All Articles Tagged "Ajuma Nasenyana"
Just when it seems like black women around the globe are succumbing to the light skin, long silky straight hair don’t care phenom, a woman like Ajuma Nasenyana comes along. Known for her dark skin, short hair, and high cheekbones, Ajuma is the norm when it comes to beauty among black women in her country, which is she can’t stand the fact that every where she looks there are billboards, magazine ads, pamphlets, and TV spots encouraging Kenyan women to lighten their skin via bleaching and straighten their hair.
“It seems that the world is conspiring in preaching that there is something wrong with Kenyan ladies’ kinky hair and dark skin,” Ajuma told the Daily Nation.
Speaking on a Swedish cosmetics firm that recently entered the Kenyan market, she added: “Their leaflets are all about skin-lightening, and they seem to be doing good business in Kenya. It just shocks me. It’s not okay for a Caucasian to tell us to lighten our skin.”
At 28 years old, Ajuma has graced many runways throughout Milan, Paris, London, and New York, modeling for top names like Vivianne Westwood and Alexander McQueen as a member of the prestigious Ford Models company. Ironically though, her beauty is more heralded abroad than it is in her own hometown.
“I have never attempted to change my skin,” she said. “I am natural. People in Europe and America love my dark skin. But here in Kenya, in my home country, some consider it not attractive.”
Since it’s going to take more than just trying to verbally convince Kenyan women not to buy into the light is right propaganda they’re being sold in droves from companies like Carol Light, Ajuma wants to give natives an alternative, especially since brands like Movate, Jaribu, Peau Clair, Betalemon and Mekako, which have long been banned in Kenya because of their hydroquinone, steroid and mercury components, are still being used illegally. She told the Daily Nation she wants to start an all-natural line of cosmetics for women with dark skin so that ladies will be encouraged to enhance their beauty in it’s true shade rather than lightening it to feel attractive. At the end of the day, she knows the forces that want black women to believe their skin isn’t good enough, whether they’re an everyday woman or a model, are stronger than the ones rallying against those ideals—at least for now.
“When you flip through fashion magazines like Vogue and only see white models, then you get the feeling on what is happening to black models,” she said. “It is not fair.”
What do you think about the onslaught of skin bleaching companies moving into the Kenyan market.
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