this are so important, here is a couple more examples:
There are many things that are important in the Rihanna and Beyoncé covers, which are stated above but also because how both women are portrayed in the shoots. Both Beyoncé and Rihanna are seen wearing flowers on their heads almost in a crown like shape, in my opinion symbolizing royalty and how we should hold black women in high regards. Flowers are girly, elegant and naturally beautiful which is not the typical image that is in relation to how black women are usually perceived by the media, over sexualized and not beautiful. These covers are changing the narrative for black women.
I, as a black woman, can not express enough how important it is for black boys and girls to be able to see and insert themselves in the roles that were made for not only white people but for black people as well. When our kids are growing up seeing Black Panther in theater’s, Edward Enniful as the first black editor-in-chief for Vogue. Or Rihanna on magazine covers, Beyoncé on magazine covers, Lupita, Zendaya, Tracee all on magazine covers. It is always a bigger statement than just seeing a beautiful women on a cover and handsome men on a tv screen.