Yesha Callahan

Skin Bleaching Models Were Banned From Dakar Fashion Week 2013

dakar models

Adama Ndiaye started Dakar Fashion Week in 2002, and this year she put her foot down when it comes to certain beauty practices of the models.  Many women and professional models in Senegal have turned to skin  bleaching creams to make their body lighter.

Ndiaye is against skin bleaching and has banned anyone participating in what she refers to as “depigmentation”.

“It’s not even pretty,” she said. “For me, it’s just a turn off.”

“I’m trying to teach them to like themselves,” said Ndiaye of the natural-toned models selected for this year’s show.

From Fashion Ghana:

Sophie Nzinga Sy, a couturier educated at the Parsons School of Design in New York, was infuriated when she saw billboards promoting skin lightening products around Dakar. “It was ridiculous,” she said. “Our skin is something that we should value.”

Sidling nervously between hair and make-up stations, models also expressed their support for Ndiaye’s initiative.

“I think it’s a great idea,” said model Dorinex Mboumba. “It will discourage others from the practice. We don’t need to change the colour of our skin to be beautiful.”

  1. July 24, 2013 - Reply

    Thank the lord!!! Someone has finally stood up and told the dang truth. First of all skin bleaching + African sun = a hot disastrous mess! If they were meant to be light skinned, then they would be born light skinned! I’m glad Africa is starting to take control of its own image.

  2. July 24, 2013 - Reply

    YES YEs YES!!!!!!!!!!! bleaching is such a huge problem in West Africa, Its also vey unattractive!!!! Fela Kuti Yellow Fever!!
    Your face go yellow Your yansh go black
    Your moustache go show
    Your skin go scatter
    You go die o

    • July 24, 2013 - Reply


      Don’t forget:
      Your knuckles stay black
      You look like raccoon

    • July 24, 2013 - Reply


      Yes, die, heart attack, cancer…

  3. July 24, 2013 - Reply

    You don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything. What a wonderful power move and an exemplary example of leadership!

  4. July 24, 2013 - Reply

    Good for them! It may be a personal choice (like smoking crack) but they shouldn’t be celebrated for it.

    • July 24, 2013 - Reply


      Love the comparison!

  5. July 24, 2013 - Reply

    GREAT! Finally someone taking the initiative to discourage these practices amongst sisters of African descent. You’re beautiful naturally regardless of skin tone. It is a shame how this whole system has us thinking we are less than because of our darker skin tones. When in reality we are the true standard of beauty and we should regard ourselves as such.

  6. July 24, 2013 - Reply


  7. July 24, 2013 - Reply

    I already know that my impending comment is juvenile, but I am going to write anyway…
    Bleached out black people look weird, in my opinion.
    I’ve seen (In real life) people who bleached their skin and it doesn’t look natural… at all. The face is a lighter shade than the neck, shoulders, arms, back, legs and hands. They used the creme on every bit of skin on their bodies, but the chemical didn’t take effect on the other parts.
    I guess, in their mind’s eye, once they see the lightened skin, they are beautiful. But, they don’t see how ‘mismatched’ their skin tone really is.
    If I were to play ‘arm chair therapist’, I would say that they suffer from an undiagnosed body-dismorphic disorder.

    • July 24, 2013 - Reply


      amen. added to the blotchiness and unevenness it the fact that they always look gray…like zombies. or like someone colored them brown but then tried to erase them. it’s weird.

      I have an aunt that bleaches. ever since I was a kid I asked my mom why her skin looked like that. when I got old enough I just figured she had some type of skin disease, that’s how crazy her complexion looks. it wasn’t until recently that my mother told me she bleaches her skin and that no one ever talks about it because it’s just so embarrassing. smh

    • July 24, 2013 - Reply


      I agree. When I was in high school I had a neighbor who always bleached her skin and at first glance you could always tell that it wasn’t her natural complexion. It just doesn’t look right, it’s uneven. Just like you said, the cream doesn’t work on certain parts, like the knuckles and feet and around the lips. This lady had scars all over her body from bleaching and I remember I couldn’t understand why she would rather ruin her skin (with scars) in order to have a lighter complexion. Even worst, she has a daughter around my age, and the last time I saw her she was much much lighter than she was when we were going to school together. But just like her mom, it looked bad and uneven.

    • July 25, 2013 - Reply


      how did that nigerian singer Mshonda achieve her results then? she doesn’t look all weird, she looks like she was light skinned her whole life.

      • July 25, 2013 - Reply


        I think you’re referring to mshoza the south African singer who bleached her skin & the fact that she doesn’t look ‘bleached’ now doesn’t mean she won’t look horrible later. when you put all those chemicals on your skin, it’s only a matter of time before you start to look like a zombie.

  8. July 24, 2013 - Reply


  9. July 24, 2013 - Reply

    I have a relative that bleaches her skin as well. Her skin has a noticeable orange colored undertone. Plus, parts of her body are scarred slightly.
    She originally had a skintone that was similar to Sanaa Lathan’s skintone. She is bleaching in hopes of reaching Alicia Keys’ coloring.

    • July 24, 2013 - Reply


      That is so sad.

  10. July 24, 2013 - Reply

    Good for her for taking a stand. I think it’s insulting how bleaching creams are sold directly in your face in Africa.

  11. July 24, 2013 - Reply

    I think Ms. Ndiaye is on the right track. This is along the same lines as European runways using super thin, possibly anorexic, models. Skin bleaching is medically harmful. It could make users more vulnerable to skin cancer. Anyone who bleaches is going to pay a hefty price as they age. There are many benefits to having brown skin, not the least of which is maintaining elasticity well after those with lighter skin tones have started to wrinkle. I wonder if they know what they are in for?

  12. July 25, 2013 - Reply

    i’m surprised that there isnt a slew of comments saying that this lady is wrong and that it’s none of this lady’s business and that people should be able to do what they want with their bodies.

    beauty pageants should do this against plastic surgery. whats the point of a beauty pageant if you’re just gonna buy your “beauty” and cut off what makes YOU unique and beautiful? silly!

  13. July 25, 2013 - Reply

    What the F are these women bleaching their skin for!! Talk about over the top insecurities

  14. July 26, 2013 - Reply

    if you’re going to go that route go 100 and ban relaxers. ol struggle strands

  15. July 30, 2013 - Reply

    What good news! However, she needs to go the whole hog by also banning girls that hate the hair the Good Lord gave them and have to employ Brazilian, Indian or Chinese attachments in order to look beautiful.Remember Diop’s quip: The entire of African history would be different if black girls had long hair…

Leave a Reply to mEE Cancel reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: