Essence magazine didn’t settle for just one gorgeous cover image for its November/December issue — instead, they featured three different superstars.
Olympic gymnast Simone Biles, pop sensation Lizzo and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, founder of the 1619 Project, each grace a cover of the magazine’s last issue of 2021. The magazine said these three women are trailblazers when it comes to radical self-love and the power of saying no, which only reinforces their strength and beauty.
Fans immediately shared their admiration for the covers on social media, especially for the diverse representation of Black skin tones and body shapes.
“I STAN!!!!! There aren’t sufficient words to describe this. So proud of such a beautiful person,” one person wrote on Twitter about Hannah-Jones.
One Twitter user wrote, “Black women, AKA THEE MOMENT.. across all industries” in response to seeing the three covers.
“Lizzo is such a vision,” someone wrote.
Biles, who is often considered the greatest female gymnast of all time, chose her mental and physical health over the spotlight when she withdrew from key events at the Tokyo Olympics.
Lizzo regularly and unapologetically claps back at haters who attempt to shame and critique her body-positive stance.
And journalist and professor Nikole Hannah-Jones was in a fight for tenure at her alma mater, the University of North Carolina, only to decline the eventual offer for a position at Howard University, an HBCU.
These three powerhouses serve as examples, particularly for Black women, to reject expectations from others, stand up for what they believe in and withdraw from circumstances, people or energy that does not serve them or bring them joy.
Hannah-Jones thanked the magazine for the editors' commitment to representation within the Black community in an Instagram post: “Y’all. This was a dream I didn’t even have the audacity to dream. No magazine has meant more to me than @essence. As a Black girl from a working-class family in a working-class town, Essence exposed me to the beautiful spectrum and possibilities of Black womanhood.”