Simone Biles is Vanity Fair’s newest cover girl. Ditching her sports leotard for fashion couture and her natural ponytail for a buss-down middle part, the world champion gymnast shows her more glamorous side and looks fantastic.
Simone poses in multiple eye-catching shots for the publication’s February issue. Black woman photographer Adrienne Raquel captured the shots we love, and VF‘s Fashion Director, Nicole Chapoteau, helped Simone slay to the ‘gawds.
The cover image features Simone standing confidently with her hands on her hips and her legs crossed at the knee, elongating her petite frame. While looking slightly off to the side, Simone’s extended-length hair flows, and her make-up, by celebrity artist Sheika Daley, glows. The 26-year-old wears a pink bustier dress from Rick Owens, sandals by Giuseppe Zanotti, and earrings by Patricia von Musulin.
Other captures feature Simone sitting in various poses in fabulous ‘fits and smiling in a light green turtleneck dress. Living a fashionista’s dream, Simone wore luscious, sought-after luxury designers like Gucci, Loewe, Alaia, Schiaparelli, and Saint Laurent during the shoot.
Simone’s looks, poses, and aesthetics ooze sexiness, vulnerability, confidence, and self-assurance. With just a few shots, the newlywed exemplifies the fragility and strength of Black womanhood.
Simone Biles tells ‘Vanity Fair,’ that she wanted to ‘go off’ on critics around her break from gymnastics but chose herself first.
Simone’s answers to VF‘s questions and candid comments were additional examples of how we can all relate to her life and experiences. Born to a mother struggling with addiction, the Ohio native spent her early years in foster care. Her maternal grandparents later adopted her and her siblings. They enrolled her in gymnastics at age 6.
Though she called her start in gymnastics late, she worked hard and took to it quickly. Simone decided to “try to do gymnastics” in college. And, the rest of her story – as it relates to sports domination and fame – is history (or HERstory).
Simone admitted to continued anxiety and struggles with public notoriety. Amid fall out from her previous public break from her sport, VF says she was tempted to ‘go off’ on those deriding her but ultimately decided that the only worthy fight was the one for her own well-being.
“I think everyone wants to be famous, and then when it happens, you almost hit a wall, and you have an identity crisis,” Simone said in the interview. “You’re like, Am I made out for this? Why did I wish for this?”
Simone says her husband Jonathan is ‘sweet, kind, and very fine.’
While she has successfully returned to the mat, Simone actively goes to therapy and takes prescriptions when needed. She is an advocate for mental health and treatment. Simone also finds joy in loving on her inner circle and herself.
Finding time with her new husband, Jonathan, also makes her smile. Gushing with Vanity Fair about her bae, Simone says her initial physical attraction to him grew into more than she could imagine.
“If I’m to be honest, obviously he’s very fine,” Simone shared. “[But] besides his looks, he was so sweet and kind, and I think what I liked about him was his confidence. He truly believes he’s the best at everything.”
Read more from Simone on adjusting to married life amid busy careers, the upcoming Olympics, and the importance of mental health in the entire Vanity Fair interview here.
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