Baller Alert Black History: Three Times Black Women Have Slayed The Cover Of Vogue

Over the decades, the cover of Vogue magazine has seen a transformative shift toward greater inclusivity and representation, with Black women playing a pivotal role in this positive evolution. Pioneering the way was Beverly Johnson, who made history in August 1974 as the first African American woman to grace the cover of American Vogue. Her groundbreaking appearance shattered barriers, challenging the prevailing beauty norms in the fashion industry and paving the way for increased diversity. Since then, many Black women have brought the magazine to life, each contributing to a more inclusive definition of beauty. Here’s a look back at three of the Black women adorned Vogue covers that have left us speechless.

Donyale Luna (British Vogue, March 1966)

Donyale Luna was a pioneering African American model and actress. Luna gained prominence in the 1960s and was known for her striking features and unique look. Luna made history when she appeared on the cover of British Vogue in March 1966, making history as the first black model to appear in the U.K. edition of the publication. She was just 20 years old at the time. 

Lupita Nyong’o (Vogue October 2014)

Academy Award-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o graced the cover of Vogue for the first time in July 2014. The “Black Panther” star contributed to discussions about beauty standards and diversity in Hollywood by sporting her short natural hair on the cover. Nyong’o, who’d landed a Lancôme campaign that same year, praised this partnership because it was “not about conforming to an already established idea of what is beautiful.” Nyong’o has appeared on the cover of the publication several times since. 

Simone Biles (August 2020)

Olympic gymnast Simone Biles graced the cover of Vogue in August 2020. The Olympic gold medalist’s athleticism and breaking of stereotypes about traditional notions of beauty made her cover extremely powerful. When speaking on the harsh comments concerning her looks, Biles confidently said in her cover story, “God made me this way, and I feel like if I didn’t have these legs or these calves, I wouldn’t be able to tumble as high as I can and have all of these moves named after me.” Her cover also served as evidence of her resilience, a quality she had demonstrated over the years while bravely recounting the abuse she endured at the hands of USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.

While we celebrate the covers of Donyale Luna, Lupita Nyong’o, and Simone Biles, numerous other Black women have presented a powerful presence that extends beyond the pages of the Vogue, influencing conversations about representation, empowerment, and the celebration of diverse identities. 

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