The September Issue of British Vogue, guest edited by the Duchess of Sussex and called Forces for Change, has a cast of 15 cover stars. But who are they?
– Adwoa Aboah
The 27-year-old model – who was born and raised in Britain to an English mother and Ghanian-born father – is no stranger to a front cover, but she is also a mental health campaigner. She has collaborated with the makers of Barbie, and a doll in her likeness was released for International Women’s Day. Aboah teamed up with the brand to change the way beauty is perceived and show the importance of celebrating diversity. Aboah has also joined a protest calling for sanitary products like tampons and pads to be provided free in schools for children on free school meals.
– Adut Akech
The South Sudanese model was born during a journey to the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya before emigrating to Australia with her family. She has shot campaigns for Fendi, Moschino, Saint Laurent, Valentino, Versace, according to a profile linked to her verified Instagram account. The bio says the 19-year-old has begun working with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in order to promote causes that support refugees around the world.
– Ramla Ali
Born in Mogadishu some time in the early 1990s, the Somali boxer does not know exactly how old she is, according to the Guardian. Based in London, Ali told the newspaper in 2018 that she teaches self defence to a group of Muslim women. She has more than 30,000 followers on Instagram.
– Jacinda Ardern
New Zealand’s prime minister became only the second elected leader in modern history to give birth while in office after having her daughter Neve in June 2018. Ms Ardern, 39, was praised internationally for her compassionate handling of the March 15 terror attack in Christchurch, where a gunman killed 51 worshippers at two mosques. Kensington Palace announced Meghan’s pregnancy on the eve of her and Harry’s’s first royal tour, which ended in New Zealand. The duchess made a big impression on the country’s people and was singled out for praise by figures including Ms Ardern.
– Sinead Burke
An academic and diversity advocate, the 29-year-old Irish woman was named as part of The Vogue 25 – the first Vogue guide to Britain’s 25 most influential and aspirational figures in 2018. She has more than 24,000 Twitter followers, almost 90,000 Instagram followers and hosts a podcast called As Me With Sinead.
– Gemma Chan
The 36-year-old actor and campaigner shot to fame in box office hit Crazy Rich Asians, and is also known for her role in Channel 4 drama Humans. She said she hoped the success of Crazy Rich Asians, which was the first Hollywood film in 25 years with a majority Asian-American cast, would counteract some of the defences used after a number of “white washing” casting controversies.
– Laverne Cox
The transgender actor and LGBTQIA+ advocate rose to prominence with a role on Orange Is The New Black. The 47-year-old star has 3.7 million followers on Instagram with the bio stating “#TransIsBeautiful”. Cox became one of the faces of Beyonce’s clothing line Ivy Park.
– Jane Fonda
The 81-year-old actress is known for her work as a writer, political activist, fitness guru and fashion model, and has seen a career resurgence after starring in Netflix’s original series Grace And Frankie. The Oscar-winning star is an outspoken supporter of the Me Too movement against sexual misconduct in Hollywood. She protested against the Iraq war and co-founded the Women’s Media Center, an organisation providing advocacy for women in the media.
– Salma Hayek Pinault
A Hollywood star and women’s rights advocate, Salma Hayek Pinault has had leading roles in films including Frida, a biography of artist Frida Kahlo. In December 2017, she alleged years of harassment from producer Harvey Weinstein, whom she called a “monster”, including that he would turn up at her hotel room and ask her to take a shower with him while working on the film Frida. She also alleged that at one point he threatened to kill her. Weinstein denied the allegations.
– Jameela Jamil
The Good Place actress and advocate for body positivity rose to fame as a Channel 4 youth presenter. She was among stars to speak out after Alabama voted for a near-total ban on abortion, calling it “truly disgusting”. Jamil, 33, has spoken out about body-shaming and airbrushing in the media and has criticised Kim Kardashian West for promoting a diet product online. She has also hit out at designers for making “tiny, tiny, little samples” which she said are “really not much bigger than which would be worn by a child”.
– Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The 41-year-old award-winning novelist was born in Nigeria. She is the author of Purple Hibiscus, Half Of A Yellow Sun, and Americanah. Her work has been translated into more than thirty languages.
– Francesca Hayward
Kenyan-born, British-raised Royal Ballet principal dancer Francesca Hayward is among the cast of the new Cats film. The ballerina has 54,000 followers on Instagram and often posts pictures of her performances.
– Yara Shahidi
The 19-year-old actress and activist founded Eighteen x 18, a creative platform to engage her generation to “speak our truth, get active and vote!” She has almost 400,000 followers on Twitter.
– Greta Thunberg
A student activist from Sweden, 16-year-old Thunberg was the schoolgirl behind a global wave of youth climate change protests. The teenager won worldwide fame after beginning a solitary School Strike For The Climate protest outside the Swedish Parliament in August last year. Her stand inspired school walkouts around the world, with hundreds of thousands of young people in countries including the UK joining the Global Climate Strike in March.
– Christy Turlington Burns
The 50-year-old model is the founder of Every Mother Counts. The charity says almost all maternal deaths can be prevented by ensuring that women have access to quality maternity care. The model said she founded the charity “to raise awareness about a global tragedy that many women face — but not enough are aware of until it is too late”.