Issa Rae, the creator and star of HBO’s Insecure, has quickly become one of the most prominent black women in the television world.
Rae, 32, first hit the scene when her YouTube channel, Awkward Black Girl,” was viewed by millions. She then landed a deal with ABC and even published a New York Times best-selling book titled The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl.
After the deal with ABC ended, HBO contacted Rae to pitch her an idea for what is now the series Insecure, a 30-minute comedy that follows two best friends around Los Angeles.
A pilot episode premiered in February of 2015 and the series premiered in October 2016. Almost instantly, the series did great. With attention from prominent figures such as Michele Obama and Oprah Winfrey, Insecure landed Rae a Golden Globe nomination.
Despite the huge success, Rae says there’s still a lot she wants to accomplish. “I want to be able to create movies. I want a television channel. I want a studio. I want various media arms. I want to have political influence,” she says. “I want to do so many different things. I want to figure out how and the best way to use my voice.”
Recently, Rae revealed that she will be the next model of CoverGirl. “To be a CoverGirl is something I never thought possible,” Rae explained after the deal became public. “Only in my adult life have I learned to be comfortable in my skin, so if I, as an ‘awkward black girl,’ can become [a CoverGirl], it sends the message that anyone who is feeling insecure in their own skin can and should be celebrated as well.”
“I really identified with their new branding: ‘I am what I make up,’” Rae says. “As a creative who has built her career from the ground up, those words really resonated with me.”