Black Women Are Dominating the Covers of 2018 September Issues

This week it was announced that eight black women would appear on the cover of several magazines’ prestigious September and fall issues, apparently marking the first time that this many black women have received the honor in the same year.

Beyoncé, Rihanna, Tracee Ellis Ross, Issa Rae, Tiffany Haddish, Zendaya, Slick Woods, and Princess Nokia each graced the covers of international and local editions of Vogue, Elle, Ebony, Marie Claire, and LadyGunn, to name a few.

The individual September covers each featured a star-studded mix of black female comedians, musicians, and models. Having already graced the cover of Time magazine and Essence, comedian Tiffany Haddish made her first September cover debut with Glamour magazine. Fellow comedic actor and cover-star veteran Tracee Ellis Ross was all smiles on the cover of Elle Canada. Ahead of Insecure’s season three premiere on August 12, Issa Rae appeared on the cover of Ebony magazine’s September issue to discuss producing and writing her hit HBO show.

Beyoncé and Rihanna each graced a Vogue cover of their own: Beyoncé’s highly buzzed-about American Vogue September cover was finally revealed Monday to much acclaim. Not only did her appearance on the cover help make history for black women, but she also added to that by helping pick the first black photographer to ever shoot a cover of American Vogue. Rihanna also made quite the statement on her cover of British Vogue with a bold makeup look that consisted of a thin-lined eyebrow, light smokey eye, and dark glossy lipstick. She was also the first black woman to cover a September issue of British Vogue. Both Beyoncé and Rihanna donned a flower crown for their respective covers, in addition to rapper Princess Nokia, whose floral crown was front and center for her LadyGunn fall cover shoot.

Zendaya and model Slick Woods were the youngest out of the group to appear on September covers. Zendaya stunned on the cover of Marie Claire in a messy beehive hairstyle ahead of her upcoming Drake-produced HBO show, Euphoria. The U.K. edition of Elle tapped a currently pregnant Slick Woods to discuss her success as a Fenty Beauty model.

Despite this major fête, black women are still incredibly underrepresented inside and on the covers of major publications. Several black models have spoken up recently about facing discrimination at castings, making it hard for them to appear in fashion magazines, let alone on the cover of the most important issues of the year. However, following the clear social media success that all eight cover shoots have received, it would appear that there is a great deal of demand for black women on the cover — yet, still not enough opportunity.

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