Breakout hip-hop artist Lizzo is making waves, gracing the cover of Vogue Magazine's October 2020 issue.
The three-time Grammy award winning singer celebrated the opportunity on her Instagram, posting the cover photo with the caption, "I am the first big black woman on the cover of @voguemagazine. The first black anything feels overdue. But our time has come."
She went on to encourage her Black female followers to break records.
"To all my black girls, if someone like you hasn't done it yet- BE THE FIRST," she wrote.
Lizzo calling herself the first "big black woman" on a Vogue cover comes after years of Vogue Magazine and other popular publications being criticized for their lack of diversity and size inclusivity when it comes to cover models.
According to a 2018 research piece by Mark Healy and Alyssa Mercante for Ceros, racial inclusivity has increased in the last few years.
Between 2012 and 2016, only 23.6% Vogue magazine covers featured a non-white subject. Between 2016 and 2018, the research showed that number had increased to 43.5%.
The Ceros piece compared the same percentages to other big-name fashion magazines. Vogue was one of the most diverse in the 2016 to 2018 time period, being beat out by three magazines, Allure (58.3%), GQ (44.1%) and InStyle (50%).
According to the research, Esquire had the least inclusive magazine covers between that same time period, with 25% of covers featuring a non-white subject.
Progress is still being made when it comes to inclusivity, with body shape/size inclusion becoming a newer priority.
According to WWD, model Ashley Graham was the first plus-size model to ever appear on a Vogue cover. Her first appearance was in 2017 and she was one of seven models featured in the photo.
"Girls with back fat, girls with bellies that hang, girls with thighs that aren't separated, that overlap. Girls with stretch marks. You know, girls who are in the 18-plus club. They need to be benefiting from...the mainstream effect of body positivity now," Lizzo told Claudia Rankine with Vogue. "But with everything that goes mainstream, it gets changed. It gets-you know, it gets made acceptable."
She went on to say she feels like it is her job in the public eye to help normalize body types that aren't often featured in media.
"I want to normalize my body. And not just be like, 'Ooh, look at this cool movement. Being fat is body positive.' No, being fat is normal," Lizzo said. "I think now, I owe it to the people who started this to not just stop here. We have to make people uncomfortable again, so that we can continue to change. Change is always uncomfortable, right?"
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