“Until their is a mosaic of perspectives coming from different ethnicities behind the lens, we will continue to have a narrow approach and view of what the world should actually looks like. That is why i wanted to work with this brilliant 23-year-old photographer Tyler Mitchell.
When i first started, 21 years ago, I was told that it was hard for me to get onto covers of magazines because people did not sell. Clearly that has been proven a myth. Not only is an African American on the cover of the most important month for Vogue, this is the first ever Vogue cover shot by an African American photographer.
It’s important to me that i help open doors for younger artists. There are so many cultural and societal barriers to entry that I like to do what I can to level the playing field, to present a different point of view for people who may feel like their voices don’t matter.
Imagine if someone hadn’t given a chance to the brilliant women who came before me: Josephine Bake, Nina Simone, Eartha Kitt, Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, Diana Ross, Whitney Houston, and the list goes on. They opened the doors for me, and i pray that i’m doing all i can to open doors or the next generation of talents.
If people in powerful positions continue to hire and cast only people who look like them, sound like them, come from the same neighborhoods they grew up in, they will never have a greater understanding of experiences different from their own. They will hire the same models, curate the same art, cast the same actors over and over again, and we will all lose. The beauty of social media is it’s so completely democratic. Everyone has a say. Everyone’s voice counts, and everyone has a chance to paint the world from their perspective.
Beyoncé on Opening Doors for Vogue