Adichie’s new gig is a statement that real women, serious women—the kind who write critically acclaimed novels and give TED Talks with outsize effects on politics and pop culture—also care about beauty and fashion. And Adichie is as serious as a woman can get. She is a MacArthur “genius grant” recipient, the author of the critically acclaimed novels Americanah and Half of a Yellow Sun. Her seminal meditation on feminism, “We Should All Be Feminists,” was not only sampled by Beyoncé, but is now required reading for every 16-year-old boy in Sweden.
As a woman who writes about white supremacy and police brutality as well as summer fur and beauty products, it’s empowering to see Adichie dismantle the double standards that deny the complexity (which is to say, the humanity) of womanhood. I need to see that a woman, a Black woman, can shift global political thinking and sit front-row at Dior as both a guest and muse, as she did a few weeks ago in Paris.