Hackney’s Ruby to help judge World Afro Day competition
- Credit: Kate Williams
A Hackney teenage campaigner will help judge a UK-wide afro hair competition to empower young people and celebrate World Afro Day in September.
Ruby Williams, 18, will be judging The World Afro Day Top Ten Model Competition with others like Scottish supermodel Eunice Olumide and TV medic Dr Zoe Williams.
Ruby received an out of court settlement in February this year after her family took legal action against The Urswick School in Hackney following a dispute about her hair.
She told the Gazette: “I’m thankful that, for the generations following me, there are many initiatives now to help individuals accept and celebrate their own afro hair.
“This competition is a great example of that, and I’m proud to be part of it.”
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Young people aged six to 18, under parental supervision, are invited to send a clip sharing their afro hair story and why they should win.
The winners will be crowned “Top Ten Models” for World Afro Day and will receive coaching from professional models and judges Eunice Olumide and Celai West.
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They will feature in a celebratory film and get the chance to take part in a professional photoshoot.
Organisers hope the competition will help combat the stigma they see in the modelling industry, and society in general, towards afro hair.
Eunice Olumide said: “It is imperative for me to support initiatives aimed at not only inclusion and diversity but that unite us as one nation across social, economic or political divides. World Afro Day is an important opportunity to celebrate the beauty of culture through hair.”
The body positive competition has no height or size restrictions and is not about breaking into modelling. Instead, organisers say, it’s “a chance for ordinary people to feel empowered”.
The expert judging panel includes Aaron Wallace, who founded Britain’s first black male grooming brand, and celebrity photographer Misan Harriman.
Winners will be announced on World Afro Day on September 15.
To enter the competition and to find out more click here.