Follow Vogue Arabia

Iman Cosmetics Has Been Promoting Diversity Since its Launch in 1994

Photo credit: Getty Images

Uplifting people of color was never a trend for the Iman.

The #PullUpOrShutUp challenge started by Uoma Beauty founder Sharon Chuter has pushed brands to be more transparent about the lack of diversity on their corporate teams. Seeing the dearth of black people on staff at many well-known companies is frankly disappointing, but there are also plenty of brands that have been committed to serving and uplifting the Black community since day one to support. On June 10, Iman Cosmetics shared its team demographics (100 percent women, 85 percent Black) along with a statement from its founder, Iman Abdulmajid, about what this support for the community has looked like since she started the brand in 1994.

The supermodel uploaded a video to her Instagram account showing various campaign images from her cosmetics line featuring women of color. She starts the caption by quoting herself: “If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, let the beholder be you.”

In the caption, Abdulmajid also recalls some moments of discrimination she’s experienced during her modeling career. It was common for makeup artists to ask if she brought her own foundation because they didn’t carry her color.

Creating a diverse range of foundation shades was important to Iman, but it was deeper than that — it was about affirming Black women’s worth and beauty. She writes, “It was appealing to a deep psychological need that I think all Black women needed at that time: To be told that they were beautiful, invited to sit at the table, and courted in high style: women of all skin tones want to look good when they rule the world.”

Sadly, the issues Iman suffered during her early modeling days still continue widely today. In 2018, Duckie Thot shared with Es, The London Evening Standard’s Magazine, that she brings her own foundation to shoots. As Aimee Simeon reported for Refinery29, Black models were still having to fix their own makeup backstage at Fashion Week in 2020.

While we can only hope that the #PullUpOrShutUp initiative provides a tangible change in the beauty industry, it’s important to support those who have always been about it. To follow brands responses to the #PullUpOrShutUp challenge, check out the Instagram account Chuter created to track them all.

Read Next: ModBeautyKeeper Pledges 100% Sales in June to #BlackLivesMatter

Originally published on

View All
Vogue Collection