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  • Rachel Burchfield

My (long overdue) rundown of Meghan’s British Vogue issue


I finally got my long-awaited copy of Meghan’s guest-edited September issue of British Vogue last week. When I loaded it in my car, that – along with my ridiculously oversized purse that I carry my entire life in – literally set off my passenger seatbelt indicator it was so huge. I put my seatbelt on, but my car was still beeping as if I hadn’t – then I realized it thought there was an actual person in my passenger seat. Nope. Just the September issue.

Anyway, once I finally got the chance to read the magazine (it has been an insane last few weeks), I breezed through it. I already knew most of what to expect and covered it here (so I won’t repeat all that I’ve already said), but it was still such an enjoyable read. I felt empowered and emboldened – just as I’m sure Meghan wanted me to.

Some highlights:

· You get to read both Edward Enninful – British Vogue’s actual editor-in-chief – and Meghan’s editors’ letters and see how the idea came to fruition from both angles. Enninful, who is black, writes in his editor’s letter “Her positive influence is everywhere…On a personal note, I can’t overstate how much it meant to me to see HRH The Duke of Sussex marry this brilliant, bi-racial, American powerhouse. I simply never imagined that, in my lifetime, someone of my colour would – or could – enter the highest echelons of our Royal Family. On her wedding day, as she rode to St. George’s Chapel at Windsor, with her mother, Doria, by her side, to marry the man of her dreams, it was clear that the world was witnessing something incredibly powerful. It went beyond diversity, beyond inclusivity, into humanity. It was pure love.”

· Meghan, for her part, wrote in her letter a quote I will now use forever, from a book called The Four-Chambered Heart by Anais Nin: “I must be a mermaid…I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living.”

· There’s an article that really has nothing to do with Meghan called “How fashion got friendly,” on page 161. It talks about how the fashion industry is becoming more and more kind – and it just screams Meghan, even though she probably had very little to do with the piece. The overarching theme of this issue is humanity, kindness, empathy, goodness – all things Meghan embodies.

· You see a little article about Luminary Bakery on page 178 – the bakery Meghan snuck off to earlier this year and that made an appearance on the Sussex Royal Instagram. Meghan’s fingerprints are, again, all over this issue.

· On page 192, one of the loves of my life, Brene Brown has an essay. In it, she says “When we allow ourselves to be defined by what people think, we lose our capacity for courage.” Damn.

· Jameela Jamil writes a beautiful piece about body positivity on page 197: “The physical requirements demanded of women in 2019 are, frankly, ludicrous.” I agree. (Meghan’s favorite poem, “A Note from the Beach” by Matt Haig on page 169, also deals with body positivity in a frank way, i.e. the word "fuck" is used, which I, of course, appreciate.)

· On page 204, there is a piece about the importance of our mothers – very clearly inspired by Meghan’s close relationship with Doria. Speaking of Doria, an article on page 224 about “the best holistic approaches for complete health and wellbeing” has her fingerprints all over it.

· And then, the climax of the issue – the “Forces for Change” cover story, a sweeping 16-page spread covering 15 women who are of all ages, races, vocations, abilities, you name it. It’s hard not to feel inspired after reading this issue, this piece in particular. How am I a “Force for Change” in my own little corner of the world?

· The Meghan/Michelle Obama interview on page 264 is everything you think it will be and more: “Become who we are is an ongoing process, and thank God,” Mrs. Obama said. “Because where’s the fun in waking up one day and deciding there’s nowhere left to go?”

· On page 276 there’s a great article about Meghan’s patronage Smart Works, which has been in the press a bunch recently.

· (Also, everything else is great in the issue too – some really well-styled fashion shoots, exactly what you’d expect out of a Vogue September issue, British or not.)

My overall take? Every woman – hell, every person – needs to read this issue. Meghan (and, of course, Edward and the rest of the team at British Vogue) truly knocked it out of the park. If you can close this nearly 350-page magazine and not leave inspired, then nothing and no one can help you, honey.

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