If you are a dark skinned model in the fashion industry you have to give 200% in comparison with white skinned models. I think this is ridiculous and I am still curiously waiting for a designer to change this problem. I thank Kanye West for having so many models with different ethnicities at his first runway show and I hope more fashion designers will follow.
Meet the beautiful Dutch-Surinamese model Dieudonnée Comvalius from the Netherlands, who shares her story and perspective of being an ethnic model in the white-dominated fashion world. Apart from that Dieudonnée also shares her tips about how to take care your curls with tender, love and care.
Who is Dieudonnée Comvalius?
I am a Dutch/Surinamese girl born in Amsterdam. I’m 19 years old and studying international Communication & Media.
How would you describe your inner beauty?
I’m a very stubborn but emotional person. I’m a person that gives a lot about other people’s feelings. I can be a little selfish sometimes but I think we all need to be a little selfish once in a while. I love honesty and I hate people who lie. I’m also very on my own and only got a handfull of friends, but they are all my best friends. I trust them.
What do you love about your beauty?
I love that I’m a mix of two different cultures. Both cultures taught me to be happy with who I am and what I look like. I think inner beauty is as important as your appearance and I’m happy to be confident about myself. Without confidence a person can be as beautiful as Cleopatra, but would not see her own beauty. Get to know yourself, find your confidence and live beautiful ever after!
Every girls dream is to become famous in entertainment industry. As we all know in the modeling and fashion world is a very hard industry and is not as glamorous as it may seem to be. Four years ago, the documentary called “The Color of Beauty” about an African Canadian model named Renee who’s struggling through New York’s top agencies in the hopes to be a part of New York Fashion Week 2008. Furthermore, in the documentary a model agent uttered that if they ever hire a black model she has to look like a white girl dipped in chocolate. What are your thoughts about the mentality they have in the fashion industry? Have you ever experienced the same kind of bad treatment as Renee?
I get a lot of questions from girls about how they can become a model. The first thing I always tell them is that the fashion world is not as fun as it looks like. I experienced rejections because of my skin color several times. At the last casting I had for Amsterdam Fashion week they said I could go home because I had the “wrong hair structure”. They wanted girls with straight hair, even though they know that you can blow-dry my hair straight easily.
After a few weeks, when the show was at Amsterdam fashion week, I watched it online. I saw white skinned girls walking down the runway with the same (fake) afro I have naturally. This made me realize that it wasn’t about my hair at all, but about my skin color. If you are a dark skinned model in the fashion industry you have to give 200% in comparison with white skinned models. I think this is ridiculous and I am still curiously waiting for a designer to change this problem. I thank Kanye West for having so many models with different ethnicities at his first runway show and I hope more fashion designers will follow.
What do you love the most when it comes to your beautiful hair?
I love everything about my hair! But what I love most is that people think my hair is hard to handle, while it’s actually not! I can do a lot of things with it and I (almost) don’t have to do anything for it.
What three things would you recommend for women with curly/coily hair?
- Stop using a towel to dry your hair after you washed it! Use an old T-shirt, this will make your hair less frizzy.
- Only wash your hair with shampoo 1 or 2 times a week. Shampoo washes the natural oils out of your hair, which we curly heads need!
- I don’t use any hair products except for hair gel! This works like magic to my hair so give it a try!
What three things would you not recommend women with curly/coily hair?
- Don’t dye your hair too often, this will dry out your hair and damage your curls!
- Don’t wear your hair in a bun everyday! I see a lot of girls with beautiful curly hair who wear their hair in a bun all the time. your hair is beautiful, it’s ok to show it to the world!
- Don’t blow dry your hair too often. This will really wreck your hair!
Four years ago, Versatility Beauty&Fashion interviewed the famous natural hair stylist Felicia Leatherwood. One of the questions Versatility Beauty&Fashion asked her was what she thought about the trend amongst women with coily or curly hair becoming natural. She responded that in her perspective becoming natural is not a trend, but more as a movement. Do you agree or disagree with Felicia Leatherwood statement about becoming natural is a movement?
I would rather call it a revolution! Girls nowadays are finding their own roots and are being comfortable with their own hair. I think it’s great that girls respect what the world gave them and that they show it off!
There has been a lot of discussions about why there most be one type of ideal beauty. Since 2013 the ideal of woman’s body is to look strong and therefore the new ideal of beauty is ”Strong is the new skinny”. Versatility Beauty&Fashion is pro-health and believes that working-out is the best medicine you can give to your body and soul. But some women misunderstand the ideal and work out too much that they hurt themselves. Instead of taking a break to let their injury fully heal; they take pills to counteract the injury to sustain their work out in fear of gaining weight! What are your thoughts about today’s attitude of the ”new” ideal of body?
I think what’s most important is that people are healthy. I think the fashion industry already really progressed when it comes to models with an eating disorder. You will not see skeletons on the runways anymore and, although the girls are still very skinny, they are skinny but healthy. You also see a lot of plus size models nowadays, what also is a good progress. The only thing I see is that plus size is not always healthy either. A lot of bigger sized people have life threatening diseases caused by their weight. We also don’t want to give people the feeling that (heavy) overweight is healthy. I think the fashion industry should find a nice balance between thick and thin and have models in their own unique sizes, as long as they are healthy. I think every person has his/her own ideal body. My ideal body is the body I have right now. I feel comfortable in it and I feel healthy. I work out to work on my condition and strength and not to lose weight.
How often do you work out/ how often do you think one should work out to feel good?
I work out 3/4 times a week because I am preparing for a 10 KM Run. Normally I work out about 2 days a week. I think that how often you should work out depends on what you do on daily basis. If you work as a waitress, you already walk around all day. But if you are working behind your desk, you are not moving a lot so you can, for example, take the bike to work to get a small work out.
Versatility Beauty&Fashion has started the Healthy movement with Versatility Beauty&Fashion 2015, where we want to inspire women around the world to set goals for achieving healthy hair, healthy body and healthy soul(inner beauty) this year of 2015. If you would like to join the movement what would your goals be to achieve
- Healthier body
- Healthier hair
- Healthier soul
this year of 2015?
I want to have a healthier body. although I work out, I still eat a lot of sugars (yes, chocolate is my best friend). I want to eat more healthy and I want to get to know what I put into my body everyday.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
No, thank you guys for the interview and I hope I answered your questions!
Interview by: Versatility Beauty&Fashion