This is Lori Harvey’s first time on the cover of ESSENCE and it’s for their Black Love issue. The Black Love that Lori is representing is self-love. Because Lori puts herself first. As she tells the magazine:
“It’s not about being arrogant or about feeling like I’m too good, or too this or too that,” she clarifies. “I know my worth, and I know my value. I’m not going to compromise that, or settle, or accept anything less than what I know I deserve.”
Have you read Nate Jones’s Nepo Baby piece at Vulture yet? This is the article that’s generating the most conversation online this week as people are arguing back and forth about whether or not Nepo Babies deserve all this heat and why this is even a thing for the TikTok generation and if it’s fair to criticise them for their unfair advantage.
A name that doesn’t come up in the article is Lori Harvey, even though she qualifies as a Nepo Baby through both her parents, Marjorie and Steve. For me, though, the part of the discussion that we may not be talking enough about where Nepo Babies are concerned is the element of race. Nepotism exists in all industries. Nepotism has always existed in Hollywood, as Nate Jones points out. It’s been happening since the beginning of show business. In Hollywood, generational wealth is generational fame. And in most cases of historical Hollywood nepotism, this applied to white stars. Because, well, almost all stars were white. And the stars who were not white were just trying to hang on to their fame because it was so exclusive.
In our times though, fame has become much more diversified which mean nepotism is diversifying too. But a Black celebrity’s path to stardom is much more difficult than a white celebrity’s path to stardom. Is it fair then to group BIPOC nepotism in the general nepotism pool? Should we be talking about Blue Ivy Carter in the same way that we talk about Ava and Deacon Phillippe? Because there’s nuance in the nepotism, non? Even when they have famous parents, BIPOC Nepo Babies are treated differently. They aren’t exempt from bias.
Which brings me back to Lori Harvey because even though she’s a Nepo Baby by the standard definition, she’s also a Black woman who’s grown up in an industry and in a larger world that has traditionally been unkind to Black women. And she’s trying to make the case in this ESSENCE interview that she’s trying to succeed on her own terms. The profile points out that when she launched her skincare line, SKN by LH, last year, she had no financial support from her parents. Lori’s been modelling for a decade now and she has income through brand partnerships as an influencer.
In her case though, if people aren’t attributing her success to nepotism, they’re looking at her love life. Lori’s most famous relationship, of course, was with Michael B Jordan. They broke up about six months ago now and it was rumoured that he wanted to take it to the next level and get real serious while she wasn’t ready for that yet – and as I wrote at the time, I appreciated that she knew that her life plans didn’t yet involve that level of commitment, and that she had other priorities, namely one priority: herself and her ambitions.
Because she obviously doesn’t want to be known as either Marjorie and Steve’s daughter or MBJ’s girlfriend. And that’s the thesis of this profile – that there’s been a lot put out there about Lori Harvey but not much of it is from Lori herself. This is what she’s been working on: being the main character in her own story, and the ESSENCE piece is part of that plan.
Interestingly enough, though, for the last couple of weeks there have been rumours that Lori and Damson Idris are dealing with each other. And they were just photographed leaving dinner so that’s the headline right now. Is there a way we can silver-lining this? Damson is so talented…but Lori’s profile is definitely bigger than his. So we’re not talking about her as someone’s girlfriend. Or am I reaching here?