On April 28, music icon Mary J. Blige released her 13th album, Strength of a Woman. Shortly after the record dropped, another music icon posted a photo she took with Blige some years ago. Oh, and a third music icon also happens to be in that photo. And I may never stop basking in the nostalgia rays. 15 years ago this October, Britney Spears, Blige, and Shakira appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone together. And on Friday, Spears tweeted that very special “Women in Rock” issue. “#fbf when @maryjblige and I were on the cover of Rolling Stone,” wrote the “Slumber Party” singer. “Congrats on your new album #StrengthofaWoman!!!” Ugh, Spears rules at Throwback Thursday/Flashback Friday.
I am obsessed with all of the sartorial choices happening on this cover. Spears’ low-rise distressed denim. Blige’s tunic that may or may not be over a pair of jeans. Shakira’s bootcut pants. Blige’s frosted lipstick. Spears’ lace-up, bell-sleeved denim crop top. Shakira’s leather wrist cuff. All of the belts. Oh, the belts. The eye-catching buckle, the flowing sash, and the cascading chains are my sun, moon, and stars (respectively). My kingdom for all three of those gorgeous belts. The whole look is so early '00s in all of the right ways.
Now, what about the hairstyles? Are their hairdos serving aughts magic? Could all three legends, I don't know, use some '00s lowlights in their hair? Ya know, like a few streaks of purplish-red? Oops, those were trick questions. This cover is not missing a single thing. Their hair is perfect as is, all three music icons are perfect as is, and this cover is perfect as is. And that is that.
The aesthetic of this Rolling Stone cover is about as 2002 as Brian Dunkleman on American Idol. Eat your heart out, Ryan Seacrest.