In Edward Enninful’s first cover story as the newly-minted editor-in-chief of British Vogue, he wrote that Adwoa Aboah, for him, is “the perfect Vogue girl.” As he put it: “There are a lot of beautiful girls in the world, and you are certainly one of the most beautiful. But with Gurls Talk, you also have a voice. You’re an activist, you’re helping guide young women, you’re modern, and you bring a sense of honesty to the industry we’re in.”
In 2015, Aboah founded Gurls Talk, an online platform that discusses everything from fashion to mental health. “There is this newfound love and space for activism within fashion,” she says in the magazine. “I never would have dreamt in a million years that I would have young girls coming up to me at Glastonbury or on the streets of LA, New York, London, and telling me how much Gurls Talk or seeing my picture in a magazine means to them, as a woman of color.”
And it’s a sense of responsibility Aboah isn’t doubling-down on, not shying away from. On Wednesday, British Vogue announced her first assignment for the magazine as contributing editor: In a video for the site, she broke down the stigmas of mental health with Dr. Lauren Hazzouri, a licensed psychologist, founder of The Practice and partner of Gurls Talk. Hazzouri tells readers to harness the power in their voices by standing tall in who they are, making it easier to be accepted. Of her soon-to-be recurring column, Enninful said: “Adwoa’s work with Gurl’s Talk clearly shows that she has an authentic voice that speaks to a new generation about their hopes, fears, dreams and aspirations. Her monthly column will deal with how to navigate this modern world as a young woman of today.”
On Thursday, Aboah is expanding her reach and influence even further by lending her voice to Google’s “Ask More” campaign, where she pushes people to think about what it means to ask more of themselves, and also of others. In the official announcement, she said: "Partnering with Google to support their message of ‘Ask More’ is a unique opportunity to challenge people to think about what it means to ask more of themselves, and also of others. It also connects with the messaging surrounding Gurls Talk — continuing the dialogue around open communication without stigma, censorship, and judgement. The partnership and film allowed a genuine and clear message to be the focus; ask questions and always challenge."
For the film, she wears an array of cool pieces from Christopher Kane, Vivienne Westwood, Molly Goddard, and Marques'Almeida. She also focuses on a few main themes that help bring the clothes to life: "image and what counts as normal; self-confidence, the impact of role models and deciding what’s acceptable." Watch the video below, and then ask yourself (just as Aboah would): Why don’t just celebrate being different?