Summer can be a difficult time for women with body image issues. From bikinis to clothes that reveal rather than cover up, our bodies are more on display during the warmer months. Essence Magazine is dedicating the latest issue to body image with its cover subject and the many articles that advocate for us to love and embrace our unique shapes.
Serena Williams, who two years ago was fighting to breathe after suffering a pulmonary embolism, fronts the issue in a beautiful blue one-piece swimsuit that highlights her famous curves and toned arms and legs. Her radiant skin and confident pose are only outshined by her gorgeous smile. In the issue, she says: “I feel lighter, I feel healthier, and even though I’m 31—which really isn’t old, but for an athlete, particularly a tennis player, it’s old—I promise you, my body has never felt better. Considering how much I’ve played and how much I’ve done, I feel fine. I’m strong…”
The stunning photograph is flanked by coverlines like “Love Your Body,” and “2,500 Black Women on The Beauty of Our Bodies,” which reflects the core philosophy of Essence Magazine with its commitment to uplifting women and serving as a positive and uplifting space for us on the newsstand.
The article “Be Healthy at Every Size,” is significant because it places health over size-shaming. Serena’s quote is thematically in line with the cover’s push for self-acceptance and love; she says “It’s important to look in the mirror and say ‘I love myself.” Finally, the issue promises to offer swimsuits that flatter our curves and sweat-proof hairstyles and products.
Overall, the issue seems like a great homage to the beauty of black womens bodies just in time for the summer season. What do you think of the cover, Clutchettes?