Is summer here yet? As I find myself shopping for a lightweight-but-substantial spring coat (it’s currently 52 degrees in Chicago on this here May the 17th), clearly not. But our constant girl crush Lizzo is bringing the heat on not one, but two covers ripe for the season, starring on both Essence’s digital June issue and V Magazine’s Summer Music issue!
“This is a big one for me because for so long I felt like my music wasn’t reaching black people and it was breakin’ my heart,” the multitalented musician wrote on Instagram of her star turn on Essence. “To be an [Essence] COVERGIRL means this musical medicine I got is finally being heard by EVERYONE 😝💥🎉 thank you!!!”
The unapologetically black, big, bold and beautiful baddie drops plenty of her now legendary gems in both cover stories; for instance:
“Sometimes the label ‘unapologetic’ bothers me because it can be loaded, because it means we have to apologize for something in the first place. I’m not ignorant to the fact that we had to have a demeanor of lowering ourselves culturally just to exist. But I’m trying to shake up the narrative about how we’re supposed to act.”
And proving that her confidence—in both her body and her message—doesn’t exist in a vacuum, Lizzo rightly gives a nod to an equally talented predecessor.
“Seeing Missy exist in her truth was like, Oh, I can exist in my truth. She didn’t try to hide anything, lie or cover anything up. She was as weird and freaky as she wanted to be. And I thought that was special,” Lizzo tells Essence. “I want girls who look like me to feel that way [about my music].”
Fashion lovers watched Lizzo kill it on the Met Gala red carpet wearing Marc Jacobs on May 6, but as she revealed to Essence, she’s clear that the statement is bigger than fashion.
“I never really cared about designers and fashion brands until recently, because they never cared about me,” she said. “It’s not about fashion or being famous. It’s about being better and making sure that this world can hear us and respect us…”
Equally badass on the cover of V Magazine’s Summer Music issue (with model/dancer Alton Mason), Lizzo tells fellow musician Sam Smith (yes, that Sam Smith), “My favorite thing about myself is my blackness. I am really just so honored to be graced with this identity. No shade to any other shade on the planet—I just can’t relate. I just love being a black woman, even in a world where we are statistically the least desirable. I am still here, and I still rise.”
And for those prone to dismiss this incredibly talented woman at first sight, she has some choice words:
“[M]y movement is for everyone. It’s about inclusion. And if I am going to fight what I have been marginalized for, I am going to fight for all marginalized people,” Lizzo declares. “Because fuck boxes; I‘m too big to be put in one anyway. I‘m a fat bitch.”
Who else is melanating magazine covers this June? How about Zendaya on the cover of American Vogue, photographed by history-maker Tyler Mitchell, Naomi Campbell covering Vogue Japan, Zoe Kravitz glowing on one of InStyle’s five Big Little Lies-themed covers, and Yara Shahidi—whose new film, The Sun Is Also a Star, premieres today—atop Town & Country?
And very special kudos go to Men’s Health UK, which not only put British professional boxer Anthony Joshua on its May cover, but chose a series of predominantly black boys of color to cover its special Male Mental Health issue, recognizing that suicide is the biggest killer of males under 45. And belated shoutout to Terry Crews and model Adut Akech, who covered the May issues of Men’s Health and Allure, respectively.
We’ve compiled the most colorful covers of June above. Now, go buy—and enjoy this exit music by Lizzo!