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#FiftyShadesOfBlack – Stunning Images of Beverly Naya, Dakore Akande, Taiwo Ajayi Lycett & More in Campaign to Love Your Black Skin

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Fifty Shades of Black - August 2014 - BN Beauty - BellaNaija.com 03
Black is beautiful!

In July, Nollywood starlet Beverly Naya wrote an inspiring article for BN on loving your skin. That was the first step in the campaign – #FiftyShadesOfBlack.

The campaign is created to inspire not only women but as many young black girls as possible because they deserve to have a chance of realising and cherishing their beauty before someone leads them to believe otherwise.

Beverly brought some of the fresh and leading ladies in the entertainment industry  – music, beauty, fashion and acting to help take part in the inspiring campaign.

Read the official release by Beverly;

Believe it or not but as a young girl, especially black, it is very easy to lose confidence at an early age, this could be as a result of some form of abuse or what is portrayed in the media, or maybe what cruel boys and bullies may say, sometimes parents fail to tell their daughters how beautiful they are, no matter what, and this adds to the problem.

We unfortunately live in a society where black people are altering their God given beauty to ‘fit in’ with the unrealistic ideals of what beauty is. Hence I decided to reach out to these lovely ladies and solicit their support, thankfully they understood my vision. Not only are they all beautiful and successful but they are also of different shades which is the point I am trying to emphasise. You can be successful and beautiful no matter your complexion.

Via the #FiftyShadesOfBlack campaign, I hope to offer people a deeper understanding of the true value and significance of diversity as well as what it should mean to us as a race. I also hope to empower young girls by motivating them as well as teaching them about self love, self worth and appreciating their inner and outer beauty.

This is just the beginning, and I hope that over time I will have many voices (especially yours) in support of this campaign, contributing their efforts in as many ways as possible.

Thank you and remember, your black is and will always be beautiful. All shades are flawless.

Beverly Naya - Actress, Philanthropist

Beverly Naya – Actress, Philanthropist

Dakore Akande - Actress, Singer, Entrepreneur

Dakore Akande – Actress, Singer, Entrepreneur

Munachi Abii - Rapper, Ex Beauty Queen (MBGN 2007)

Munachi Abii – Rapper, Ex Beauty Queen (MBGN 2007)

Taiwo Ajayi Lycett - Actress, Life Coach

Taiwo Ajayi Lycett – Actress, Life Coach

Osas Ighodaro - Actress, Ex Beauty Queen (Miss Black USA 2010)

Osas Ighodaro – Actress, Ex Beauty Queen (Miss Black USA 2010)

Linda Ejiofor - Actress

Linda Ejiofor – Actress

Stephanie Coker - TV Presenter, Actress

Stephanie Coker – TV Presenter, Actress

Isi Atagamen - Model, Fashion Designer

Isi Atagamen – Model, Fashion Designer

Fifty Shades of Black - August 2014 - BN Beauty - BellaNaija.com 01Fifty Shades of Black - August 2014 - BN Beauty - BellaNaija.com 02

For more info on #FiftyShadesOfBlack, send an e-mail [email protected]
Credits
Photography: Aham Ibeleme
Stylist/Creative Director: Ifan Ifeanyi Michael
Make-up: David Sucre & Lilian Paul for Flare Beauty
Hair: Patrick Ibrahim
Co-ordinator/Founder: Beverly Naya

55 Comments

  1. bruno

    August 1, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    How can we take you ladies seriously, when you are wearing weaves and fake nails to look more european, biko next. (Bella naija post my comment, I speak the truth most of the time.)

    • Iya

      August 1, 2014 at 10:57 pm

      BRUNO AND MILEY (same person) thank you I agree with you. You could have said it all in one paragraph. No need to create an imaginary supporter.

    • bruno

      August 2, 2014 at 12:03 am

      BUSTED!!! LOL (miley is an alter ego of mine)

    • Anonymous

      August 2, 2014 at 8:56 am

      One step at a time.

    • newbie

      August 3, 2014 at 1:15 pm

      Fake nails to look more European? Dude, maybe you have never met a European before but let me tell you, there is no difference between their nails and ours. People wear fake nails because they believe it looks glamorous and holds nail polish for longer – Europeans, Africans, Asians Americans-you name it – every one does it, noone is trying to look like any other race. I bet it’s so hard for some people to believe that black or white, we all bleed red. God really did standardize some things in humans, you know? Criricize fake nails if you may (I personally find them extremely uncomfortable) but please be factual and quit looking for differences in humans where they don’t exist.

    • Tiana

      August 3, 2014 at 6:18 pm

      while we are at it I guess you shouldn’t be commenting since you are using a lap top or some sort and doesn’t it come from the white man? mind you they are talking abt the skin tones, the different shades of Black.

    • Lupitaliscious

      August 4, 2014 at 2:58 pm

      Exactly my point
      Lupita is one of the few who can talk about loving your black beauty – cos she walks the walk and talks the talk..

      Nigerians are not original in ANYTHING whatsoever – like NOTHING – except 419

  2. miley

    August 1, 2014 at 8:55 pm

    Everybody look at us, we haven’t used bleaching cream before, blah blah blah, pls stop it, stop this BLEACH-SHAMING of people who bleach biko.

  3. Dekunle

    August 1, 2014 at 9:10 pm

    I get the idea behind a campaign featuring different shades of women (regarding skin tone, obviously) by I’m not entirely sure it works here as the lighting/editing appears to have made them all look the same shade of brown.
    Nice initiative though. The simple fact that they’re all making headway in their careers is inspiring in itself.

    • Omoté

      August 2, 2014 at 12:13 pm

      My tots exactly…..dey all look the same to me.

  4. vicshowplanet

    August 1, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    Nice one…visit my blog for latest news

  5. Robin Hood

    August 1, 2014 at 9:40 pm

    beverly oh beverly. please rape me

    • amaa

      August 2, 2014 at 12:53 pm

      The last time someone made a ridiculous comparison between rape and paparazzi stalking her the whole world tongue lashed her. Rape is a very serious issue and using it as a joke is disrespectful to victims who have suffered the most violent crime of all times and have lived to tell their stories. Kindly refrain from telling jokes about rape it isn’t fun. BN PLEASE SENSOR COMMENTS LIKE THI§

  6. madman

    August 1, 2014 at 9:44 pm

    50 shades of “black” but they are no DARK-SKINNED persons in the campaign? interesting….

  7. madman

    August 1, 2014 at 9:44 pm

    or were the pictures photoshopped?

  8. Shadie

    August 1, 2014 at 9:58 pm

    Way to go Beverly! What a lovely concept and empowering message.

  9. nedu

    August 1, 2014 at 10:00 pm

    Love me some Dakore
    What happened to her locks tho ?

  10. Black beauty

    August 1, 2014 at 10:07 pm

    Great work Beverly. I am really dark, beautiful and a successful professional.. I will happily lend my support and ebony skin to this campaign.

  11. sully

    August 1, 2014 at 10:13 pm

    Beverly Naya = inspiration. Forever giving me life

  12. Tosin

    August 1, 2014 at 11:18 pm

    Bruno abi Miley it pained you so much that you even comment twice. Why are people like this? Embrace what is good, enough problems in the world. Huge well done Beverly n everybody else.

  13. gu

    August 1, 2014 at 11:22 pm

    A very nice initiative but needs more originality and direction.

  14. nnennia

    August 1, 2014 at 11:34 pm

    Some people re funny.just because they re african women they shouldn’t wear weaves or fix nails.the whole idea behind the campaign is to encourage young women that you can be sucessful despite your skin colour.they re beautiful and smart young women making history in their world.please weave or no weave understand the purpose of their campaign.if you don’t like weaves and nails reserve the order for your [email protected]

  15. mogbo moya

    August 1, 2014 at 11:54 pm

    But muna’s shoes thou ….roflmao kilode???

    • Dora the explorer

      August 2, 2014 at 6:31 pm

      I knowwwwww I spotted that and I’m like no way!!! why didn’t she bring out her loubs (featured in another photo spread) for this one!

  16. @edDREAMZ

    August 2, 2014 at 12:36 am

    a.k.a EDWIN CHINEDU AZUBUKO said…
    .
    Nice beverely… Making sense no doubt…
    .
    .
    ***CURRENTLY IN JUPITER***

  17. deb

    August 2, 2014 at 12:59 am

    Zainab Balogun, stephnie okereke, Toolz Tiwa&a host of others need be in this campaign. Apart from the fact that we are dark skined, we also have a FULL body.

    • Dekunle

      August 2, 2014 at 5:09 am

      Beverly Naya is about the same size as Tiwa and has a “fuller” body than Zainab. Osas and Dakore have even “fuller” bodies than three of them. Toolz is overweight, so different category entirely.

  18. CAUGHT

    August 2, 2014 at 1:46 am

    It’s so funny how Beverly Naya always comments on her own posts on blogs(under diff names) and praises herself. The hunger for fame is real.

    • Jhennique

      August 4, 2014 at 11:09 am

      Na wa oh! what is your proof of this?????

  19. blessing

    August 2, 2014 at 1:59 am

    i appreciate your efforts but like bruno said. featuring some girls with natural hair and different skin ton would be nice.

    • newbie

      August 3, 2014 at 1:35 pm

      You people nowwwww! Can’t this just be what it says on the tin – about shades (of skin colour)? Do we have to drag the hair brouhaha into everything? I do agree though that even with the limited number of models in the shoot, they could have been more diverse in their representation of different shades. I didn’t see any of my yellow pawpaw sisters, nor did I see any alek-wekky shades. Like someone said above, probably the lighting or the editing caused them all to look samey.

  20. nene

    August 2, 2014 at 3:14 am

    i liked beverly’s article more than this campaign. taiwo ajai lycett looks good for her age. munachi looks much older and weird, please drop that ugly blond wig.

  21. Es

    August 2, 2014 at 5:35 am

    You can always change your weaves, afro, cut your hair, grow it back or take off your make-up and put it back on. What you can never do is put back the Melanin which is stripped from your skin when you bleach. Scientists haven’t figured that one out yet; if they have, please educate us.

    • benny

      August 2, 2014 at 8:53 am

      In essence, ur defence is that African women should feel free to do less extreme things to feel European or be more acceptable right? Weaves and the likes is another sign of this self hate u speak of; u do realise that right?

    • Dora the explorer

      August 2, 2014 at 6:36 pm

      You know why people that bleach need to keep it up? It’s because of the melanin in your skin will always fight its way back up hence the continuous use of the chemicals. Scientist need no research to figure out how to get the melanin back to your skin and oh tanning also helps!

  22. benny

    August 2, 2014 at 8:49 am

    Bruno is right though. When bleach shaming people that according to u have low “self esteem” and do not like their “africanness”, we should promote the wholly African message. Of what use is Miss Beverley’s msg when they are out here with all shades of European hair and the rest. While less extreme, these layers of weaves represent the same thing as bleaching; u may want to go all out and be defensive because u want to maintain ur self righteous stand but it is the plain truth. If we are going to do this movement we should go all out if not, it is continually going to look like u r nursing deep seeded resentment against lighter skinned girls; bleaching or not; this in itself is a problem that will someday need to be addressed.

  23. juel king

    August 2, 2014 at 8:55 am

    Dis one na ladies talk….I reserv my comments

  24. benny

    August 2, 2014 at 9:06 am

    I visit FashionBombDaily quite often. There is this segment called “Fashion Bombshell” where people send in entries of what they wear. Similar to Bella Naija’s “mystyle” and iv noticed a rather disturbing trend. Most times when a light skinned girl submits, she is bashed. The last one was from thursday’s submission. This girl was called “Thot” (That h* over there) by a lot of ppl and she was wearing outfits a lot of young ladies consider fashionable. Yday’s submission was from a dark skinned girl and people were like “yasssssss”, “bombshell” and lawddd knows her idea of fashion wasnt all that.
    This article indeed states that there isn’t one way to be black. Allow people to breath please. There isn’t really one way to be black. Bleaching isn’t a black plague; check in with the indians, japanese,Chinese, arabs etc.
    Anyway, this wasn’t sister Linda Ejiofor’s complexion when she first showed up on Tinsel so I can relax and say this is probably not another bleach shaming post.

  25. Kina

    August 2, 2014 at 9:11 am

    This is a great concept. worth promoting self esteem especially in this bleaching fantastic era.

  26. Beverly Naya

    August 2, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    Thanks for the lovely words of encouragement and the criticism everybody, much appreciated. Like I said in my write up, the plan is to empower as many young girls as possible, that could never happen in one day. Hence I also said “this is just the beginning” (an introduction).
    In regards to bleaching, there is absolutely nothing ‘self righteous’ about the campaign. I have no intentions of bashing people who bleach as that isn’t my focus! If bleaching is ever mentioned in this campaign, it would be to enlighten people on the risks and dangers, not to belittle or humiliate. How would that be uplifting?

    A movement does not happen over night, it takes time.

    If a need arises in me to encourage young girls to love their black skin (NO MATTER THEIR COMPLEXION) then in what way is that self righteous?
    Loving one’s self should come from within, there is power and wisdom in teaching the next generation that, for they are the future of tomorrow.

    Spotted a comment that said something about hair and nails. Still wondering what that has to do with loving one’s complexion, but ok.

    As for the person who suggested doing a shoot using people with natural hair, thanks for the suggestion. Again, this is just the beginning so I’ll look into it. However, I’d be lying to myself if I focused solely on people with natural hair because my hair is always in a weave, braids or I cut it! Maybe someone who is more passionate about natural hair could focus on that.

    Please also note that three out of the eight females had their natural hair out and two others had braids for the shoot.

    Thanks again for the feedback guys and God bless!

    #FiftyShadesOfBlack
    #BlackIsBeautiful
    #SelfLove
    #Unity

  27. David Nwachukwu

    August 2, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    Gurrrrl I love you so much for your realness, inner and outer beauty. It takes confidence and maturity to take criticism in good stride. Well done dear.

  28. ama

    August 2, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    this campaign is very hypocritical.. i say so because most of these ladies have toned,bleached and altered there skin color . i know Beverly used to be darker than this, even dakore was darker. how do u expect people to take u seriously

  29. Save Naija!

    August 2, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    Walahi! Nigerians!!!! We love to criticize though!! Wow. Anyway, what I would say is, “criticize all you want, but at the same time, try to encourage as well”. I believe that doing that will make us get better, and Nigeria will be better for it. The message here is clear, and we all know it, so I say, soldier on Beverly Naya and the rest of the crew, this is an absolutely important and wonderful initiative for our young women/girls, but just as someone pointed out, please consider a more variety of women in your next campaign.

  30. Adelaide

    August 2, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    Inspiring though Muna is a natural team light skin. However I think regular people should be used too so it is not just a celeb thing

  31. Oma

    August 2, 2014 at 11:36 pm

    I love this campaign but I don’t understand what MUNA is doing here? I know she’s always been light skinned but something happened and she became “whiter” and Beverly Naya is talking about loving one’s natural skin? It doesn’t just correlate

  32. Oma

    August 2, 2014 at 11:37 pm

    P:S I’m not trying to judge anyone, that was my observation. Thank You

  33. Festus Ajakaiye

    August 3, 2014 at 9:42 pm

    Taiwo A Lycet does not look her age could she tell us d secret she’s really beautiful. Wao!

  34. dudu

    August 4, 2014 at 10:28 am

    Except for Taiwo Lycett, I would describe these ladies as chocolatey to light complexioned women, if they are talking about black, give me Lupita’s black before other shades, then I would know Bev is serious about the theme she’s creating.

  35. sum1special

    August 4, 2014 at 10:38 am

    Someone in their midst is bleached oh. If i hear

  36. Jhennique

    August 4, 2014 at 11:11 am

    Muna. Apart from being an ex beauty queen, what does she do again? someone please remind me…………iv forgotten.

  37. Omo1

    August 4, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    Fifty shades of Grey..Fifty Shades of Black..waiting for the time when Nigerians don’t have to copy in every way..

  38. portia

    August 4, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    Ask again!!!

  39. yemzee

    August 4, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    Someone is missing here ooooo. Isio where were you when they were shortlisting or casting for this campaign? like seriously remove Munachi and replace with Isio Wanogho. My 2kobo though!

  40. sugarychicalert

    August 8, 2014 at 6:58 pm

    so this article that she dubbed has given her CHIEFTANCY TITLE….PHILANTROPIST

  41. sugarychicalert

    August 8, 2014 at 7:04 pm

    Toh! maybe i dont know her well enough pls enlighten me on how she has PHILANTROPED or has been PHILANTROPING ( choose one )

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