Award-winning singer, actress, and creative director Teyana Taylor has been recognized with Maxim Magazine’s top honor.
Gracing the cover of the July/August “Hot 100” Issue, Taylor has been crowned “Sexiest Woman Alive,” making her the first Black woman to ever hold the title in the magazine’s 26-year history, according to Revolt.
“Somebody pinch me!!!!,” Taylor captioned in a post to social media. “Maxim Hot 100 to be named the ‘Sexiest Woman Alive’ by literally living in the skin I’m in. WOW....Stepping back in front of the lens has been a journey of self-reflection and self-confidence. Living up to name and title of this shoot wholeheartedly made me nervous.”
As a entrepreneur, wife, a busy mother of two & working behind the lens in my director bag I tend to hide behind my sweats & vintage tees, My “Spike Tey” glasses, and whatever hair style I’ve mustered up that day under my @theauntiesinc snap back! So as you can see I don’t have much time to be and feel sexy.
This particular day was dope because it made me see another side of myself. I had just dropped JUNIE off at school before heading straight to the shoot; sweatpants a beanie and an army jacket. My hair wasn’t done for a “shoot” because I planned on throwing on a wig & I didn’t have on any make up. But when I got there the legendary @Gilles_bensimon said and I quote…. “Let’s shoot! I want you to stay in this…”
I said “HUH?! Well let me at least start my make up.. “ as y’all can see I barely had any lashes left 😩 He says no “my dear this is pure.” And in regular Teyana Taylor fashion I said “okay but look Ah bitch doing her baby hairs” LOL I was like SO LET ME UNDERSTAND THIS...I WILL BE THE SEXIEST Woman Alive IN SWEATS AND A SKULLY? 🥴 Um I guess....”
She finished by adding, “As confused as I was, my heart also melted...I say all of this to say in the true words of Audrey Hepburn…’The beauty of a woman is not in facial mode but the true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives the passion that she shows. The beauty of a woman grows with the passing years.’ Embrace and love yourselves for who & what you are because only the purest heart shines through. Thank you @maximmag I am truly honored to have graced the cover. Thank you @gilles_bensimon for being so much fun 💕 Thankful for everyone involved!”
While most folks online shared in Taylor’s good news, others couldn’t help but point out the absurdity in Maxim JUST NOW selecting a Black woman as their Sexiest Woman Alive pick in 2021. (And let’s be clear here: the discourse online had nothing to do with the selection of Teyana Taylor herself, but more so the blatant and downright dismissal of other equally sexy Black women who have yet to be chosen since the magazine’s inception.)
“Teyana Taylor definitely deserves sexiest woman alive BUT for her to be the first black woman EVER is disturbing,” one user on Twitter wrote.
Actress and writer Reagan Gomez echoed similar sentiments by saying, “S/O to @KINGMagazine & @SMOOTHMAGAZINE who didn’t need 20 something years to realize Black Women like Teyana Taylor were/are/forever will be, fine as fuck.”
Wow I’m Blown Away By This.. We Got Beauties Like Beyonce, Rihanna, Kerry Washington, Tyra Banks, Alicia Keys And Teyana Taylor Is The First Black Woman To Be Named Sexiest Woman Alive!! We Gotta Long Way To Go Man!! Maxim Been Around Since 95!!,” another user expressed in a tweet.
And that right there says it all. Black women are some of the most beautiful women in this country, hemisphere, planet and galaxy—but real ones already knew that. Do better Maxim, do better.