Screenshot: Mariano Vivanco (Harper’s Bazaar US)

It was the shoe throw heard around the world—the fashion and entertainment worlds, at least. At last September’s Harper’s Bazaar ICONS party, Cardi B’s Fashion Week came to an abrupt end when longtime tension with fellow rapper and longtime nemesis Nicki Minaj came to a confrontational head. In a moment that has now been filed in the annals of hip-hop beef history, cameras captured Cardi being escorted from the Plaza Hotel wearing red Dolce & Gabbana and a sizable knot on her forehead (thanks to security)—and minus the shoe she’d thrown at Minaj.

But if there were any hard feelings, they weren’t on the part of the 152-year-old Harper’s Bazaar, who this Fashion Week placed the newly minted megastar on the cover of their highly anticipated Spring Fashion Issue.

The theme? Fairytales—because whose glow up has been more of a fairytale than Cardi B’s? Inside the spread, fashion edited by her go-to stylist Kollin Carter (an iconic first for the fashion guru), Cardi channels Rapunzel, Mulan, and even a fire-breathing dragon (because, bars). But there’s one moment that instantly evokes Cardi’s last association with Bazaar, as she once again dons a red dress—this time, by Vera Wang—and leaves behind a single Jimmy Choo shoe as she makes her escape.

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Though the reference is obviously Cinderella, the double entendre wasn’t lost on a few Cardi fans, who quickly took to social media to note the similarities—which others hotly refuted, pointing out the overall fairytale theme of the editorial.

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As we’re prone to do with many issues here at The Root, I’m going to go out on a limb here and proffer that both things can be true. The theme of the shoot can both be an homage to Cardi’s storybook-worthy rise and it can be true that editor Carter, who dressed Cardi for both this shoot and the ICONS party last fall, is giving us a coy wink and a nod to the incident and its association with Bazaar by choosing to dress Cardi in another red ballgown for the Cinderella shot. (Also worth noting: Thanks to Disney, Cinderella is most often associated with powder blue, so...there’s that.)

But aside from the imagery, there’s the very real Cinderella story of Cardi herself, who says as much in Bazaar’s cover story.

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“I feel like my life is a fairy tale and I’m a princess—rags to riches, people trying to sabotage,” she says, noting that she’s swiftly trying to put drama like last September’s incident behind her.

“Before, I cared about everything—relationship, gossip. Now I don’t feel like I have the time to please people. I don’t care about anything anymore—just my career and my kid,” she continues. And in case you’re wondering, yes, that’s her way of saying she’s about that money. “Well, I care about my career because of my money,” she adds.

At the time of the interview, Cardi was less than sure about her less-than fairy tale marriage. Discussing the possibility of reconciling with then-estranged husband Offset, she revealed to the magazine that he’d begged her to enter couple’s therapy.

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“I didn’t want to go to marriage counseling,” she admitted. “He suggested it, but it’s like, ‘I don’t want to go.’ There’s no counselor or nothing that could make me change my mind.” Of course, as Cardi recently told paparazzi, we now know the couple is “working things out.”

And don’t let Cardi’s hyper-sexual image get you twisted; if she’s earned the respect of women like us here at The Root, it’s in part because she continually forces the world to view her as multifaceted—which is credit all women should be afforded.

“[J]ust because I’m out there and very sexual doesn’t mean that I have to be whorish,” she tells Bazaar. “I like to have sex. That doesn’t mean I have to have it with everybody—Not that I judge women who want to have sex with the world.”

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And as a new mom who has been open about both postpartum depression and the danger her high profile poses to daughter Kulture Kiari, who can judge Cardi for keeping her child mostly absent from her otherwise “all-access” persona? In her interview with Bazaar, she credits Kulture for putting everything in perspective—especially on social media.

“Sometimes I’ll see something online and it’ll piss me off, and then my baby will start crying or something, and it’s like, ‘You know what? I’ve got to deal with the milk. Forget this. ... I’ve noticed that every time you respond, you just make things worse, so I’m over it. I’m just over it. I really don’t need it, and sometimes it just brings chaos to my brain.”

Here’s hoping that chaos just continues to get more controlled, because we live for those Bardi barbs—and of course, those bars.

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