Iman| An Influential Black Woman in Beauty

by West Parsons on January 31, 2013 · 1 comment

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A former model and the face of a self-branded cosmetic company for women of color.

Iman Mohamed Abdulmajid is a Somali native. While at the University of Nairobi she was discovered by a photographer Peter Beard in the 1970s.  She rose to national stardom and became the face of Yves Saint Laurent’s African Queen collection.

In the late 80s she retired from modeling all together. She used her status to bring awareness to her homeland after it had been ravaged by  famine, drought and war by filming a documentary called Somalia Diary.

Not only is she a successful model and entrepreneur, but her philanthropic work speaks volumes, as she was honored by BET in 2011. As the spokeswoman for Keep A Child Alive, a organization which supports orphaned children affected by AIDS and HIV,  her humanitarian efforts help to ease the suffering of  women and children, especially in Africa.

Her efforts also continue with her work in East Congo, where the world’s most deadliest war is underway TODAY. This is also said to be the most dangerous place for women and girls due to its high concentration of sexual violence. Fueling this war is the illegal trade of minerals such as diamonds, gold, tin, and tungsten which are vital to the creation of electronics like your cell phone, tablet or laptop. [+][+]

In these tough economic times the typical request for funds is not always feasible for us average Americans, but the power of the mighty dollar is undeniable. If you can donate to these efforts, that’s wonderful.  If you cannot, don’t count yourself out just yet.

You can contribute to the undertaking in Africa with your everyday spending.  I do. Your cellphone, do you know if it is conflict-free? What about the latest version of the tablet device you have been fawning over, has the manufacturer contributed to bloodshed and lost lives to gather the minerals to product that product?

Make it your business to be an informed consumer and make responsible purchasing decisions. Here [+] is a list of electronic companies who are making efforts to reduce the use of illegally traded minerals in their consumer products.

Not only does Iman influence my decisions in beauty and fashion (LOVE her inevitable smokey eye!), but her efforts as an activist to make a difference in Africa is admirable.

Because a great mentor can make all the difference, Coca-Cola has teamed up with Magic Johnson, Common and Debra Lee of BET Networks to give four young people the apprenticeship experience of a lifetime.  Visit to nominate an aspiring youth and help pay it forward to the next generation.  You’ll also be automatically entered for a chance to win $5,000 for each nomination you make (up to five nominations per person).

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Coca-Cola via Glam Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Coca-Cola.

What have you done to ‘Pay It Forward’?

{ 1 comment }

Chantelle February 1, 2013 at 5:23 am

Lovely post, as a student I too can not really afford to keep giving to charities. Instead I am currently volunteering at a local ‘play cafe’ which is an organic cafe which also offers services to children and their parents such as learning languages and music lessons.