For the month of February I am going to feature my series on the African American mannequins that Rootstein produced.

This is Irene Major who was released in Drama Diva series in 2005. Irene is from Cameroon and there are 3 reasons why she is a departure from the usual crop of Rootstein Mannequins.

First she was not a significant runway or editorial model in the way that 80% of the female mannequins that Rootstein selected were.

Secondly, she along with Margaret Tapping and Mounia were very dark brown in skin tone. Usually Rootstein favored very light brown to very fair skinned African American mannequins

Lastly, Irene’s facial features are very prominently African – full lips, broad nose. Rootstein – like the fashion industry in general – doesn’t give models who look like this a lot of opportunities.

I wonder if her experience as a dark skin model impacted her decision to use skin lightening creams to dramatic lightening her skin as you can see in the photos of her now.

Irene says in the attached interview the lightening the skin is no different than changing your hair color (or hair texture it seems by the wigs she is wearing).

Somehow changing one’s skin color doesn’t seem in the same league as changing one’s hair color. But I’ll leave it up to you to decide. I just want to provide the facts and minimize my opinions about the issue.

Here is the interview:

If you want to buy a Rootstein mannequin, we frequently have used ones for sale here. You can also sign up to receive an email the next time we get more used Rootstein mannequins in stock or follow us on Facebook.


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