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“Hello! I’m Anima (@anima.agyeman. I used to be born in Virginia, raised in New Jersey, and grew up in upstate New York, however I by no means declare that I’m from anyplace apart from Ghana. That’s the place my mother and father are from, and surprisingly sufficient that’s the place that feels most like residence. In Africa my pores and skin tone is the norm, however I’m darker than the common Black lady in America for certain. Colorism was a standard theme all through my childhood, and I had a number of self worth points. Plus, the one girls I noticed who had actually darkish pores and skin, other than my relations, had been at all times type of hypersexualized on social media. Once I went to school I used to be pre-med as a result of my mother and father at all times wished one in all their youngsters to be a health care provider. However I simply hated drugs! Looking back, I believe that immigrant mother and father simply get scared. They need you to tackle these conventional roles the place there’s at all times a requirement and also you’ll at all times have a job, however so long as you’re safe and have that higher life they got here right here to provide you, they’re pleased.
I broke it to my mother and father that I didn’t need to research drugs my junior yr, and by that time I used to be thus far into faculty I didn’t actually know what I used to be presupposed to do subsequent. However unexpectedly, these different alternatives began popping up—I posted this image of me at a buddy’s birthday dinner, and it went viral. Then the producer of Wendy Williams slid in my DMs on Instagram a couple of pure hair section—that fell by way of, however one other pure hair model hit me as much as mannequin for a hair expo. I began making my very own YouTube movies, and that’s type of how this entire factor began. It’s fully nuts, really. After I graduated from faculty, I modeled for a buddy’s model and that photograph ended up on Teen Vogue. I believe that’s the place Glossier noticed me, and once I actually began modeling professionally.
Ladies who appear to be me have an entire totally different expertise within the modeling world. Initially you might have the entire hair concern. Should you’re doing 5 campaigns per week, and also you meet 5 hairstylists who’re overmanipulating your hair as a result of they don’t know what to do with it, by the sixth day you’ll have vital injury. The issue is that hairstylists don’t find out about Black hair, and that interprets down. Earlier than I step on set, I ask prematurely what the hairstylist desires to do as a result of I don’t need to get there and have an entire concern. I don’t know any white lady who carries hair merchandise and instruments with them on set, and I don’t know any lighter skinned or white fashions who carry their very own basis in case the make-up artist can’t match their complexion. Generally I’m afraid that if I converse out it’ll be met with backlash, however I additionally know that if I don’t converse out, and one other Black lady walks on set after me, I didn’t do her any justice.
At some point whereas consuming dinner, my mother received up from the desk to go to the toilet, and got here again bald. ‘I’m uninterested in getting perms!’ was all she stated. It sparked one thing in me—why did I get perms? I believed straight hair was higher, simpler, extra manageable, extra societally digestible… I had conformed to it for thus lengthy that I didn’t even second guess it. After that, I realized tips on how to take care of my hair by watching my mother and YouTube. I like Naptural85, Hannah Mussette, Bubs Bee, and Chizi Duru. At the very least as soon as a month I trim my hair with a course of referred to as dusting. Glossier is among the few manufacturers I’ve labored with that introduced on a hairstylist who was educated about Black hair and truly taught me one thing. However usually, each time I work with a hairstylist they inform me to maintain doing what I’m doing. I believe I do know what works finest for me.
I wash my hair a few times a month with black cleaning soap from Ghana. I put it in a bottle with some important oils, some moisturizing oils like jojoba, castor, argan, candy almond if I’ve, after which some stimulating oils like rosemary and possibly slightly tea tree. Then I add scorching water, and let that sit for 2 hours. After I shampoo I’m going straight into deep conditioning with Shea Moisture’s Manuka Honey Mask or the Black Castor Oil Mask. These two are superb, particularly in case your hair has been coloured. Detangling takes like three hours. Then I sit beneath a hooded dryer for an hour, rinse it out, and magnificence. I’ve low-porosity hair and heavy merchandise don’t actually penetrate, so I like to make use of a sprig leave-in. I often use the one from Shea Moisture’s Manuka Honey and Yogurt line, but when my hair feels dry I’ll use a heavier butter from Carol’s Daughter. I end off with Northshea’s shea butter. This model is superb, and their shea butter is truthful commerce and actually recent.
I at all times have Skin Tint, Stretch Concealer, and Wowder in my bag. These are my favorites as a result of they make me appear to be I’m not sporting any make-up. If I’m going out-out, I’ll often use my Lancôme Teint Idole in 560 Suede, which is identical shade Lupita wears, and a nude lip with lip liner. Normally I exploit an eyeliner, as a result of they’re darker than regular lip liners, however the brand new Teyana Taylor MAC lip liners are literally nice for darkish pores and skin. Then I add some Nars Climax Extreme mascara, and that’s it. Me and make-up… I don’t know. I by no means wished to depend on make-up as a crutch, the place I’d take it off and really feel ugly. Now I’m much less antagonistic to it, however discovering stuff I like is tough. I like clear magnificence, however you go to Credo and types are providing 5 shades and the darkest one is like, orange. Even outdoors of unpolluted magnificence shades are laborious to search out. One magnificence model I used to work for would take a look at merchandise on me within the workplace, and one time my coworker was like, ‘Effectively, Black girls don’t actually purchase make-up.’ What? Huh? Lookup the stats! I believe what she meant to say was that a number of darkish skinned girls don’t want make-up as a result of their pores and skin already appears so good, however I nonetheless suppose that’s a cop out. Make the shades and see if nobody’s shopping for them—then we will have this dialog.
Greater than make-up, what I actually love is skincare. Within the morning I begin with Holifrog’s Tashmoo cleanser. It’s my favourite cleanser ever as a result of it’s nice for delicate pores and skin, I don’t want one other software to actually get my pores and skin clear, and it doesn’t depart me feeling dry. Then I’m going in with The Ordinary’s Glycolic Toner—I used to make use of Glossier Solution, however I ran out. I like to attend 30 to 45 minutes after which moist my face earlier than I apply my different serums, as a result of I believe that helps preserve my pores and skin calm. I apply hyaluronic acid and niacinamide subsequent, and typically I simply go straight to sunscreen. The niacinamide makes my pores and skin look actually shiny, and after I add SPF I appear to be a diamond. My favourite one is the Sonrei Sea Clearly—it’s so good! And it doesn’t depart a white solid.
At night time I begin with the Glow Recipe Papaya Cleansing Balm, after which double cleanse with Tashmoo once more. Then I’m going in with the peptides, which is Buffet from The Extraordinary, and after that I exploit their Granactive Retinoid Emulsion. I exploit Tula’s Beauty Sleep on prime, and within the morning I appear to be a child. Oh, I forgot to say: I exploit recent aloe vera on my face each different day. At some point I used to be on set and my pores and skin was so, so unhealthy. I had accomplished a L’Oréal hair dye marketing campaign proper earlier than, and the purple dye received on my cheeks and completely infected my pores and skin. I used to be so embarrassed. I put a chunk of aloe vera on my face, caught it on with tape, and once I awoke all the irritation was gone. Bruh. I believe I’m going to begin consuming it.”
—as instructed to ITG
Photographs by way of the writer