Ebony's recent covers have taken bold stances on cultural appropriation, the rape allegations against Bill Cosby, and celebrities taking a stand against racial injustice. The publication is continuing its coverage with March's Women Up! issue, which features four plus-size Black women dressed in military shirts layered over a black leotards.
Style blogger Gabi Gregg (also known as GabiFresh), singers Jazmine Sullivan and Chrisette Michele, and Orange is the New Black actress Danielle Brooks slay on the cover. They're not dressed modestly or covering up their imperfections. Instead, each woman looks like a seductress, exposing a side that plus-size women don't often get to show.
It's reminiscent of model Ashley Graham's historic Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover. Graham, like these four ladies, got to flaunt her voluptuous body.
The cover also offers an array of different unaltered skin complexions, something mainstream magazines have faced backlash for getting wrong. This past March, InStyle was accused of lightening actress Kerry Washington's complexion. The magazine released a statement that blamed the snafu on "cover lighting." Vanity Fair faced similar criticism for Lupita Nyong'o's February 2014 cover. When Vanity Fair tweeted the cover, one commenter asked, "Did you lighten her skin?" The magazine didn't respond to the backlash. Ebony's Black cover stars retained their beautiful complexions.
As Gregg shared in her Instagram post announcing the covers, all of these plus-size ladies are unapologetically "getting in formation."