ESSENCE’s Holiday Split-Cover Issue Features Simone Biles, Lizzo, and Nikole Hannah-Jones

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
  • 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.”

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