Now this is a slay.
Issa Rae nailed it on her just-released April 2019 cover of Essence, striking a fierce pose and one serious glow as she stares at the camera in a plunging white dress and matching headwrap tucked over her long box braids.
A closer look at the cover also shows the Insecure creator and star sporting quite the interesting diamond sparkler on her ring finger. While Rae, who keeps her private life very private, has yet to confirm she’s engaged, rumors started circulating earlier in the month that a mystery man had popped the question, after she was spotted wearing the same ring on that finger in an Instagram post.
The April cover marks Rae’s first solo cover for the mag, following her first group Essence cover back in 2015, and it was nothing short of a full circle moment for the budding media mogul. “Four years ago, when all I had was a web series and a book, @Essence put me on my first cover with four incredible women I look up to: Ava, Mara, Shonda and Ms. Debbie,” Rae wrote on the ‘gram Monday.
“It was their “Game Changers” issue and I kept thinking, “I can’t believe they chose me,” she continued. “That cover meant so much to me because it validated my work on a platform I respected AND it was a nurturing recognition of promise, a promise that I didn’t necessarily see in myself at the time.”
“Four years later — entering the fourth season of my TV show, and shooting my fourth movie in New York — they honored me with this solo cover,” she continued. “Thank you, Essence, for helping me to deliver on that promise you saw years ago, and changing the game for me.”
The cover was just the first of several breathtaking photos of the Little star, who gave us major fashion vibes in a whimsical ruffled dress paired with a colorful floral hairpiece during the New Orleans shoot, as well as a colorful striped kaftan with yellow block heels, and many more lewks.
The upcoming April issue celebrates diverse beauty and comes one month after Essence launched its first digital cover. “Essence has been working with the Apple team on this exciting launch showcasing our stunning cover star Issa Rae, in addition to our exciting beauty feature package—all shot by Black female photographers,” Essence’s Chief Content and Creative Officer MoAna Luu said in a statement. “This launch presented us with the perfect opportunity to convey the important message of diversity and inclusion in media.”
In Rae’s feature article inside of the mag, she also dishes on her awkward days growing up and how her perception of her own beauty has changed. “I’ve definitely thought about middle school me looking through magazines and being perfectly content with the fact that my face wasn’t going to be used to sell makeup; that wasn’t my future…I just didn’t imagine that,” she told the mag.
Come all the way through, Issa. We are here for this full-circle moment glow up.
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