Backstage at the 2013 Dakar Fashion Week. Adama Ndiaye who started the annual fashion fête in 2002, announced at this season’s launch that she had banned any models using “depigmentation” cream from the six-day event.
“It’s not even pretty,” she said. “For me, it’s just a turn off.”
These ladies bare the telltale signs of long-term bleaching: blotches of discoloured skin on their arms and faces.
“I’m trying to teach them to like themselves,” said Ndiaye of the natural-toned models selected for this year’s show.
Ndiaye is taking a stand against society rejecting dark skin and exhibiting the extent that people are willing to go to conform to the standards of what beauty is.
“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.”