Dear Rih Rih,
You’ve had a hell of a run, sis. Not only have you lived on the top of the charts these past few years, dropping hit single after hit single, touring the world, and never giving other would-be pop princesses a chance to grab the reins, but you’ve covered nearly every magazine from Harper’s Bazaar and every iteration of Elle, to Vogue and Esquire. But while your reign as pop’s ruling diva has been long and very, very visible (even Mama Oprah took notice), your presence on black glossies has been eerily absent.
Listen, Rihanna, I’m not blaming you.
It’s probably not your fault that Essence and Ebony have continued to give their covers to an endless cycle of 90s black RomCom actresses and neo soul crooners. Or Beyonce. It’s not your fault editorial departments seem hopelessly locked into the same crop of faces year and year. I mean, I get it. They don’t know what to do you with you and your I-don’t-give-a-f**k attitude. After all, “respectable” black publications have a rep to uphold. They must be arbiters of the “respectable negro” trope, and you just don’t fit that image.
But there’s hope. Ebony just let Nene Leakes—one of reality TV’s biggest bullies—grace its coveted pages, and Essence broke with its actress/R&B singer tradition and gave Olympics it girl, Gabby Douglas a shot.
So 2013 could definitely be your year, Rih Rih…if you want it.
Like Diddy said, tell your friends to call their friends, so you all can be friends and we can FINALLY see you splashed across Essence’s cover pages in whatever cutting-edge hairstyle you’re rocking then. We would LOVE it, and I’m sure your issue would sell out faster than D.L. Hughley through us under the bus.
So what do you say, Rih? Will we finally see you on our magazines in the New Year?