Summer 2021 has come, and (almost) gone, ladies and ladies--and lawd, we just cannot believe it! As we sit back and think about all of the ways in which we enjoyed these three months of *insert applicable Drake lyric here*, we can't help but to feel content with the fact that even though we're medium-ly outside, we did the best we could with what we had. I mean, if you really think about it, Summer 2021 was a tiiiiime, honey. We've managed to narrowly escape potential (and adamant) dictatorship, survived virus(es), while somehow still having a few pennies in our coin purse. We discovered new hobbies and threw the middle finger up at anything less than we deserve. And, the icing, is that we balanced it all with a brunch or two. It took a lot of liquor, it took a lot of weed. But we made it, sis! Even with all the chaos that we may have had to endure, we made it. Clap for yourselves!
And listen, in addition to us living our best-ish lives, one of my favorite things about this summer, was seeing celebrities be just as confused, thankful, humbled, adaptable, relatable, and frickin overwhelmed as we were. They too made the best of a summer-coming-off-of-a-pandemic-but-not-really-because-it's-still-happening, just as we did. And they did it all while entertaining the rest of us (because it's still a little gross outside and we don't wanna go out there like that just yet, fren).
So, in an effort to celebrate the culture, here's a few of our faves who killed this summer, award style!
Biggest Summer Bag: King Bey
And by "bag" we don't mean purse! Queen Bey showed up in the 9th hour, rocking a 128.54 carat, 82 facet cushion cut yellow stone diamond, only worn by four people ever—Lady Gaga, Audrey Hepburn, and Mrs. E Sheldon Whitehouse—in its lifetime (her being the only Black woman), and posed alongside her billionaire husband in front of a never-before-seen Basquiat painting, all for an ad she was paid likely millions for.
Best Summer Style: LeToya Luckett
OK, so LeToya Luckett has never not shown up as best dressed, but this summer…listennnnn. Sis had that baby, followed through on what she needed in love, and has been showing out for 90 whole, 24-hour days. And the cherry on top was the blonde finger-wave pixie that literally no one can rock like she can. Get it LeToya!
Summer Of Living Their Best Life: Chloe Bailey
Now, you ladies know more than I do that Chloe Bailey is special. Don't get me wrong, both her and sister Halle, will take over for young, Black, starlets everywhere, but Chloe is different. She shut down challenge after challenge, created her own challenges, gave the people immaculate content, stayed consistent, and earned all her praises. She has a long way to go before she gets to the top of her career, but she definitely, without any ounce of any doubt, will arrive.
And baby, when she gets there, y'all better buckle up for the ride.
Best Glow Up: Tiffany Haddish
Listen, our good sis Tiffany has found her lookkkkk, mkay?! Sis has never looked better, which beams from inside to out due to the fact that she shed some weight, chopped off her hair, dropped a few bad habits, and found a peen that she loves and wants to hang on to. Love to see it!
Most Likely To Drop An Anticipated Project Soon: Rihanna Tha GOAT
She will surprise us with an album this year, she will surprise us with an album this year, she will surprise us with an album this year. *Speaking it into existence*
Celeb Kid Of The Summer: Kaavia Wade
Lawd, she's a spitting image of her daddy, she often hangs and learns from her mom, and in a year or two, she will be the undeniable star. Kaavia Wade is precious. She represents so much freedom we all wish we had in our lives as young, Black, thriving, young girls. She doesn't take crap and is coined as the resident "shady baby," even with a book to match. Gabrielle Union described her openness so perfectly by telling PEOPLE:
"She's free to be this amazing, dynamic, shady at times, loving at times, funny at times, Black little girl when the world has been not so kind to Black girls and women. So for so many people, she's just straight up freedom and what it can be like."
Summer MVP: Missy Elliott
Missy 'Damn' Elliott has been living hunni, and we are 100 percent here for it. She (somehow) turned 50 years old, has received, and accepted, her overdue flowers, she is humble, gracious, and she minds her business. The fact that she gets to sit back and enjoy the fruits of her labor, as well as teach the newer generation what she has learned in the process so openly, this queen is without a doubt the MVP of the summer. It's the fact that she is soooo celebrated for me. Thank you, Missy!
She’s Up Next: China McClain
Um, so I don't know if you know, but China McClain has a huge following in the digital world, mainly TikTok. Her content is widely shared and loved and sis has curated her own lane. Although she has been in the game for a while as a child star, she has found solid footing as the woman she is today. Keep an eye on her. She will shock us all, just wait on it.
Most Likely To Help Us Keep These Summer Bods In Shape: Tracee Ellis Ross
As if coming from Diana Ross isn't flex enough, Tracee Ellis Ross has given the culture everything we need from it in a way that only she can. She's so open and effortlessly who she is, that it literally exudes, making us all come back for more. She doesn't take life too seriously, she only moves the way Tracee would move, and she keeps us on our toes when she pops out for vacay. If anyone can keep us in check about this pandemic weight gain, it is she. She is her.
Social Media Feed Of The Summer: The Smiths
Between Will's videos and nostalgia, Jada's tough conversations and advice, Willow crossing over into a world that has all of our support, Jaden being a rapper and humanitarian, and Trey with the lowkey vibes, the Smiths are everything we need on Al Gore's internet. They don't promote the mess, they stick together, they are unapologetically melanatedddd. Like, fan me.
Listen, we live in a world where we have to control our own narrative. So many "influencers" and celebrities absolutely do not. They are just here to collect a check, play the game, and run the race.
The Smith family is not that. They keep us fed, and they are willing to show up in a way that we can all learn from. And they do so as a family. Love, love, love.
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Featured image by Bryan Steffy/Getty Images for WWE SummerSlam After Party