SZA declined the opportunity to appear on the cover of a publication after they turned down her request to be shot by a Black photographer. The T.D.E. singer took to Twitter on Monday (May 25) to share the news with her fans.
“I requested a Black photographer for a cover n the mag told me no lol its 2021...and almost Juneteenth,” SZA tweeted. “Respectfully, I can’t do it.”
The tweet was met with questions from followers who desired to know which publication was against a Black photographer capturing SZA for their cover shoot. The singer, however, refused to answer, noting that wasn’t her “vibe.”
Instead, she decided to acknowledge some of the publications who previously featured her on covers and gave Black photographers the chance to showcase their talents via the cover shoots.
“S/o @RollingStone, @Cosmopolitan and @wonderlandmag btw for all using Black photogs in our recent covers. Gotta celebrate when it’s RIGHT too,” she penned in a tweet.
Per her comment on the Shade Room, SZA wanted to be captured by a Black photographer because she likes “the way my ppl SEE me.” The vocalist added that she loves the way they “magnify us (Black people) through our own unique gaze. It’s artful and magical. Jus not into fitting ‘the white gaze’ rn.”
Though SZA’s request for a Black photographer was shut down, the news is not a complete surprise as some publications just recently allowed their cover models to be captured by Black creatives. In 2018, for example, Tyler Mitchell became the first Black person to shoot for Vogue when he took pictures of Beyoncé. Two years later, in 2020, Dario Calmese got the chance to capture Viola Davis, making history as the first Black photographer to shoot the cover for Vanity Fair.
Look below to see SZA’s tweets.