A Detroit woman who was once mercilessly ridiculed for her dark complexion, is now serving as a muse for a Black-owned beauty brand.
“I was completely overwhelmed to be asked — absolutely blown away,” the mother of five told the publication.
“I couldn’t get over the fact I was tapped to represent a foundation shade that was unavailable when I was in need of make-up for senior photos and dance recitals, because my skin tone was so “undesirable” to the masses,” she admitted.
Mohammed, who was always the darkest student in her classes recalled having her skin tone described as “blackety-black,” and has had a life steeped in the after effects of colorism.
Mohammed, 31, says the otherness she was made to feel in her childhood still followed her into adulthood, sharing, “I remember putting on make-up and trying to make it work [even though it was too light]. I looked horrible, just ghastly.”
She goes on to say that coming across The Lip Bar, also based in Detroit, allowed her to finally feel comfortable in her skin while putting on make-up, which makes this new partnership serendipitous.
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The only thing which made the teasing and the midnight jokes worse was the fact that when it was time for some make up I had no options. The shadows lacked pigment. The foundations never inclusive. The world was against me. Then Dave Chappelle came out with the “Dahkness!!!” Rick James skit. It was a wrap for my self esteem. I wanted to be as invisible as I clearly was. And then came the @thelipbar. Where I’m included AND seen. It’s good to be recognized. Mom of 5. Law student. And model. You wish you was this dahk. You could neva. 📸: @breannwhlgn
“I was drawn to this brand not only because it was also Detroit-owned, black-owned, and women-owned, but because it worked so well and showed up on my skin so well,” she said.
So when the make up brand’s product developer Kori Fields invited Mohammad to their studio to model for their new shade she jumped at the opportunity to show other dark-skinned people like her her 5-year-old daughter, Adaline, that they deserve to feel just as beautiful as anyone else.
“I took Adaline because I wanted her to see that what we consider beauty diversity to be normal for her, and that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes,” Mohammed said. “I didn’t want to tell her about it or show her pictures, I wanted her to see it.