ESSENCE Magazine understood the assignment! After the past two crazy years we’ve had, self-care has become a focal point in a lot of people’s lives. Many celebrities, athletes and community leaders spoke out about mental illness and took stands to bring more awareness to the cause. Essence Magazine rounds out the year by highlighting Lizzo, Simone Biles, And Nikole Hannah-Jones For Their “Year Of Radical Self-Care” Issue. 

The November/December Issue of Essence sat down with these three powerful women who faced adversity and criticism head on. While juggling the negative backlash they were also advocating for themselves, in an industry that doesn’t always prioritize their needs. These ladies made it clear to the world that self care is a necessity and Black women will fight for this by any means necessary. 

Writer Kovie Biakolo, spoke with Biles on her decision to withdraw from the summer games this year. 

“I definitely knew any stand I took would be a little bit bigger than itself,” Biles said in her cover story, “More Than A Medal.” “At the end of the day, we’re humans. We’re not just athletes. We’re not just here for entertainment.”

Writer Malaika Jabali talked with Nikole Hannah-Jones, the Pulitzer Prize-winner, on why she declined to accept tenure at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. 

“It was important for me to say no to UNC, for my dignity, my self-respect,” she says in her cover story, “When ‘NO’ Opens Doors.” “And then, outside of me, I needed to do it for Black people and marginalized people, for their dignity and respect, too.”

Essence's own Brande Victorian chatted with Lizzo about how draining it is to constantly be the focus of the body positive movement.

“It’s exhausting,” Lizzo admits. “And that’s the point. I don’t want to talk about this anymore. We should be neutral about bodies.”

We would be remiss if we didn’t highlight the power of black creatives behind the scenes that brought this entire vision to life! The Essence team sure enough did that! From makeup, to hair and wardrobe, photography and more, this team of artists magnified the beauty behind our black sisters. 

Get your copy of the November/December issue at or on newsstands during the holidays.