Laverne Cox’s tribute to Josephine Baker is perfection
Just last week, we discussed Laverne Cox’s incredible photo feature for Cosmopolitan. The photographs depict the groundbreaking and supremely talented trans actress as six of her “personal superheroines” or “possibility models.” The first image that Cox shared from her photoshoot showed the next Frank-N-Furter styled as the one and only Beyoncé:
Her caption explained the importance of the six women she channels in the feature:
“I’m paying tribute to my personal super heroines, possibility models like Beyoncé, who represents excellence. The six black women I chose also include Tina Turner, Janet Jackson, Josephine Baker, Tracey Africa, and Leontyne Price. They constantly inspire me and provide a blueprint for innovation, beauty, excellence and tearing down barriers. Thank you all!”
Cox also shared images of her dressed as rock and roll icon Tina Turner and as ’70s black and trans model Tracey Africa, who modeled for cosmetics companies and brands including Clairol:
And Laverne has blessed us with yet another gorgeous and powerful image from her Cosmo feature. This time, she is the iconic and groundbreaking 1920s entertainer, Josephine Baker:
Donning Baker’s legendary banana skirt and her actual bra top, Cox described Baker’s history:
“For me, [Josephine Baker] is the first international black superstar. She had to go to Europe to become a star back in the 1920s. Black artists found success in America elusive at the time because of racism. She was known for her banana dance and this iconic banana skirt. The bra I am wearing in this photo Baker herself actually wore.”
This is the famous banana dance, originated and performed by Baker, that inspired Cox’s photoshoot. It is often described as seductive yet comedic — a testament to Josephine’s unique talent.
We are so in awe of these photographs that contain so much history, beauty, and strength — and we can’t wait to see the rest!