While the modeling industry is not the easiest place for a curve model of color, things are arguably looking up. Philomena Kwao just landed herself a spot in the 2016 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue via swimsuitsforall's #SwimSexy ad. The 25-year old London-born Ghanaian model is pushing for diversity in the industry through the #SwimSexy campaign alongside 56-year-old model Nicola Griffin and body activist and model Ashley Graham. While Kwao is in good company, she is a stand-out on her own. From her beautiful skin to her gorgeously high cheekbones, this babe is a force to be reckoned with. And, if this latest ad campaign says anything about her modeling abilities, I am sure we will be seeing much more of her in the near future.
In a recent interview about her swimsuitsforall ad, Kwao told Bustle's Amanda Richards, "The industry is getting better, though there is still a lot of work that needs to be done. It is positive to see more brands like swimsuitsforall that are addressing the issue of color diversity and including models of different races in their campaigns."
While the swimsuitsforall campaign is a huge leap for body positivity and diversity, it is also a very positive shift for Sports Illustrated. In celebration of her new ad campaign premiering in the Swimsuit Issue come Feb. 15, I’ve compiled some stunning photos of Kwao that are sure to make you love her even more.
1. Rocking A Bikini
It's pretty obvious from her latest ad campaign with swimsuitsforall, that Kwao can rock a bikini, especially this gold lamé one.
2. Model Behavior-ing
If you were unsure of Kwao's modeling abilities, look no further than this Grace Jones-esque photoshoot above. The girl's got talent!
3. A Girls' Girl
Kwao isn't just beautiful, she is also intelligent. While she revealed her passion for international healthcare in an interview with i-D, she is also an advocate for women's rights.
4. ThoseAmazing Cheekbones
OK, I know I've said it already, but her cheekbones are insane, and that face of hers is just downright gorgeous.
5. Mixing Up Her Look
From braids to natural curls to her signature shaved head, Kwao isn't afraid to change up her look.
6. Her Own Website
No, this is not your typical fan website. Kwao's site is a well thought-out blog that, as she puts it, gives "an insight into my thoughts and reflections," and it happens to cover a lot of body positive topics.
7. Crazy Good Style
Kwao's personal style is sophisticated and fresh. What more could you ask for?
8. Making A Change
Whether it's #SpinForNepal or educating people on #GlobalGoals, Kwao is using her successful modeling platform to make a difference in this world.
9. Being Proud Of Her Heritage
Kwao was born in London, but is of Ghanaian heritage, and is proud of her background as well as her beautiful skin, which she often writes about on her site, The Philes.
Kwao's passion for making a difference is inspiring, to say the least.
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