Happy 50th Birthday, Naomi Campbell!
VITTORIO ZUNINO CELOTTO/GETTY IMAGES

Leave it to a true MVP like Naomi Campbell to photograph herself for ESSENCE’s anniversary cover and rival the work of some of the greatest photographers ever to shoot her.

But it’s no surprise. Before becoming a household name, the supermodel, who turns 50 today, took the fashion, beauty and modeling worlds by storm. Those big bright eyes, her undeniable skin, the soft British accent, those unparalleled cheekbones and the best legs entertainment had seen since Tina Turner—it was all too much yet never enough.

Naomi skyrocketed to fashion royalty after gracing the runways of every haute couture designer from Albania to Zanzibar. And for more than three decades, she has kept us watching, taking it to the next level with each show or campaign (she’s still credited for having the best runway walk of any model to date).

So on her big day, we pay tribute with 50 beauty shots that chronicle just a small part of why Naomi is, and will always be, royalty.

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