Aamito Lagum — the Model From That Mac Photo — on Embracing Her Natural Lips

It’s easy to say that most of us are obsessed with this newly “buxom lip” trend thanks to Instagram models and celebrities showcasing their new significantly fuller lips online.

But plenty of women are born with naturally full lips — and sadly, they’re often mocked for it. And often, the meanness is racially motivated.

We saw an example of this when MAC Cosmetics posted a close-up Instagram photo of model Aamito Lagum’s full lips. The photo ignited countless offensive and racist comments toward the Ugandan beauty.

What makes it acceptable to bully, degrade, and criticize someone for being born with very same naturally formed features we choose to obsess over when they’re artificial? Why are women of color being mocked for having voluptuous features, during a time when more people than ever are choosing to artificially enhance their own features?

There’s no better person to shed wisdom and light on this matter than Aamito Lagum herself, so we asked her about it.

Your modeling career took flight with you winning the first season of Africa’s Next Top Model. How has your life as a model changed since?

It all came so fast, yet I am so happy to be doing what I am doing while taking things a day at a time. [There are] extra hours and long nights of work, but gladly my preparation guided me for what was coming. My decisions to go against the odds paid off. So how has my life changed? I will answer that curtly: it has changed for the better.

What is “self love” to you and how does it play a role in your daily life?

Self love for me sort of underpins every positive experience in my life. It helps me appreciate more and gives me positive perspective in every unfortunate situation. I can cope with adversity easier and truly give gratitude to the good times.

How do you embrace your natural full lips?

This has everything to do with self love and embracing myself. I love everything about me! The thing is I am not shy, I am very confident in myself and I am not afraid to show off my lips by dressing them in color. I am happy they are shaped this way. I would not be me without them. 

Have you always embraced your lips with confidence?

No! Not my lips in particular, but my overall body image. When I was younger, like in high school, I would get bullied due to my height and deep skin. In Uganda we have tribes and I was often bullied because of the tribe I was a part of too. During that time I was a bit insecure as to who I was until I decided to change that. I declared that I would begin loving and respecting myself even when others did not show me love or respect. I am quite confident seeing that come strong and confident surroundings like my family. My family has always been supportive of me and my passions and dreams. I know how people and the industry has a way of putting beauty in a box. Imagine if we all looked identical and possessed the exact same features. How boring would that be.           

What lip colors/products do you enjoy using to maintain your luscious lips?

I love lip pencils from Mac Cosmetics  like Nightmoth and Vino. I am also into the Nars lip colors Liv, Volga, and Train Bleu.

What advice do you have for girls and women who are dealing with body image insecurities? 

Surround yourself around positive loving people. Know that someone’s opinion about you is invalid, unless you give power to it and accept it. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. If you truly accept and know yourself you would never let someone tell you otherwise. You are here to share your light, and simply be the brilliant and unique individual that you are.

Photo courtesy of Shane Suban @shanephoto

Gimme More POP

Do You Like?

Some things are only found on Facebook. Don't miss out.