Written by Valerie Holland
Unapologetic with her periodically controversial sound bites, yet still adored by millions of fans, Issa Rae is a force to be reckoned with. She has carved a lane on a highway that everyone thought was full. Beginning her public debut as a YouTube personality and turning that brainchild into an HBO hit comedy is nothing short of astonishing. At 31, the actress, writer, director and (now) Cover Girl is opening the minds of young girls everywhere to all of the possibilities at the crossroads of hard-work and determination. Thus, below are just a few reasons why Jo-Issa “Issa” Rae Diop is stealing the hearts of her fans and winning in 2017.
From YouTube To HBO
Just over ten years ago, when YouTube was a relatively empty place for people to post videos for their family and friends to view, no one could conceive the powerhouse it has become. Now, in addition to Justin Beiber, Issa Rae has become a name synonymous with YouTube’s magical ability to launch people into super stardom. Beginning with her “Awkward Black Girl” YouTube series in 2011, just 6 years later, Issa now carries the accolades of Golden Globe nominee, New York Times Bestseller and HBO producer on her curriculum vitae (not that she’ll ever have to use it again).
She’s Becoming a Pop Icon
From her iconic wardrobe on Insecure, to the Spotify playlists inspired by the show’s phenomenal sound tracks, Issa is making a huge impression on American pop culture. Her recent Lemon Pepper Kickback party hosted right here in Atlanta, GA sparked serious envy on social media by fans that were crying to be invited to the next event. A call for turning the star-studded gathering into an annual festival was even requested by some fans. The jury is still out on whether Issa, Donald Glover and her other celeb friends will grace the streets of Atlanta with a another party, but her down-to-earth attitude and relatable shenanigans definitely has her 1.3 million Instagram followers hooked on her unique style and tastes.
The Newest Face of Cover Girl
As if having a hit HBO comedy series wasn’t enough, Issa Rae along with Ayesha Curry have become two of the latest additions to the coveted “Cover Girl” club. After Queen Latifah widened the door for women of color in 2006, the beauty world has clung to the new paradigm and now Issa has become memorialized in its Hall of Fame as well. On her Instagram announcement of the news, Issa wrote “I remember being an awkward black girl in high school, reading the pages of my favorite magazines, casually flipping through @COVERGIRL ads, singing their slogan in my head. Never EVER in my life did I imagine I’d be one. I am SO honored and SO excited for what’s to come.”
Considering all that Issa has accomplished in the relatively few years she has been in the Hollywood limelight, I for one, look forward to all that is to come for her as well. Meanwhile, I’ll continue to wait for the 2018 premiere of Insecure Season 3, keeping my fingers crossed that we’ll soon get more than 8 episodes or longer than 30 minutes. I’d pay good money for either.