Friday, 15 May 2015

#Woman Crush: Philomena Kwao - redefining beauty


I can't remember when exactly, what I was doing, or how I stumbled upon the picture above, but what I do remember is thinking 'Wow! What a beautiful woman!' Little did I know the 'full' story behind Miss Philomena Kwao. Even looking at the picture now results in #seriousgirlcrush #soenvious #howdareanybodysayblackwomenaren'tbeautiful #whydon'tIlooklikethisdammit?! Lol! Fast forward to recent times and choosing the very first beautiful black woman to feature as 'My BlackCleopatra', the first woman that came to mind was... Philomena Kwao. 

Philomena is a 25 year old London-born, British-Ghanian model based in New York. She is signed to Models1 and over the last couple of years has enjoyed great success as a model.  

Not only is Philomena strikingly beautiful and super intelligent (having obtained a 1st class degree from Bristol University and an MSc from Imperial College London), she also gets my vote as 'My BlackCleopatra' because she is redefining beauty as one of the world's top plus size models

Credit: Daily Mail
In an interview with the Daily Mail in 2012, she was asked about recently winning a UK nationwide contest run by curvy clothing brand Evans in conjunction with Models1 and Style369.com. Commenting on that win, she responded,  'I hope to use this as a platform by which I can empower girls and young women like myself.... I also want to spread the message that there is beauty in everything: every shape, colour, size and height... whatever. We are all beautiful.'

In an interview published TODAY in I-D magazine, Philomena had the following to say: 

Credit: I-D magazine
"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 wanted to try out an injection or something before she saw my picture and decided to message me. It 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. 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. I love watching how my skin has a rich golden hue to it and hers did too. If she was to really look at her complexion, she would see that she was a stunning beauty and that changing her skin tone wouldn't change her life or opportunities. i watch YouTube a lot abd YouTube beauty gurus such as Jennie Jenkins and Chanel Boateng really helped me understand the beauty in my complexion"

Philomena, you are an inspiration to many, myself included. I really hope that for any young black girls or women that might be reading this and who might have ever doubted the beauty in their dark skin... that this beautiful young dark skinned woman has helped you to redefine your concept of beauty to appreciate how radiant you are.

Just to see you off with a smile, please have a look at some more lovely pictures (taken from the Web) of the very first 'My BlackCleopatra.'

Credit: Adebowale Owolabi

Credit: Michelle George





If  you would like to comment on anything in this post, please feel free to do so in the comments section below, Stay confident and beautiful.

Anthonia

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