Models Shine In Photoshoot: “I Am Dark-Skinned Without Apology”
Four models have gotten the internet buzzing with their photoshoot. No, it’s not because they are half-naked with their body parts out nor are they doing any sort of lewd or vulgar gesture. They are simply standing, but people are in awe of their complexion: their beautiful, dark, rich complexion.
Creative director and photographer behind this artistic shoot is Isaac West. He tells Yahoo Style that “as a conceptual photographer I am more into uplifting women of color, to show the different beauty and different shades of color of women, especially black women,” he says. “For this project I wanted to just do dark-skinned women, that was my main focus.”
West shot the photographs in Minneapolis, where he lives now, and recruited South Sudanese women, Nyajima Lok, Odur Onyongo, Ochudo Cham, and Friday Chuol who live in the area to sit for the shoot. He chose to dress them in all-white outfits to provide the most contrast against the models’ gorgeous skin.
West now lives in Minnesota, but he is originally from Liberia. He left Liberia for Ghana because of the country’s civil war, and then in the mid-2000s, he and his family went to the U.S.
West says he draws his creativity from his heritage and his purpose is to highlight and bring more representation of women of color to the media, especially in art and fashion. West is also a fashion designer and is currently enrolled in college, where he is studying TV production and art.
Nyajima, one of the models says of the photograph, “Stop comparing skin tones. Who cares if your skin is lighter or darker than the person standing next to you? Change can only happen once you can truthfully look in the mirror and love that Deep Chocolate, Cinnamon, Mocha, or Caramel complexion.”
Chol, 24, one of the other models in photoshoot proudly posts, “Melanin is an incomparable beauty. From the lightest to the darkest skin tone, Black women and Black girls are exquisite beauty in every shade. Yes, Black females have that special something that just can’t be ignored. We are Melanin Queens, beautifully created! Respect the complexion.”
She also tells Yahoo Style of her decision to participate: “I decided to be a part of it because if I can show…