Monday, September 26, 2022

ESSENCE’s Split-Cover Issue (Nov/Dec) Features Lizzo, Simone Biles and Nikole Hannah-Jones

Essence (Lizzo - Simone - Nikole)
ESSENCE’s November/December holiday split-cover issue

*ESSENCE’s November/December holiday split-cover issue features three game-changers like you’ve never seen them before:

GRAMMY award-winning singer Lizzo; Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles; and “1619 Project” Founder Nikole Hannah-Jones! ESSENCE’s groundbreaking issue reflects on “The Year of Radical Self-Care” with three incredible women who understood the power of saying “no” and instead bravely chose to say “yes” to themselves and their mental health in the face of societal expectations.

Here’s a sneak peek on what each cover star tells ESSENCE in this special issue that will hit newsstands during the holidays:

Essence - Lizzo
Essence – Lizzo

  • LIZZO ON BODY POSITIVITY (Excerpt from her cover story, Simply Being):
  • Being misunderstood has become a fact of life for singer-rapper Lizzo who tells ESSENCE Senior Entertainment Editor Brande Victorian in her cover story, “Simply Being,” “No one’s ever right about me.”

Balancing backlash for the way she embraces her body with criticisms of her sound and the expectation of the type of music audiences think a Black woman should make is a constant battle. But Lizzo remains rooted in who she is. “I use 808s, just not in the same way everyone else does,” she explains of the drum machine that characterizes most of today’s hip-hop and R&B. “I have songs I could drop right now, but that’s just not my purpose. That’s not why God made me and put me on this planet at this exact time.”

Because of her resolve to march to the beat of her own drum, both literally and figuratively, Lizzo has been hoisted up as a model of body-positivity. But her hope is that her fame doesn’t lead to more conversations about the success of plus-size Black women but rather less attention put on the exterior.

“It’s exhausting,” Lizzo admits. “And that’s the point. I don’t want to talk about this anymore. We should be neutral about bodies.”

OTHER NEWS ON EURWEB: JAY-Z’s Roc Nation and REFORM Alliance’s Job Fair Kicks Off Nov. 18 in NYC at MSG

Essence - Simone Biles
Essence – Simone Biles

  • SIMONE BILES ON TAKING A STAND (Excerpt from her cover story, More Than A Medal): 

“I definitely knew any stand I took would be a little bit bigger than itself,” Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles tells writer Kovie Biakolo of her decision to withdraw from the summer games this year in her cover story, “More Than A Medal.” “At the end of the day, we’re humans. We’re not just athletes. We’re not just here for entertainment.

While discussing the “twisties” that lead to her headline-making move not to compete along with the backlash to her withdrawal, as well as the outpouring of love and support she received, Biles ultimately explains in the feature, “I feel content with what I did and how I made the decision.”

Essence - Nikole Hannah-Jones
Essence – Nikole Hannah-Jones

  • NIKOLE HANNAH-JONES (Excerpt from her cover story, When ‘NO’ Opens Doors):
  • When Pulitzer Prize–winner Nikole Hannah-Jones declined to accept tenure at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill months after they withdrew their initial offer, she didn’t just say no for herself.

“It was important for me to say no to UNC, for my dignity, my self-respect,” she explains to ESSENCE Senior News and Politics Editor Malaika Jabali in her cover story, “When ‘NO’ Opens Doors.” “And then, outside of me, I needed to do it for Black people and marginalized people, for their dignity and respect, too.”

Hannah-Jones, whose groundbreaking 1619 Project for The New York Times Magazine was published as a book, The 1619 Project: An Origin Story, this week, immediately saw the impact of that choice. “A lot of people were watching, people who you wouldn’t think would have any investment at all in whether some New York Times reporter gets tenure at a university,” notes the professor who subsequently joined Howard University and is now creating their Center for Journalism and Democracy. “One TSA agent told me, ‘I hope North Carolina does right by you.’”

LIZZO: Ramona Rosales
SIMONE BILES: Chrisean Rose
source: Sheila Harris –




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