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#MeToo founder Tarana Burke finally gets the magazine cover she deserves

#MeToo founder Tarana Burke is the cover star for Hannah Magazine‘s third issue.  (Photo: Dario Calmese)

Tarana Burke continues to be celebrated for her passionate civil rights activism efforts and coining the term “Me Too,” which became an international campaign that brought attention to sexual assault and harassment — particularly in the workplace. The effort that she has put into this movement is remarkable and is exactly why a magazine that specifically focuses on shining light on unapologetic, amazing black women chose her as their latest cover star.

Hannah Magazine, a publication rooted in showcasing diverse phenomenal women, posted the cover of its third issue on Instagram, which includes a cropped image of Burke’s nose, lips, and hands rested on her face. There was another post that followed shortly after, which revealed the full photo of Burke with bright lipstick, a full Afro, and an elaborate gold headdress.

The heartfelt caption that went with one of the posts read: “Here’s the thing: We’ve Got the Time. Today and every day, to properly honor and uplift the Black women who do the work, have been doing the work and will continue to do the work. @Taranajaneen, you are a soldier, a goddess and a superhero. We applaud you. We salute you. And we celebrate you. SHINE, sis. Everyone, we are honored to introduce our Issue No.3 #HANNAHMuse: Tarana Burke.”  


Immediately after posting, women began showing an outpouring of love and support for the new cover. One person wrote “I LOVE HER! And I’m sooooo ready for women of color to rule the world — the strongest amongst us.” Another chimed in, “THIS IS EVERYTHING. Thank you for this work! So important and powerful. Yes!”

The CEO, editor-in-chief, and creative director of Hannah Magazine, Qimmah Saafir, had no doubt that Burke would be the best choice for the latest issue. “Why wouldn’t I?” she tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “Hannah is about celebrating black women and bringing a spotlight to the women doing the work. Tarana is that. She has worked tirelessly for survivors of sexual assault and in the cause of bringing the issue to the forefront for years. She deserves to be on multiple covers.”

In 2017, Time magazine faced backlash for excluding Burke from its The Silence Breakers cover. Many people were perplexed as to why she was omitted from a cover story that so closely focuses on the work she’s been doing for more than a decade. Instead, actress Ashley Judd, singer Taylor Swift, corporate lobbyist Adama Iwu, worker Isabel Pascual, and former Uber engineer Susan Fowler were positioned on the cover along with a subtitle that read “The voices that launched a movement.” Burke was included as a “Person of the Year” in the magazine’s feature story, but many supporters were an in an uproar that she wasn’t pictured on the cover.

Now Burke has the regal solo cover she deserves. “We knew we wanted to present her as we see her — a goddess, a warrior, a beautiful spirit,” Saafir shares with Yahoo Lifestyle.  “Once the team got on the same page for the concept, the execution did not take long at all, and Tarana was wonderful throughout the entire process.”

In addition to the cover shot, other equally captivating images show Burke wearing accessorized braided updos and elegant touches of gold, white, and purple dress ensembles.

To get Burke’s cover hair look, key hairstylist Ro Morgan was inspired to transform her look to ultimately reflect that of a “Black Queen.” “I wanted to work with her natural hair but enhance it,” he tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “I wanted to create a look that represented her authentic beauty and strength.”

The essential steps in getting her textured Afro included backcombing to enhance the volume of her hair and securing everything with hairpins, as well as spritzing R&Co Outer Space Flexible Hairspray. To bring it all together, the gold-chained crowning headpiece was added on top of Burke’s cornrows.

A behind-the-scenes shot of #MeToo founder Tarana Burke being styled for the cover of Hannah Magazine‘s third issue. (Photo: Dario Calmese)

For Burke’s magnetizing cover makeup look, key makeup artist Sade Hazard began by prepping the skin with micellar water, Chanel Hydra Beauty Serum, and Pond’s Nourishing Moisturizing Cream. To enhance Burke’s complexion, Hazard used about four different foundation shades (some with pink undertones and others with gold) and a radiant creamy concealer to get a customized color that was flattering and gave an overall glow.

On Burke’s eyes, a mix of deep chocolate eyeshadows, rich gold pigments, and a black eyeliner was used to create a soft smokey effect. Burke’s punchy lip look was concocted with a mix of NYX Slim Lip Pencil in Hot Red, Nars Audacious Lipstick in Rita, and Nars No. 54 Velvet Lip Glide.

Hannah Magazine launched in 2016 with a mission to showcase diverse women who aren’t always highlighted in mainstream media. Founder Saafir explained to Yahoo Lifestyle in 2015: “It’s about offering another take on things like beauty or fashion for someone who might not find themselves or what they are looking for in other publications.”

Judging from the publication’s past few issues that feature other dynamic women of color such as Issa Rae and Keke Palmer, they are certainly staying on track with their original purpose and are being given high praise for it.

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