Beverly Johnson is, most famously, the first black model ever to appear on the cover of American Vogue. But she has said she was unaware at the time that she was making history. Whether or not she intended it, that August 1974 Vogue appearance was the highlight of a modeling career during which she appeared on more than 500 magazine covers. At the end of her time in the limelight, especially as her daughter entered the modeling fray, she was outspoken about the demands put on a model to maintain an unrealistic weight and how those demands can lead to disordered eating. Johnson is also an exemplar of the trend of supermodels leveraging their names to leap into other industries: the enthusiastic athlete has written books and appeared in movies and runs the Beverly Johnson Hair Collection, a line of wigs and hairpieces.
You can say she paved the way for all of your favorite African/African American models of today. People should always make sure that they pay homage to those who came first.
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