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Naomi Campbell is a lot of things: a supermodel, fashion icon, trailblazer and role model, and her long career has given her a platform to defy the odds and speak up for others. Now, with over four decades in the industry, she’s baring it all and showing us a side of her that we’ve never really seen before.

In an interview with Vogue magazine for their November 2020 issue, the iconic supermodel opened up about a lot of things that have been on her mind this year including grief and loss as well as racism and her experiences with it throughout her career. “I never used to say the word racism; I just used to say, it’s territorialism,” she told Vogue. “I never wanted people to say that I used that as an excuse, that I was throwing that word out. Now I’m happy that everyone’s all on the same page, that everyone feels comfortable to come out about their experiences without feeling some stigma.”

Naomi also spoke up about how exhausted she is over the “angry Black woman” trope, a notion that I think all Black women are tired of hearing and dealing with. “I am quite over it,” she admitted. “Is it now that we have permission to speak? Well, I have always spoken.”

She continued, “There were a few things that I would do when I was younger that I was told were bad for my race… Now the things I do are not just for me anymore. I think more of my culture and my race, as opposed to thinking about just me.”

Race and racism wasn’t the only thing on Naomi’s mind during her Vogue interview. She also discussed her revelation of the importance of family during lockdown and the grief she’s experienced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In a heartbreaking testimony, Naomi explained that she lost a close friend during lockdown and most recently had to bury her grandmother a day before her sit down with Vogue. During her interview, she reflected on what she learned from those experiences.

“A lot of the things Grandma taught me as a child came into play in lockdown,” Naomi explained when recalling the months she spent alone in New York during lockdown. “I was quite happy to be on my own. I know how to cook. I know how to clean. It’s actually good to get to really know every nook and cranny of your home. I mean, I have to be really honest,” she said to her mother who was also on set at the time. “Nobody does it like you.”

Naomi was also sure to name Black women in her life, like her mother and grandmother, as the inspiration for her wanting to help the younger generations. Her willingness to mentor the youth has also helped frame her vision for the future. “I think as a generation, as a whole, can we get reparations for our culture, for what we’ve been through? I absolutely believe we are going to get the positive outcome we deserve,” she said. “But we have to do our work in making sure we get it. I think reparations are important for the people to really see that this is something that’s been taken seriously.”

Read Naomi’s full interview with Vogue here.

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