In Vogue, Week Three in the No Longer New Abnormal
“True empowerment comes from knowing and embracing your own worth.”
I just saw the new one woman show, In Vogue, in which Beverly Johnson shares her life’s story with a backdrop of photos of her, the culture, and other iconic people, movements, and moments in history.
I received a flyer in the mail and knew I wanted to see her. My mother was an avid magazine reader. As a young school-aged girl, I couldn’t wait for the monthly McCall’s issue so that I could play with the Betsy McCall paper dolls. In my teen years I waited rather impatiently for my mother to finish her Glamour and Vogue issues, so I could enjoy them second-hand, always pleased to see the beautiful Beverly Johnson on their covers. So when I heard she’d be in her own show I jumped at the chance of seeing her live and hearing more about her.
In an intimate off-Broadway theater seated on stage with black pumps, black designer framed glasses, and a beautifully tailored suit, Beverly Johnson sits regally on a director’s chair to the side of a large screen. I won’t tell you too much about the show, but I will say it begins honoring the many black women who were firsts.
Though she faced so many challenges there was not even a whiff of victimhood. She is proud of all she’s accomplished, and as audience members, we felt proud for her, too.
Not all trailblazers are famous. So many are the first in their family to go to college. Or the first person in their community to travel outside their zip code. Maybe you were first to pursue a dream, or to do something different from those around you. It’s so easy these days to get upset by loud and mean voices. It behooves us to purposely seek out inspiration from those who make a positive difference in the world around us.
- Read a biography or memoir. Or watch a documentary of a vanguard and allow yourself to be inspired by the gumption it takes in setting a precedent.
- Try something different. If you always eat the same salad dressing, try making your own with a new recipe or ingredient. You can always go back, but trying something new can open us up in unknown ways.
- Find the courage to speak up when you someone is hurtful to you or others.