Kenyan Model Speaks Out Against the Skin-Lightening Phenomenon

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Kenyan model, Ajuma Nasenyana is speaking out against the practice of skin-lightening and European-based beauty standards.

The 28-year-old Ajuma is one of few black models to achieve international stardom. She has frequented the runways of Milan, Paris, London and New York and has worked for Ford Models for Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen. She’s using her voice to combat the still growing epidemic of skin lightening.

“It seems that the world is conspiring in preaching that there is something wrong with Kenyan ladies’ kinky hair and dark skin,” said Nasenyana, who also has dark skin.  Referring to a Swedish cosmetics firm that recently entered the Kenyan market, she said that big advertising and modeling agencies seem to be promoting lighter models over the darker ones.

“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,” she says. She says Europeans have natural skin and wonders why they want “us to bleach ours.”

The 5 foot-10 model says that while she’s never been tempted to lighten her own skin, the pressure to do so in her native Kenya is strong.

“It’s a pity that people don’t appreciate black beauty,” she said.




  1. Joan

    June 27, 2012 at 10:58 am

    I agree with Ms. Nasenyana. Curious that while suggesting blacks should lighten their skin, whites are busy trying to darken theirs…even at the risk of developing cancer. Something very wrong with that picture.

  2. joceeco

    June 27, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    What a beautiful woman, with beautiful thoughts and beautiful words.

    • zovius

      June 28, 2012 at 1:04 pm

      I totally agree, when poeple fall prey to the hype, skin lightening in this instance, they are saying in essence that the Universal Creator made a mistake by making them with the skin tone that they are born with, me personally I know that there is nothing more Beautiful than a SuperBlack, so Black the eyes look yellow, or so Black that one looks BlueBlack, man! that is so Beautiful, super Melinated, kissed by the Gods, The Most Beautiful Women I have ever seen.

  3. kenneth Terrell Collins

    June 27, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    Thank GOD for Ajuma Nasenana who by speaking out on this topic as she has put her career on the line. I hope that when you know what hits the fan, and it will, that we support her.

    So called Black people have been conditioned for centuries to believe to look so called White is to be beautiful and to have dark skin and kinky hair is substandard.

    Some of us maight say what are those Kenyans thinking, what’s wrong with them? But right now in Jamaica (the home of Marley and Garvey) so called Black people are trying to lighten their skin, they think they’re ugly. Not that long ago right here in the good old USA we used to use Colrox or Ajax trying to lighten our skin and now a number of us blond our hair trying to be “beautiful”. How many of us have seen the documentary “Dark Girls”?

    Even in 2012 too many of us look to Caucasians for validation. Our level of self-esteem is so low that we still look up to Caucasians with great admiration.

    Caucasians really feel that they have us where they want us. They’re attacking the President with lies and racist innundos, the put up a no account candidate (Mitt “the liar” Romney–the candidate of the 1%)against the President, they’re going after AG Eric Holder for politicalreasons, they’re trying to whiten us in our ancestral land, and they’ve invaded Harlem and Bed-sty. I guess their next move is to have Deneen Borelli walk us back to the plantation by the hand, plus 20 GOP states are already trying to make sure that you can’t vote.

    Obama must win in November because if Mitt “the liar” Romney (the candidate of the 1%) wins that will embolden the racist, bigoted, violent, and white supremist elements in ths country.

  4. shaon

    June 27, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    This is a beautiful woman, she doesn’t need to change anything. God gave all of us our skin, eyes, hair…We have to learn to appreciate what God gave us. As far as hair, well, I’m a white woman, and I’ve had every color of hair under the sun. The only thing that concerns me, is that I recently read that hair straighters can cause early puberty and fibroid tumors for Black women. There is absolutely nothing wrong w having curly, kinky, wavy, straight or whatever hair. All people are beautiful in their own way.

  5. Rev. George Brooks

    June 27, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    This beautful black woman from Kenya is absolutely correct. And black fools need to stop adolizing these “ghostly-looking” white women as the most beautiful, with this also going for all of these black brothers that have turned against women that look like their mothers, for women that do not. Do they hate their own mommas? What kind of idiots are they? Black women are the most beautiful of all women on God’s earth, and are the true mothers of all civilization, because blacks are the original people on the earth. And we are the chosen race, in this black man’s opinion, rather than the Jews being the chosen ones, who started that lie, and many other lies that they wrote in the Bible. Which, of course, includes Adam and Eve as being the first people, which is not so. For blacks have been here for over four million years, rather than the 6,000 years-ago Adam. And whites and Jews are still brainwashing black folks to want to be like them. How mentally sick can you be? And keep in mind Chaka Khan’s song about “I’m Every Woman.” Because we have every woman in the black race, and these “ghostly-things” are the “ugly ducklings.” And white women certainly, and absolutely, cannot top black women in terms of sex and fertilety. — Rev. George Brooks

  6. tonya powell

    June 27, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    I do not know if anyone reads this blog, however, I must agree with Ms.Nasenyana, Mr. Terrell, and partly with Shaon. Dark skin is beautiful and we women must realize this beautiful fact. To understand slavery, and where the light came from. To Shaon’s reply; Thank-you for your concern, however, we do not need the validation or the backing to confirm our beauty. It is the race you hail from that has been dominating this earth, that has taken my ancestors from their country and brought them to a unknown country. Lies have been told, and my people choose not to seek the truth. God is the creator of all. If he just wanted white people he could have created just white. The women who bleach their skin are those who have very low self-esteem about themselves that has been generated by white culture.Dark skin is beautiful it creates all colors this is why’society has from the past to present been diluting the darkness. To be light and white does not create more color it creates lighter shades that cannot produce color unless they mate with some one dark. You do not need a scientist to figure this out. Dark skin ‘Black Women’ love your self, your dark skin that you were born with. God did not make a mistake when he created you. Look around you and see what the white women are now doing to themselves. Everything you are trying to deny of yourself, the white women are now doing it to themselves. ‘Full lips and big butts’ and sun tanning their skin. “LOVE WHO YOU ARE”! Oh Yes’, I am a chocolate woman of african descent who loves her chocolate, and there is no other human being who is going to make me think any less..

  7. Elizabeth

    June 27, 2012 at 5:07 pm



    June 28, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    Dr Ed Robinson who past recently said it best: Your dark skin was the model for all beauty before others twisted and turned beauty around” Stay natural & beautiful!

  9. tewdrowos

    June 30, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    THIS IS SAD ,BUT TRUE .OUR PEOPLE ARE SICK all over the world…

  10. Cassandra Keller

    July 1, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    Light skin, looooong hair, the longer the better. Where and when will it all stop! When will we realize that there’s nothing wrong with the way we were born.. now I have nothing against makeup, it can enhance our beauty. But all of Hollywood and large urban cities are filled with these FAKE people, and everyone KNOWS they’re fake…. pitiful!!!

  11. Ebony

    February 4, 2013 at 3:31 am

    Eurocentric standards of beauty should not be used as a yard stick in Africa. We are different and naturally beautiful all the add ons where created by white people to box black people into a box of beauty acceptable in their standards. We should love ourselves and Thanks to models like her who will not compromise self for money.

  12. Salvador Derrig

    July 3, 2013 at 10:32 pm

    A survey carried out by the British Skin Foundation found that 16% of dermatologists believe lightening creams are ‘completely unsafe’ and 80% feel they are only safe when prescribed by a dermatologist. `,`.

    Hottest brief article on our personal blog page <

  13. Sonja

    July 23, 2013 at 2:12 am

    I love my beautiful black skin and would never consider bleaching it. I love my hair which is somewhat fine and coarse. There is nothing wrong with it. Yahweh created me this way and I wouldn’t have it any other way.What makes me angry in 2013 is blacks continue to say that “someone has good hair”. WTH??? Good hair. You mean the straight thin stringy hair of whites? That is NOT good hair. All hair is good if you want to go there. Your hair is NOT nappy it’s coarse. Coarse!!! Why? You are descendants from the Motherland where the heat is so HOT your hair must allow your scalp to breathe. AND you can style it many many ways unlike whites who try to imitate us. I love it.

  14. MsRenee4Hair

    July 23, 2013 at 6:48 am

    It’s time we dropped the EUROPEAN standard of beauty and embraced our own…Our hair and skin is uniquely beautiful! Drop the relaxers and weaves and experience real hair freedom…..
    The natural revolution has begun !!

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