L'Oreal's Newest Spokesperson Is a Women's Rights Activist Who Was Nominated for a Whole Nobel Peace Prize

Illustration for article titled LOreals Newest Spokesperson Is a Womens Rights Activist Who Was Nominated for a Whole Nobel Peace Prize
Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris (Getty Images for Time)

In most cases, being named a L’Oréal Paris spokesperson would be quite the glow-up for the honoree—the French cosmetics company has built up an impressive and diverse roster of celebrities to represent it over the years. But take a casual glance through the resume of Jaha Dukureh, a prominent women’s rights activist who was recently named L’Oréal’s newest international ambassador, and one thing becomes quite clear: she makes L’Oréal look great.

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Dukureh was just 24 when she launched the nonprofit, Safe Hands for Girls, which works to end female genital mutilation (FGM) and child marriages, as well as provide support to victims of both practices. Dukureh herself endured FGM, and was placed into an arranged marriage at the age of 15 before dissolving the partnership two years later.

The Gambian activist has been named a U.N. Women Regional Goodwill Ambassador for Africa, and in 2016, landed a spot on Time’s Most Influential People list. She followed up that in 2018 with a whole Nobel Peace Prize nomination.

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The 31-year-old Dukureh has also received L’Oréal Paris’ Women of Worth award. She’s not only the most prominent activist to be named a spokesperson for the brand, but the first one to hold that title in an international capacity, reports ABC News.

The beauty brand broke the news about the partnership in an Instagram post on Wednesday.

“Very proud to welcome our newest spokesperson, @jahaendfgm, to the #LOrealParisFamily,” L’Oréal Paris captioned in a photo of Dukureh. “Honoree for the Women of Worth Award and nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, Jaha is a fearless activist, fighting to end female genital mutilations.”

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Dukureh shared the photo on her own Instagram, acknowledging her years-long relationship with the brand.

“My journey so far has been incredible but even I couldn’t believe this dream will ever become a reality and today it has,” she said. “I am grateful for the opportunity and I want the young women following me here to know that this is attainable for them.”

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She added that she was still “in shock” over the announcement.

According to the Cut, Dukureh will make her official debut for the beauty company later this year as part of a campaign for Color Riche, L’Oréal’s bright, bold line of makeup for lips, eyes, and nails. If the sumptuous glow Dukureh is rocking in her Instagram photo is any indication, it just may make you the envy of your Zoom happy hour.

Staff writer, The Root.

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DISCUSSION

feministonfire
FeministOnFire

Wow, it’s a good marketing move for a beauty brand to move toward representatives who are so much more than just pretty. The exposure Ms. Dukureh will be able to bring to the horrendous violations of Female Genital Mutilation and child marriage will be huge!

I am only concerned that the countries/regions that practice FGM generally have social and religious mores prohibiting makeup (or severely restricting its use) and will paint this collaboration as just more Western Evil designed to corrupt their women and destroy their way of life. The mindset that subjugates women and children and deprives them of sexual pleasure works very hard to minimize outside influence and access to the spokesperson’s message. More than anything, this blocked exposure will forestall any serious consideration and discussion by the target audience. Then again, nothing beats a failure but a try.