In an industry where blue eyes and blonde hair rule, only a few black models were able to make their mark in the fashion world. These glamorous innovators beat the odds and told the world that darker skin and kinky hair is beautiful. From the Donyale Luna becoming the first African American model to be on the cover of British Vogue in 1966 to Kiya Kebedebecoming the first ethnic face of Estee Launder in 2003, these striking woman have fiercely broken down barriers.
You hear the phrase “strong, independent woman” in songs, TV shows, movies, and headlines so often these days, it can be tough to remember what it actually means.
Because really, what’s not to love about the idea of independence? It means standing on your own, not needing anyone else, and being totally self-sufficient.
But the thing is, nobody can actually stand on their own with no one around them. We all need help from our friends, or family, and even our followers when it comes to achieving our goals and keeping things 100.
So this is where independence gets tricky. We all want to be trailblazers and girlbosses — but we can’t do it on our own. Sometimes we might have to cut ties with a friend we thought would be lifelong. Sometimes we have to depend on a day job and pursue our real dreams at night, because as independent as we wanna be, we all need cash to stay afloat.
Not to mention figuring out where you boyfriend, girlfriend, or partner fits into it, which is basically a lifelong balancing act.
So this month, we’re looking at what independence means to us, our readers, and our friends. From escaping a cult to dropping out of college to going freelance to making social media your job to leaving an abusive boyfriend, there are so many ways to exercise your independence.
Read all our thoughts about independence and coverage of independent boss b*tches below.