Hello. These covers are great. (This one below is the subscriber cover.) Janelle IS a bad ass, and she looks like one — but I also love how the styling doesn’t fall into a stereotypically “tough” aesthetic. You can be a badass AND wear a dramatic hat and a cat-eye liner:


Also great? The headline of the story is “Janelle Monáe’s Ready to Burn Sh*t Down.”  (That “badass” shirt is a Karla Welch/InStyle collab, and they’re selling them, BTW.)

With a knack for storytelling, Monáe broke into the scene as a fully formed artist. In the beginning she always was outfitted in a black-and-white tuxedo, a nod to the uniforms worn by her working-class parents. It was also her way of rebuking gender politics.

“I’ve always wanted to redefine what a cool young black woman looks like in the music industry,” says Monáe with a sigh. “I was never interested in fitting into a system that wasn’t built for me or with me in mind. I’m interested in burning that shit down and building something new.”

The whole interview is a very good read (and the editorial spread is really fun). Janelle is so smart and funny and has such a creative brain; I could have read like a forty-five page interview with her. This really made me laugh:

[S]he’s keen to explore new modes of communication beyond her own brand of intergalactic slanguage. “I speak android, which is helpful for the future, since we will be merging.” Pause. “But I really want to be fluent in French.”

Viva Janelle Monae, seriously. I hope she’ll introduce me to some of the androids.

[Covers: Pamela Hanson/InStyle Magazine]