I would love to have been a fly on the wall during this cover discussion, to know how and why they chose this particular shot — versus, say, the one in the slideshow in the silver dress, or even one in this pose where her eyes are open or making direct contact. Or any contact. This is a really bold choice; not many people could draw you in like this with her eyes closed. The serenity and asceticism of it almost radiates a religious vibe — like she’s lost in prayer.
You can read the cover story here, which features some models she mentors. There are a couple things in it that feel lightly revisionist or spit-shined, and an overall sense that she’s grappling with both speaking out and being nonpolitical (it seems hard to me to do both?). But I liked this anecdote about a much younger Naomi:
Watch a video of her, age 25, shooting with Herb Ritts in Jamaica for Vogue, addressing a reputation for being “difficult”: “Most women we admire—Madonna, Janet Jackson, Sharon Stone, Barbra Streisand, Oprah…when a woman stands her ground and wants to fight for something…a woman gets called a bitch for that. And when a guy does it, he’s just a hardworking guy,” says a luminescent young Campbell, clad in a plaid Anna Sui bikini and matching hat.
Naomi Campbell was 25 in 1995, so that serves as an unsurprising yet still depressing reminder of just how long women have been trying to shake off the default label of “bitch.”