Naomi Sims is a former supermodel and current businesswoman. In 1967, after being turned down by agency after agency for being too black, she contacted a photographer who agreed to meet with her; her first shoot became the cover of the New York Times Sunday magazine. In spite of her instant fame, agencies refused to represent her. She did her own marketing and got an overwhelming response. After several years of success, she left modeling, started a family, began a wig business and developed a new fiber that looked like black hair unlike the others on the market at the time.
By asserting her beauty in an era in which dark skin and beauty were erroneously assumed to be mutually exclusive, she changed the rules; the previously myopic society saw some light. Roshumba, Atong, Kenya, Ajuma, Oluchi, Alek and many other dark-skinned belles (readers included!) continue to correct our society’s vision. Cherubic? Cute? Pretty? Beautiful? Glam? Regal? Chic? Sexy? Fierce? All-American? Marketable? Yes on all counts!