Archive for August, 2008


August 2, 2008




Black beauty
published: Monday | February 16, 2004


JAMAICAN MODELS have always done well overseas and their accomplishments have been well noted in the media. However, in recent years, there has been an overwhelming demand for dark-skinned models – mainly for their exotic look. Ethnic models such as Naomi Campbell from Britain, Alek Wek, Liya Kebede and Yasmine Warsame from Africa have definitely made their mark in the world of fashion and have paved the way for other dark-skinned beauties such as our own Nakeisha Robinson, Nadine Willis and Jaunel McKenzie.

Lately, other Jamaican black beauties have made an impact in the international fashion scene and one of the modelling agencies that have made this happen is Saint International. Headed by CEO Deiwight Peters, Saint has placed a number of Jamaican models with leading agencies in the fashion capitals of the world such as Milan, London, Paris and New York. The agency has also broken into the South African market, where a number of Jamaican models have been placed doing either editorials, commercials or both. In this week’s issue, Flair focuses on the successes of some of these Jamaican beauties who have stunned the world and are managing to hold their own in a glamorous yet competitive environment.


A former web-site administrator of the RJR Communication Group, Dionne Stephens entered the world of modelling two and a half years ago, but was signed internationally by Saint since last June. Standing at 5ft. 9in. tall, Stephens’ charcoal black skin is becoming a favourite among fashion photographers across Europe. She continues on her blazing success trail scoring the cover of one of Spain’s leading fashion magazines Punto H.

The black beauty, who is presently based in London with Profile Models, has also been a favourite among leading European magazines from the start. She has made two appearances in the iconic ID magazine with other high profile magazines such as Bolz, Tense, the South African Marie Claire, Colors, French Connection UK, Look Book, Star Mag among others. She also has an upcoming spread in Trace Magazine, which promises to take her career to yet another level.

In January, Stephens started the year with renowned British designer Ted Baker. She also strutted down the catwalk during London Fashion Week last year for another famous British designer Hamish Marrow and is expected to do so for other clients in this year’s Fashion Week.


We spoke to Stephens recently between castings in London via her cellphone and asked her a few questions about her new fabulous life as a model.

FL: How are you finding your new life as a fashion model. Is it glamorous as several persons may think?

Stephens: Before I started modelling, I always assumed as others that it was an exciting lifestyle. Now that I’m getting first-hand experience, I’ve realised that it’s not as exciting as it seems. It’s actually hard and photo shoots are definitely not glamorous while doing them. although the end results may seem so.

FL: What has been your most difficult photo shoot?

Stephens: The hardest shoot for me was while doing the one for Trace Magazine. I was strapped in a harness from the ceiling while holding a pound of iron in my hands. It was quite uncomfortable to say the least.

FL: What has been your most exciting project?

Stephens: I have a small role in a 007 James Bond spoof. It’s actually a French movie in which I am a cocktail waitress in the film. Parts of the movie were shot in the Pinewood Studios in England.

FL: What’s your biggest indulgence since becoming a model?

Stephens: Definitely shoes. I just love them. Sometimes when I get my pay cheque, I head directly to a shoe store. My favourite type of shoes are boots, I love them when they are knee-high with stiletto heels.

FL: Do Europeans warm up to you knowing that you’re a Jamaican?

Stephens: On first meeting me, many persons here think I’m from Ghana or Kenya – not Jamaica. I have to convince them that I’m all-Jamaican. Jamaican music is actually doing very well now and Sean Paul is big in London right now.

FL: Which famous persons have you met since modelling internationally?

Stephens: There are a few persons yes. The ones who stand out readily in my mind are British designer Julian McDonald and international model Alek Wek.

FL: What is one thing you would like to tell your family now?

Stephens: I’d like to tell them not to worry about me as I’m having a great time and they’ll all get a chance to see me soon. Big up to my crew at RJR.


August 1, 2008


It’s Harder When You’re Darker
by: Tasha M. Martinez

Turn on the TV and flip to your favorite music video station.

I think of Spike Lee’s School Daze. Will there every be a sequel where the dark-skinned women are the sought after ones? The idolized? That movie touched upon the idea of racism within the race, which is still very much an issue between blacks, especially in entertainment today. I can see why so many little dark-skinned girls feel left out and uncelebrated. Because in entertainment, we are not the celebrated women. At a self-esteem developmental age, young girls start wishing they were something they are not, instead of loving who they are for what they are. Regardless of what anyone says, beauty IS only skin deep, and I know this. Beauty is not just one thing. God made us all beautiful and we are beautiful because we are different. Tell each side of the story. Show each shade of beauty. The other day, I was watching VH1’s Driven on Beyonce’. Ok, it’s a known fact. She is a beautiful, talented, young black woman. Something her younger sister Solange said in the documentary caught my attention. She basically said that Beyonce’ has always been “hated on.” She then added that you take a lot of slack for being a black girl with light skin and long hair. I feel it is the contrary. That may indeed be the case for little seven-year-old girls playing together and not liking each other. But I feel that dark-skinned black woman take slack for NOT being light-skinned with long hair. It’s not the other way around. Why would you take slack? You are what the entertainment industry sees as a beautiful black woman. Hearing Tupac say, “The blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice,” I’m sure made a lot of women feel good. But B2K wants to go on trips “with chicks that look like Alicia Keys.” This is what my three little sisters hear and see today in 2003. Now don’t get me wrong, I come from a family who instilled great self-confidence in me, and I have a mother who always taught me to love and respect myself because I am beautiful inside and out. She taught me to be proud of who I am, so I know that it starts at home for everyone. No one likes feeling left out though, especially when in most cases, those doing the berry picking are pots calling the kettle black. Basically, I feel it stinks the way dark-skinned women are portrayed, or are not portrayedÂ…more like betrayed. Is it that people have forgotten where they came from? Who they came from? If I started seeing chocolate beauties in music video’s now I’d think something was wrong because it is so out of the ordinary. I just feel like every form of media plays a major role in shaping our children’s lives. Imagine for just one moment that your pre-teen daughter comes to you feeling down because everyone on TV and in magazines that is classified as beautiful is the total opposite of her. This Essay Was Submitted By A VIBE Online User
Article tags: It’s, Harder, You’re, Darker

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t says:

I agree, they think they are better than us just because their light and that is tatall not true, half of them are so dag on UGLY and have the nerve to pick on our skin color,I`d rather be dark that look like who did it and ran…you cant wipe off ugly,being dark doesn’t make me ugly…being dark doesn’t make anyone who is ugly…I look at the inside too.if you have an ugly inside then dag on it you are hideous on the outside!!!! and besides the lightskin girls or boys are usually whores who end up in a no good situatuion,working for minimum wage or caught something and you know what that something is.I have alot to say about dark people but for now I am going to end it by saying BLACK IS* BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

October 12, 2007 at 6:03 pm

Ebone says:

I enjoyed your article concerning color issues that still hold us hostage as african american people. As a teacher and aspiring recording artist, it has always been evident to me that the industry is one-sided. And it really is a shame because the industry has no idea what they’re missing out on. Chocolate beauties have reigned supreme for years, whether its been celebrated or not. I have always been the “exception”. You know the girl who hears so often, “wow, I’ve never seen such a beautiful dark-skinned woman like you before!” As ignorant as that seems, its the reality and how do I respond, with knowledge hoping that it will breed some type of positivity. I find myself schooling our people everyday and not just my students about how lucky we are as a people to be represented as a rainbow of so many different hues and colors that should be celebrated and not ignored. We must press on and let our sun-kissed little sisters know just how royally beautiful they are and that their uniqueness will take them far. As f or me, I plan to take this music industry by storm and help change this poisonous mind-set that has resulted in bleaching creams and self-hatred. BLACK is beautiful and that will never change despite what anyone says !!!!!!

October 6, 2007 at 11:23 am

ray says:

i love me some dark skinned women. they the most beautiful women on earth. i would choose gabriele union and foxy brown over beyonce anyday. not every black male thinks light is right. im not gonna sit here and say i am not attracted to bright girls but i prefer chocolate more than caramel. at the end of the day all black women are beautiful and its time the media realised that. its not realistic to show all light skin women in videos- they not the only appealing females out there. there should be more divirsity so every one is represented. its not fair that in this day and age, little black girls are growin up with self-hatred coz they aint light enough.

December 31, 2006 at 2:54 pm

david says:

I agree with alot of what you are trying to say but, in my opinion you’re not looking at the total reality from both sides of the black color spectrum. mixed people aren’t blacks, and they never were black, only whites choose to group them as African Americans which have become a loose term and okay by me. the exat same way that each and every other amerian of half racial ancestry, that isnt white, is grouped.
Blacks in reality are dark, medium and lightskinned naturally, like most other darkskinned people are. while our ethnic features remain the same. its not so much about dark or light skin being accepted in our culture but the entire black race, regardless of complexion, being excluded in representation. outside of beyonce name more than five light skinned full black girls you know in the industry, and in fact there may be more darkskinned blacks you could named than you could lightskinned blacks . monica is a lightskin black girl to me or close to it, but she still doesn’t fit the standards americans are try to fit into these days.

i also want to mention that alot of the lightskinned females you see nowadays in hip hop video are in fact latino or of other ethnicities not black. and that the industry has become increasingly more diverse over the years since it has come to be as it has for the last ten years. So should we say NO Latinos in any videos. But i must also admit you are right and more ways than i think you are wrong. as most times these latino and more mixed looking individuals portray black characters’ roles it seems these days.

December 18, 2006 at 7:31 pm

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