Saturday, March 2, 2024

Ghanaian Model Philomena Kwao Talks to i.D Magazine on Skin Colour & the Fashion Industry

The mega-beauty that is Philomena Kwao has been speaking about skin colour, her modelling hopes and role model lifestyle, dishing to i.D Magazine on both the fashion industry and mission to raise awareness on womens’ health.

The Ghanaian – who’s earned much success as a plus size model, following a competition win to front UK retailer, Evans – is currently signed to Models1, but explained if she wasn’t;

“I would be working within the government to improve the NHS or alternatively I would be working for an international health agency such as Doctors without Borders working to improve the quality of health and access to health in developing countries.”

Philomena, lensed by Michelle George

Having worked in the industry since 2008, the 25-year-old stunner reveals that she doesn’t like “the separationist mentality of the industry, especially at editorial and campaign level,” but admires fellow African model Liya Kebede, saying;

“I absolutely love Liya Kebede. She is a stunning, incredible woman that is using her beauty and her voice to speak up and work towards improving the rights of women and children everywhere, specifically within maternal health which is an area I’m also very passionate about.”

Ms Kwao is following Kebede’s selfless route too, working with The Lily Project – a place for young people to reach out for advice and body confidence. On just that, Philomena recounts;

“I received a question on my Tumblr about how I’ve learned to love my dark skin. I remember it clearly because the girl in question listed all the bleaching products she had tried and was reaching her wits end with desperation.

…She saw my picture and decided to message me [which] touched me because I remember not always being so confident in my size or my skin colour. I wanted to be lighter like all the celebrities and beautiful women I knew as I didn’t see one black female celebrity who was dark skinned and beautiful.

Image by Michelle George

I told her that she should stop with all the bleaching products, not only are they expensive, but they are dangerous and can cause cancer. I also told her that her skin colour is unique and beautiful and she should look after it.”

As well as being an advocate self-confidence, health and diversity though, the beauty has aims to reach new levels with her modelling and also as a role model, saying;

“Of course I dream of the ultimate heights of modelling; a Vogue cover, a beauty campaign (Lancome would be a dream), an international mainstream campaign for a store such as H&M, United Colours of Benton or GAP, but it’s bigger than that.

Ultimately I would like to use my voice to advance healthcare access around the world.”

Image by Michelle George

Read the rest of Philomena Kwaos’ interview with i.D Magazine here and let us know what you think to the model’s mission online @SPICETVAFRICA.

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