Tags: plus size model, Style Syllabus

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Philomena Kwao, the beautiful and brainy Ghanaian model from London, has challenged the fashion industry and modern society on skin color and body image since she began modeling only a few years ago. She is currently represented by Models1 in the UK and JAG models here in the United States, and resides in New York City. Philomena has been featured in magazines such as Essence, Cosmopolitan UK, and Sports Illustrated and has represented national campaigns for Evans, Style 369, Nordstrom, and Lane Bryant,  She was also the first African-American model to become the face of the clothing brand Torrid. She was crowned Miss Ghana in 2008 and in 2012, was awarded the GUBA (Ghana UK Based Achievement) Rising Star award for her contribution to society.

As if that weren’t enough, Kwao also has a Masters in International Health Management, is an outspoken advocate for basic human rights, and has spearheaded her own charity called the Lily Project, a mentorship program that connects young girls to today’s brightest minds to make a positive impact on their lives.

While it might be hard to believe, this stunning model hasn’t always been comfortable with herself, telling ViceI remember not always being so confident in my size or my skin color. I wanted to be lighter like all the celebrities and beautiful women I knew as I didn’t see one black female celebrity who was dark skinned and beautiful.”  This changed, however, as she continued to book modeling jobs and gain confidence as she told NYMag’s The Cut, “With every job, I’ve had to say hello to myself over and over and over again, and it’s made me become more comfortable in myself, because you truly are exposed. With the exposure comes a little bit of normalcy and comfort. My experience is not true for everyone. For some, it is crippling, but for me, I’ve actually found it an empowering experience.”


Kwao is currently working towards breaking the barriers against how society view models.  She argues that as technology has opened people up to different types of beauty, a particular size or the color of your skin shouldn’t determine your ability to book a high level editorial or a big campaign. We couldn’t agree more.

“At the end of the day, I’m a model. I’m a plus model. I’m a black model. I’m a curvy model. I am all of those things. But those things do not make me, me.” – Philomena Kwao

The post MODEL SPOTLIGHT: PHILOMENA KWAO appeared first on Plvsh Style.

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