Allure Magazine Celebrates The Beauty Of Diversity + 41 Colored Women’s Opinions

Allure magazine dedicates its April issue to the celebration of diverse beauty. Spotlighted for  the glossy are colored models Dilone, Aamito Lagum and Imaan Hamaam. The issue sees the three beauties set in a beach scene in neutral-colored swimwears which compliment their different shades. In addition, Allure magazine chats to 38 other colored women in hollywood such as Eva Longoria, Meghan Markle, Constance Wu, Aja Naomi King, Padma Lakshmi, Khoudia Diop, Jessica Alba, Susan Kelechi Watson among others who touch on racism and inclusivity in the industry.

From Allure Magazine :

We smooth it with scrubs. We soften it with creams. We dab it with highlighter. But our skin is so much more than a reflection in the mirror. Our skin is the metaphor that defines how we’re seen — and how we see ourselves. For our April 2017 cover story, Allure asked 41 women of color to tell us the story of their lives through their skin — and skin tone. Because our skin can be both a vulnerability and a defense. But most importantly, it can be a source of celebration.

Aamito Lagum, model

“Growing up in Uganda, I did not fit into the ideal. I was too dark. I was too tall. But I didn’t really notice I was black until I came to the U.S. Here I’m black, whereas I was just a person in Uganda. [Last year, there was a close-up of Lagum’s lips on the M.A.C. Instagram feed that triggered racist remarks in the comments section.] It wasn’t that big a deal to me — haters gonna hate — and I was able to brush it off. I posted back, ‘My lips are giving you sleepless nights.’ I grew up loved by my family. That love enabled me to love what I saw in the mirror. I learned to love my skin too much to fit someone else’s script. It is the same love that keeps me safe from comments that would otherwise offend me.”

Padma Lakshmi, author, actress, host, and executive producer, Top Chef

“My skin is a map of my life. Before high school, I lived in a white suburb of Los Angeles where there were so few Indians that they didn’t even know the ‘correct’ slurs. They called me the N-word or ‘Blackie.’ For a long time I hated my skin color. Even in India, there’s a complicated history. My grandmother discouraged us from going in the sun; she didn’t want us to be dark. We were only allowed to play outside after 4:30. There was a cosmetics line called Fair & Lovely — that says it all. [And] when I started to work as a model, people would on occasion say things to me like, ‘You’re so pretty for being an Indian.’ I’ve gotten to a place where I have a much broader feeling that I’m beautiful because I’m accepted in the culture. I scar very badly. You can see every scrape, cut, and burn — mine don’t go away… but I’m very thankful for my skin. I’m very tactile. Cooking is as much about touch as it is about taste — I can feel if something is done just by touch. That sense of touch has shaped my sensuality.”

Meghan Markle, actress, Suits

“I have the most vivid memories of being seven years old and my mom picking me up from my grandmother’s house. There were the three of us, a family tree in an ombré of mocha next to the caramel complexion of my mom and light-skinned, freckled me. I remember the sense of belonging, having nothing to do with the color of my skin. It was only outside the comforts of home that the world began to challenge those ideals. I took an African-American studies class at Northwestern where we explored colorism; it was the first time I could put a name to feeling too light in the black community, too mixed in the white community. For castings, I was labeled ‘ethnically ambiguous.’ Was I Latina? Sephardic? ‘Exotic Caucasian’? Add the freckles to the mix and it created quite the conundrum. To this day, my pet peeve is when my skin tone is changed and my freckles are airbrushed out of a photo shoot. For all my freckle-faced friends out there, I will share with you something my dad told me when I was younger: ‘A face without freckles is a night without stars.’ ”

Khoudia Diop, model and diversity and anti-bullying advocate

“My skin is dark and glows. It almost seems blue, and it’s supersoft. I realized my color is beautiful when I got out of my country [Senegal]. I was in Italy on vacation, and I saw my reflection in a mirror. I saw how unique my skin was and why people stop me on the street to ask about it. I started falling in love with it.”

 

To find out what all these diverse beauties had to say, head over to Allure Magazine

 

Go Behind the scenes of Allure Magazine’s April cover shoot HERE

Abiodun Odusola
abiodunodusola@ymail.com
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