To hear in 2021, a time where existence has been going on for millions of years, that someone is the first Black anything, is almost mind-blowing, but it definitely is still something that happens. And frequently, actually. Thankfully, this label has re-emerged with one of our dear faves, a woman way beyond her time who is everything we love to see in a modern woman, Ms. Teyana TF Taylor.
That's right, she has been named as Maxim's 'Sexiest Woman Alive' in their 2021 Women of Influence issue. The publication took to social media to share the news, showing off Teyana Taylor's infamously insane physique and chiseled facial expressions and abs in tow. Additionally, the cover is accompanied by a full interview with Teyana, as the muse took a moment to marvel at her own damn self and share the backstory of how the organic cover happened. She wrote on IG:
"Somebody pinch me!!!! Maxim Hot 100 to be named the 'Sexiest Woman alive' by literally living in the skin I'm in. WOW....Stepping back in front of the lens has been a journey of self-reflection and self-confidence. Living up to name and title of this shoot wholeheartedly made me nervous."
"This particular day was dope because it made me see another side of myself. I had just dropped JUNIE off at school before heading straight to the shoot; sweatpants a beanie and an army jacket. My hair wasn't done for a "shoot" because I planned on throwing on a wig & I didn't have on any make up. But when I got there the legendary @Gilles_bensimon said and I quote…. "Let's shoot! I want you to stay in this…" Um I guess...." as confused as I was my heart also melted..."
Taylor then goes on to give advice to the ladies in the most 'Teyana Taylor way', by quoting Hepburn and simply saying:
"Embrace and love yourselves for who and what you are because only the purest heart shines through."
And what's amazing about her latest job title isn't that she was named as such, because I mean, look at her. But instead, the celebration for me is that this news is released during a time where she has felt so underappreciated in an industry she has given so much to. Taylor infamously retired from music at the end of 2020, announcing that she was over it all. She then backed up her decision on an episode of Cam Newton's BET series Sip 'N Smoke, telling him:
"Everybody that I'm aligned with should see me. They should hear me. They should feel me. I felt like the label wasn't really hearing me and seeing me. I felt underappreciated. So, for my mental health, my mental well-being, for my kids, let me just put this on ice for a little [bit]. It's not that I retired permanently. It's more like, I just don't feel like I want to move another inch for a company."
Thankfully, sis isn't going anywhere anytime soon and even touches on a few of her upcoming projects, including the viral exchange between her and Auntie Dionne Warwick about her biopic. She also discusses her role in Coming 2 America, her director alter ego, Spike Tey, and showing off her family life in an upcoming E! reality television show premiering this fall called, We Got Love Teyana & Iman.
We can't think of anyone more deserving of the flowers coming her way so to this cover, we say 'thank you' to Maxim for telling the world what so many of us already knew. Congrats, Teyana!
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Featured image via Rich Fury/Getty Images for Def Jam Recordings