Hellobeautiful Featured Video
Marsai Martin Essence Girls United Cover

Source: Ramona Rosales / Ramona Rosales

If you’ve been paying attention to all things #BlackGirlMagic, you know Marsai Martin is one to watch. Since she first hit the acting scene, on ABC’s Black-ish, at the young age of 10, the bonafide star has stolen our hearts with her dimpled smile, witty comebacks and sweet personality. Now, the 16-year-old is proving that she’s quite the mogul in the making.

Martin is so talented, she served as executive producer of Little, the same funny flick she also starred in alongside Issa Rae. The petite star has earned a plethora of recognitions in the industry including: an NAACP Image Awards, a BET Young Stars award, and as one of the stars of Black-ish — several Emmy nominations. With a reputation that big, it only makes sense that our pretend “little sis” is a natural fit for the first ever digital cover of Essence’s new platform, Girls United.

Girls United is Essence’s new platform that’s geared towards Generation Z and catered specifically to young Black girls. For their first ever issue, Marsai is rightfully heralded as the leader of the generation’s creative class where she participated in a bright and colorful photoshoot, which ironically matches the multi-talented actress’  bright and colorful personality. Donning ensembles from designers like Chanel and Versace with matching multi-colored makeup and accessories, Marsai’s natural confidence shines through her cover shoot as she once again shows off her creativity and proves that she deserves a seat at the table.

Marsai shared the news of her newest venture in a Tweet where she posted the digital cover image with a caption expressing her excitement.

I’m excited to finally show you all the FIRST EVER cover of Essence’s new digital magazine Girls United! Thank you so much  @Essence for allowing me to launch y’all’s new chapter for our powerful black girls. @EssenceGUHeart suit

In an interview conducted via Zoom, Marsai also spoke to Girls United about Black creativity and the determination she feels to continue until we all get there. “It really sucks to say, but people are just now starting to understand that we as Black people have very creative minds and we won’t stop until we get there,” Marsai told Girls United.

The interview continued with Marsai opening up about finding the courage to speak up in an industry where woman and girls are often made to feel small. “I really didn’t think of it as a nerve-wracking thing,” Marsai explained. “Math equations scare me a lot more than public speaking.”

To read Marsai’s full interview with Girls United and to see all of the images from her cover shoot,visit


Marsai Martin Is All Grown Up On Essence’s First Girls United Digital Cover!

Fashion Files: Marsai Martin Is The Flyest 15-Year-Old We Know!

10 Times Marsai Martin Gave Lewks On The Red Carpet
51st NAACP Image Awards - Arrivals
10 photos

For 2024’s iteration of MadameNoire and HelloBeautiful’s annual series Women to Know, we knew we wanted to celebrate the people who help make the joys of film and television possible. To create art is to create magic. This year, we spotlight Hollywood Executive’s changing the face of cinema.