The 18-year-old sent her mother, Vanessa Bryant, into an absolute frenzy as the proud mom couldn’t contain her excitement, taking to Instagram on Wednesday to reshare beautifully captured images of Natalia for Teen Vogue’s September 2021 cover issue – which the publication dubbed “American Beauty.”
In a stunning spread that was snapped by esteemed photographer Raven B. Varona, Natalia appears regal and collected under pressure just as her late Hall of Fame father did on countless nights on the court and as a photogenic muse in front of any camera lens.
“Congratulations Mamacita!!!!! Te amo!” Vanessa, 39, captioned one image of Natalia in which she dons a cozy oversized green sweater affixed over a sheer pastel green blouse – her signature curly locks flowing effortlessly through a ponytail.
In another set of images, Natalia lets her emotions speak freely. Through her eyes, readers can feel the gravitational pull as the cover model gazes into the camera while she dons a couture knitted sweater that drapes over a graceful satin white gown.
Scroll over to the third snap and a spry Natalia leaps into action, rocking thigh-high boots.
Kobe and Vanessa tied the knot in April 2001. The pair would go on to welcome four daughters – Natalia, Bianka, 4, Capri, 2, and Gianna.
In her feature interview, Natalia opened up about forging her own path in life all while maintaining a firm pulse on the world her father and sister, Gianna Bryant – just 13 – left behind when a helicopter they and seven others were passengers in went down in the rolling hills of Calabasas, Calif., on Jan. 26, 2020. Kobe – an Academy Award winner, was 41.
“I love talking about my dad. It’s bittersweet, but I enjoy talking about him more than it’s sad for me,” Natalia explained. “You do the best that you can. [For] my little sisters [we’re] trying to keep that memory for them. And also just trying to remember to live out every day the way they would.”
These days, Natalia said she is steadfast in her focus on thriving in her career and keeping close to her family. She also said the allure of dating doesn’t creep much into her psyche and she keeps her vision on her passions.
Natalia Bryant appears in the September 2021 cover issue for Teen Vogue. (Raven B. Varona)
“We’ve always been very busy … I’ve always been close to my family,” she said. “I don’t want to remember high school as dating some guy that I’m most likely going to be hating next [year]. … Everybody’s had crushes. [But] No. No room for dating.”
Last month, Vanessa shared a familiar tribute to Kobe and Gianna from his days in retirement in which he lent ample time to his daughter’s youth basketball club and was often spotted in the wild on the countrywide amateur circuit.
“The most patient teacher and student,” Vanessa captioned the post that featured Kobe giving instruction to the many he encountered. “Always giving back. Always paying it forward.”