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Cynthia Gitonga Melanin Awards

Source: MadameNoire / HelloBeautiful

You may recognize Cynthia Gitonga as one of our gorgeous red carpet reporters or from her impressive Grace Jones costume this Halloween. The stunning beauty, whose rich mahogany skin looks as smooth as cocoa butter, is the beauty behind our 2022 Melanin Awards imagery.

The MMG model started modeling “seriously” six years ago and in that time has booked campaigns with L’Oreal Dermologica, FENTY, Mac, Lancome, Bobbi Brown, Ulta Beauty, Sephora, Olay Commercials, KKW Beauty, and most recently, our very own Melanin Awards.

HelloBeautiful:  What did you love most about being our 2022 Melanin Awards model?

Cynthia Gitonga: What I loved the most about working with the Melanin awards was being able to work with a group of women of color! Creating spaces like this is so important, especially for the models. I felt so comfortable knowing my hair and makeup wouldn’t be a 20-minute debate just to still come out ashy or discolored. I sat down with confidence in makeup and hair knowing the artists were going to have me right.

HB: What inspired you to do the big chop and how did it help your career blossom?

CG: During the pandemic, I moved to Los Angeles, and because I was so new there, it wasn’t as easy to navigate. I decided to take my weave out and do the natural thing. I had been wearing weaves for years and I mean years lol so my hair was severely damaged, and that’s when I decided to cut it. A few of my friends had short hair at the time so it made my journey of getting to know my hair and myself much easier. With shorter hair or even just natural hair, I’ve never felt so secure in my beauty. It’s one thing when people tell you, but it’s a completely different experience when you look at yourself in the mirror with everything stripped of you like makeup and hair, and you’re still able to see the undeniable beauty of your natural Black self. It’s super empowering.

HB: How has your experience been in the modeling industry as a dark skin model?

CG: Working as a dark skin model has been a blessing because there are so many little Black girls who need to see women like me so they know their dreams are possible.

HB: What does your melanin say about you?

CG: My melanin says to me that it is pure. My melanin is coveted by many making it very intimidating or powerful, yet it’s very delicate and sacred. My melanin is a direct indication my ancestors are here with me, it’s beautiful.

Tap into the Melanin Awards, here. And be sure to check out our Melanin Awards cover starring La La Anthony, who’s Inala brand is spotlighted with the “Newbie” award.

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