Earlier this week it was announced that the beautiful Issa Rae is the newest face of Cover Girl. I am personally so proud of Issa! Ever since her web series Awkward Black Girl premiered on Youtube in 2011 her career has rapidly taken off. Issa is currently the producer, writer and main character of the Golden Globe nominated HBO show Insecure. Insecure is one of the most popular shows out right now and last month it was renewed for a third season. Issa shows no signs of slowing down and I am excited to see what else her career has in store.

When speaking about her new business venture Issa said, “Becoming a CoverGirl means a lot because the brand recognizes just how important it is for people to embrace their individuality and express themselves in unique and diverse ways. This has been a major part of my personal journey, and a message that I want to share with others."

If you don’t know who Issa Rae is let me break it down for you. Jo Issa Rae Diop is an Senegalese- American actress, director, producer and writer who was born in Los Angeles, California. As a child Issa lived in Maryland, but in the sixth grade her family moved back to So Cal where Issa received backlash from her colleagues for “acting white.” After graduating from high school Issa Rae attended college at Stanford and majored in African and African-American Studies. After college Issa was conflicted with deciding to pursue business school or law school, but she eventually abandoned both options to focus on Awkward Black Girl. Thank God she made this decision or we would have never been blessed with Insecure.

Now Issa follows in the foot steps of the small number of other black Cover Girls. In 1992, Cover Girl was the first major cosmetic company to sign a black model, Lana Ogilvie, to an exclusive contract. After Lana, there was Tyra Banks, Brandy, Eva Marcille and a few others. Before Issa the most recent black Cover Girl was Zendaya, who became a Cover Girl in 2016.

Being a dark skinned woman it is always encouraging when dark skinned women are highlighted for their beauty. Since the beginning of time it has been the stigma that the lighter you are the more attractive you are. Growing up I witnessed a lot of people including myself wish we were light skinned. Everyone wished they had blue or green eyes, light skin and long luxurious hair. In 2017 (with the exception of Lil’ Kim), more people of color are embracing their melanin and proclaiming true statements like “The blacker the berry the sweeter the juice.” Phenomenal dark skinned celebrities like Kofi Siriboe, Lupita Nyong’o and Issa Rae are constantly in the spotlight to remind us that black is beautiful. With that being said, congratulations Issa! Thank you for being such a positive and relatable influence in a world where clowns are constantly mispercieved as rolemodels.

Michaela P. Shelton is Managing Editor of

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