Maria Borges, the gorgeous Angolan supermodel who is totally winning the fashion game, is making waves this month for being the first African woman (this century) on the cover of Elle Magazine, USA. From redefining beauty standards on the Victoria’s Secret runway to making history on the cover of Elle, Maria is definitely on her way to the top!
This Victoria’s Secret Angel has been on the rise over the past few years and gained even more popularity by being the first black girl to rock her natural hair on the Victoria’s Secret runway in 2015. Borges is now one of six stars on the cover of Elle’s May 2017 Swimsuit issue along with Bella Hadid, Elsa Hosk, Jasmine Tookes, Candice Huffine and Hailey Baldwin.
Just to be clear, Maria isn’t the first African EVER on the cover of Elle Magazine. It’s been twenty years since Elle has featured an African on its covers; Not since Alek Wek in 1997.
Within the pages of the magazine, Maria talked about the importance and lack of diversity in the fashion industry. She said “The fashion industry is here for everyone, [regardless] of color or race. When I was growing up, I never saw someone like me, and now the other girls can see someone like them. It’s all about inspiration.” She also took to her social media to celebrate the moment by saying what an honor it is to be on the cover of the American ELLE, feeling beautiful and rocking her afro!
I love that Maria is excelling in the industry without compromising on who she is in order to fit in. Her stance on maintaining her short natural hair not only inspires African women around the world, but shows that EVERYONE is beautiful in their own way and should be confident in their skin. This year the fashion industry seems to be advancing in terms of diversity and inclusion and I could not be any happier. For as a wise person once said:
The beauty of the world lies in the diversity of its people