This is the time of the year when we’re all making lists of everything we want to improve or change in our lives. But this year is extra special because we are starting a new decade. And in honor of the occasion, below are five tips for making every moment of your 2020 great.
1. DREAM BIGGER!
Have faith in your destiny because your path, your story, just might be the spark of a movement. This is why it’s so appropriate that we’ve chosen supermodel and UNICEF ambassador Halima Aden for our inaugural cover-of-the-decade. Born in a refugee camp in Kenya, the Somali-American is noted for being the first woman to wear a hijab in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant, where she reached the semifinals.
Following her participation in the contest, Aden received national attention and was signed to IMG Models. She then became the first model in the history of Sports Illustrated’s famed swimsuit issue to wear a hijab, along with a burkini. Now she is making even more history as the first woman to be featured in a hijab on the cover of ESSENCE.
2. BE UNAPOLOGETICALLY YOURSELF.
Be the person you want to be. Do not try to fit into someone else’s box. Instead, break the mold—just like our 2020 Black Women in Hollywood honorees. For our thirteenth annual awards luncheon, we are celebrating British actress Lashana Lynch, the first woman to inherit the 007 mantle in the Bond franchise’s history; Emmy winner Niecy Nash, who not only does comedy but also gave a powerhouse dramatic performance in When They See Us; and director and Grammy winner Melina Matsoukas, whose illustrious career has resulted in a long-term collaboration with Queen Bey herself, as well as a partnership with Lena Waithe on the much buzzed-about Queen & Slim, Matsoukas’s first feature length film.We’re also honoring the groundbreaking cast of Pose—Mj Rodriguez, Indya Moore, Dominique Jackson, Angelica Ross and Hailie Sahar, along with the acclaimed series co-producer, writer and director Janet Mock.
3. CAST YOUR VOTE.
As Mahatma Gandhi said, “The future depends on what you do today.” So please VOTE. We know that Black women are key to the 2020 presidential election and will have an impact on the next four years— and many more. With that in mind, I recommend you read our Black History Month features: “How Far We’ve Come,” about Black women who have been at the forefront of change, and “Born of a Legacy,” an exclusive interview with Martin Luther King III on his father’s Dream.
4. BE FASHIONABLE BUT COMFORTABLE.
It doesn’t make any sense to suffer in your clothes and shoes when there are so many options to be both relaxed and chic. We’ll have you ready to run to your meeting and dance the night away with the best sneakers and sportswear. Add the final touch with a sleek ponytail, and voilà!
5. OPEN YOUR MIND.
The world is yours, so go out and experience it through travel. To know where you are from is invaluable. It helps inform where you’re going. We join model and activist Ebonee Davis as she treks to Ghana for the Year of Return. We sought out new talents at Lagos Fashion Week so you could meet visionary designers from the continent. We also unwind and disconnect with Eudoxie Bridges on a getaway to her favorite island in the Bahamas.
Throughout the year ahead, we’ll also commemorate 50 years of ESSENCE. And as we acknowledge this most momentous of anniversaries, we will look to the past and celebrate our long legacy of loving, serving and centering Black women, because for us, this is not a trend. We see you. Tell us, what’s on your list for 2020?