This Nigerian Model Turned Her Tribal Scars Into A Beauty Movement

Nigerian-based model Adetutu Oluwabusayomi Alabi, also known as Adetutu OJ, has found a way to turn pain into beauty.

Her Nigerian father made all of his children go through tribal mark ceremonies. This tradition is something that was passed down through his family before the children’s naming ceremonies.

"It was an in-thing for my father’s family so they give it to all their children. I was given them as an infant. I also witnessed a few because I have siblings...
...I asked my dad why we are given the tribal marks, he said it’s a means of beautification and identification in Yoruba tribe.”

As a young girl, having the marks on her face made her feel like an outcast. She was constantly teased by her peers while in primary and secondary school.

“It really affected my self-esteem. It was really bad and made me decide not to further school and just learn a skill.”

The teasing took a new height when a classmate made the suggestion that she use sandpaper to get rid of the marks. Not realizing she was being bullied Adetutu actually attempted the suggestion.

After joining social media in 2010, she began to form a sort of e-army of friends that came to her defense as far as her appearance.

There were still many who didn’t understand the significance of her scars & made rude comments, but her army always rallied behind her.

Her dream was to one day become a model.

My e-army told me to keep posting my face often & I started writing about my dreams to be a model. I didn’t think it would work because of my tribal marks. 

They told me it was possible, and in 2017 I got my first modeling gig to be a muse for a photographer. 

Since that shoot, Adetutu OJ has landed many other modeling gigs as well. The thing that made her look go viral was her posting about her dream to one day model for Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty.

This caught Rih’s attention and she ended up following Adetutu OJ.

To hear more about Adetutu Oluwabusayomi Alabi's journey, click below!