Actresses Aja Naomi King and Janelle Monáe serve up melanin magic with glowing cover spreads as part of Marie Claire‘s Fresh Face 2017 issue.
Lensed by Nicolas Moore, Aja captivates in tousled black tresses styled by Chris McMillan and a perfectly contoured face beat crafted by Pati Dubroff. Janelle pushes through with her now signature gorgeous double top knot styled by Nikki Nelms and a stunning face beat by Jessica Smalls.
Sharing the fourth annual Fresh Faces issue with actresses Emily Ratajkowski, Zoey Deutch and Alexandra Daddario, Aja and Janelle talk Black women in Hollywood, the politics of womanhood and their personal styles.
Janelle on respecting women:
“People have to start respecting the vagina. Until every man is fighting for our rights, we should consider stopping having sex. I love men. But evil men? I will not tolerate that. You don’t deserve to be in my presence. If you’re going to own this world and this is how you’re going to rule this world, I am not going to contribute anymore until you change it. We have to realize our power and our magic. Because I am all about black-girl magic, even though I’m standing with all women. But this year? This year, I am so carefree black girl.”
Aja on working as a Black woman in Hollywood:
“Maybe I’m outdated in thinking this, but because I’m a young black woman and don’t see very many being the lead in a film, I have this fear, Will I be working? When I first started in this industry, my goal was to be some best friend. The sidekick. I thought that would be an accomplishment. But seeing people like Viola and Tracee Ellis Ross and Gabrielle Union and Lupita [Nyong’o]—who was two classes behind me at Yale—I can hope for more.”