Welcome to our August digital issue, our first-ever issue of its kind—and a passion project in every sense of the word. We created it as a way to connect with you, our reader, and to give you a taste of what we have been thinking about during this time of quarantine. It’s been a heartfelt undertaking for us, centered on the value of friends, family, and community, especially during these turbulent times. The urgency of the Black Lives Matter movement has brought home the need for solidarity among people, even as we are physically separated right now. I have been inspired to witness the strength and courage of those fighting for lasting social change.
We chose the theme “Friends and Family” because the bonds that bring us together have come sharply into focus over the last few months. Inside, you’ll find an intimate look at the relationships of the women we feature, be it with a parent, sibling, partner, child, or best friend. In our cover story, we glimpse a whole new side of Bella Hadid, seen through the lens of her sister, Gigi. Elsewhere, Yara Shahidi poses for her father, Afshin; and Ashley Graham and her adorable baby boy, Isaac, are lovingly captured by her husband, Justin Ervin.
Hadid, who has been self-isolated on her family farm, has been using the time to reevaluate her priorities. For her, that includes family and spirituality. “I’ve had a lot of time to reflect,” she tells us, “and I’m really eager to get back to work and make art again.”
Shahidi, who has long been an outspoken advocate for the Black Lives Matter movement, talked to writer Kaitlyn Greenidge about the importance of Black joy right now. “We have to be viewing this moment as a preservation of Black life. A fight for our willingness to thrive, a fight for our willingness to be happy and unencumbered, a fight for our ability to just be allowed to exist,” the Grown-ish star says. “Joy comes from being able to consistently embrace our sense of community and revel in our culture year-round. We must believe that there is something that we’re fighting for in order to keep fighting.”
Meanwhile, Graham opened up to her friend Kristen Bell about her life as a new mom in quarantine; the “astronomical” pain of natural childbirth; and, as the new parent of a biracial child, what being an ally to the Black community means to her.
And if you fell in love with no-nonsense Katie Porter when she got CDC director Robert Redfield to guarantee free coronavirus testing for all Americans, don’t miss our interview with the California Democrat. “People are not impacted by the pandemic, okay?” Porter tells our deputy editor, Kayla Webley Adler. “They are sickened, they are laid off, they are hurt, they are scared, whatever. Impacting is what craters do when they land on a planet.” As Porter’s mentor Senator Elizabeth Warren puts it, “Katie understands deep down what it’s like to do your best and get caught up in a bigger wave that knocks you over. She’s resilient—she bounces back, but she never forgets what it was like to be down.” I think we can all learn something from Porter’s fighting spirit. —Nina Garcia
Bella Hadid, Live From Quarantine
Ashley Graham Wants to Cancel Mom-Shaming
Yara Shahidi Has Been Preparing For This Moment Since Birth
Katie Porter Is All of Us
Your Friendship Can Survive (Social) Distance—But You Have to Work at It
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