Maria Borges is shattering walls in the modeling world, making history in the industry and opening doors for all of the African-American girls who look up to her.
She first began her efforts towards redefining beauty standards when she opted to wear her natural hair in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show not one year, but two years in a row. She broke records becoming the first to rock her curls, leading for more to follow her lead the next year.
Now, the Angolan beauty is the center of yet another monumental moment in modeling history as the first African-American woman of the century to grace the cover of Elle. Elle had not previously featured an African-American model on the cover of the magazine since Alek Wek in 1997, 20 years ago.
Borges was featured in the magazine’s swimsuit issue. Borges, who is also the new face of L’Oreal Paris, graces the pages of the magazine’s May 2017 issue with fellow supermodels Jasmine Tookes, Bella Hadid, Candice Huffine, Hailey Baldwin and Elsa Hosk. “It’s an honor to be on the cover of the AMERICAN ELLE, feeling beautiful and rocking my afro!” she expressed on Instagram.
Within the pages of Elle, the 24-year-old model spoke on her thoughts on the power of representation. “The fashion industry is here for everyone, [regardless] of color or race. When I was growing up, I never saw someone like me, and now the other girls can see someone like them. It’s all about inspiration.”
Amen, Maria! Thanks for leading and inspiring.