In the 127-year history of the US version of Vogue Magazine, only 21 Black women have graced the covers—solo.
It started off with Beverly Johnson in 1974 and over the past 46 years has included a mix of supermodels, actresses, singers and public figures such as Rihanna (who has the most with 6 covers), Lupita Nyong’o, Naomi Cambell, Beyonce, Halle Berry, Serena Williams, former First Lady Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Zendaya and most recently Cardi B.
That’s just a little bit more than a year’s worth.
When you look at photographers, the numbers are even more troublesome. During that century-plus timespan, there has only been one Black person to shoot a cover, Tyler Mitchell, who captured Queen Bey for her iconic September 2018 issue.
So to say that Vogue is lagging in the diversity department is an understatement.
But a new viral social media challenge is reimagining that problematic history and showing what the possibility of Black representation could look like if the fashion bible’s EIC, Anna Wintour, and her team were more innovative, daring and inclusive.
Enter: the #VogueChallenge.
Popping up in the past week, this challenge encourages readers, models (both aspiring and professional) and everyday people to have the audacity to dream, to see themselves on the cover of one of the most coveted magazines in the world. It’s also giving Black photographers, stylists, MUAs and hairstylists a chance to showcase their immense talent and passion.
And let me be clear: Our people are SLAYING this challenge and outdoing any lewk that Ms. Anna and dem have cooked up in their offices at 1 World Trade Center. PERIOD. Just peep this beauty:
COME THROUGH SIS!
It’s no secret that there’s been a lot of darkness for the past few months, especially during the past few weeks. These types of challenges—albeit the #PillowChallenge or the #DontRushChallenge—has given me a chance to revel in some much-needed joy and bask in all the beauty and creativity that Black women have to offer this world. We definitely need a break, because Black joy is as much of an act of resistance as taking to the streets.
So take a look at these stunning sistas—of all sizes, shapes, shades and hair textures—who have taken heed of the #VogueChallenge and have been killin’ it!