From working at Six Flags to walking the runways as a Victoria’s Secret Angel, Selita Ebanks has experienced much of the fashion industry’s expectations for women of color. And it’s because of her experiences that she’s speaking and writing about colorism and skin bleaching. Ebanks is also trying to educate women about skin-bleaching products, hoping to help steer them in the direction of natural beauty through “The Good Look,” her beauty brand and media platform.
Ebanks says that she actually didn’t have insecurities about her looks when she was growing up as a girl of color, but the modeling world changed that. In her early modeling days, Ebanks says she was often placed in work environments where other models viewed her as a threat to their success. But it wasn’t until she went to work for Victoria’s Secret as the “new black girl” that she began to have struggles with anxiety and depression as she came face-to-face with so many negative ideals as tokenism, sizeism, and colorism.
Even though Ebanks was living a glamorous life, she says that it was also “a very dark time” for her. It’s her hope that she can help women embrace their natural look, without using skin-bleaching products that are so unsafe.