By Anne Branigin
In most cases, being named a L’Oréal Paris spokesperson would be quite the glow-up for the honoree—the French cosmetics company has built up an impressive and diverse roster of celebrities to represent it over the years. But take a casual glance through the resume of Jaha Dukureh, a prominent women’s rights activist who was recently named L’Oréal’s newest international ambassador, and one thing becomes quite clear: she makes L’Oréal look great.
Dukureh was just 24 when she launched the nonprofit, Safe Hands for Girls, which works to end female genital mutilation (FGM) and child marriages, as well as provide support to victims of both practices. Dukureh herself endured FGM, and was placed into an arranged marriage at the age of 15 before dissolving the partnership two years later.
The Gambian activist has been named a U.N. Women Regional Goodwill Ambassador for Africa, and in 2016, landed a spot on Time’s Most Influential People list. She followed up that in 2018 with a whole Nobel Peace Prize nomination.
The 31-year-old Dukureh has also received L’Oréal Paris’ Women of Worth award. She’s not only the most prominent activist to be named a spokesperson for the brand, but the first one to hold that title in an international capacity, reports ABC News.
The beauty brand broke the news about the partnership in an Instagram post on Wednesday.
“Very proud to welcome our newest spokesperson, @jahaendfgm, to the #LOrealParisFamily,” L’Oréal Paris captioned in a photo of Dukureh. “Honoree for the Women of Worth Award and nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, Jaha is a fearless activist, fighting to end female genital mutilations.”
Dukureh shared the photo on her own Instagram, acknowledging her years-long relationship with the brand.
“My journey so far has been incredible but even I couldn’t believe this dream will ever become a reality and today it has,” she said. “I am grateful for the opportunity and I want the young women following me here to know that this is attainable for them.”
She added that she was still “in shock” over the announcement.