Saturday, March 25, 2023

Ajak Deng Announces a Return to Modelling & Defends White MUAs Working Backstage

Last week, Sudanese model Ajak Deng took to her Instagram to announce her retirement from the modelling industry, having had enough of the “fakes and lies”, and having struggled against the lack of diversity in the industry.

The news came alongside fellow model, Leomie Anderson’s viral series of Tweets calling out makeup artists working backstage, wherein she highlighted their inability to work with models of colour – questioning why she has to supply her own foundation.


A week later and Ms Deng has been back on social media, announcing she’s had a change of heart and will no longer leave the industry – that the stunner and current star of Philip Plein’s Spring/Summer’16 campaign is returning to modelling and will not quit fighting “the war”.

She also posted that she;

“…Will never say that all white people do not know how to be a black girl’s make up.”


The beauty, whose pal Nykhor Paul had posted in her defence at the time of Deng’s first announcement, wrote a new post on her return to the industry, saying;

“I remember my first season in Milan, walking through the the airport and saw @philipppleininternational campaign. Wishing I could one day be one of the faces up there. NOW all I can say is thank you for making my dream come true.

P.s my first season in Milan, no one booked me and I was so destroyed because they [weren’t] booking black girls like me that season and thank god for my sweet and encouraging agent @meansss who told me that there was absolutely nothing wrong with me and that I was one of the most beautiful girl in the world, so wipe off those tears, come back to New York and let’s change their minds one day at a time.


She continued to support and still have my back even though I decided to throw it all away after our hard work and for that I came to realise that she is my spirit and a guiding angel.”

jak deng

The model, who is featured inside and on the cover of Wonderland‘s March’16 edition, continued;

“I was selfish to only think of my self and forgetting the people that [have] always been there for me through the worst times and good times. I feel like I have touched so many young people’s lives, gave them hope.

Just because I come from NOTHING does not mean that I can’t make something for myself and for that I will still want to continue to touched more lives.


Yes sure giving up is easier but who will fight the war that we are so in denial about? I am just getting started and modelling isn’t the only thing I will be successful in, in my life time.

I apologise to every kind soul/heart that I have broken in the past week. I thought giving up was easier but I am going to stay and fight this war with kindness, forgiveness, love and support to all humanity. We are all beautiful and deserved to be respected. #BigLoveToHumanity.”

It was the following day that Ms Deng took to her Insta once again to defend the makeup artists she’s worked with so far, saying;

“I have been so lucky to always meet the best in the best the business and it was @jewelser who did this at #Pleins show yesterday. Xoxox thank you and I am so happy we got to meet.”


Team SPICE are so here for the model’s return and are pleased she reconsidered her stance so quickly. It’s also good to see that top models like Ajak are able to provide a fair insight into their world, showing both the good and the bad (experiences in the industry and the creatives they encounter), in an honest and real way.

But let us know what you think to Ajak Deng’s return to modelling, her comments online and the industry’s continued struggle in keeping up with diversity and reflecting the ethnicities consumers encounter in real life.

Image source: @Ajak_deng

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