Devyn Abdullah has had a change of heart, or should I say words. On the heels of her win on  ”The Face”, Devyn spoke to Style Blazer, to clear up the recent comments about wanting to be considered an “international” model, instead of a black model, as well as the main motivation in her life.

The Face’ Winner Devyn Clears Up “I’m Not A Black Girl Model” Comment - Clutch MagazineSB: I know recently you caught a lot of heat when you said you didn’t consider yourself a black model. Do you think that comment was taken out of context and do you want to clear it up?

Devyn: “I’ve been waiting for the moment to address this.  I can understand how someone can take it out of context, and how someone could misinterpret it. I definitely want to apologize because I didn’t want to offend anybody in any type of way. But that’s not where the core of, you know, where my answer was. My answer was basically saying being a model doesn’t have to do with your race. And I mean, look at Naomi [Campbell], she’s one of the coaches! And it really has to do with being an inner woman. It really has to do with playing this role. Like being a model, it’s a talent. You’re supposed to adjust to your clients that you get. It’s sad that people took it that way and I can understand. Some people took it as offense like, oh, she’s light skinned so she thinks she’s better. Or she just doesn’t think that’s she’s black. And I’m clearly I’m a black woman. It’s very clear… And it actually really hurt. It was really offensive, especially on Team Karolina, there were only two black girls left. All I can say is that I’m sorry if I offended somebody but that’s not what I meant whatsoever. It’s clear that I’m a black woman. Me not embracing the fact that I’m a black woman would be a disgrace to my mother and my daughter. And that’s where I came from and that’s what I produce. So that’s something I would never… I mean, it doesn’t make any sense.”

SB: You worked so hard, and we know that your daughter is your motivation. She’s a little too young to understand the magnitude of you winning. But when she’s older, how would you sum up this experience for her?

Devyn: “It’s as easy as taking all the tapes I’ve recorded of The Face, and popping it in and letting her see it for herself. Because actions speak louder than words. She’ll see it, and that’s all that matters to me. My dedication, what I’ve done. I’m still mommy no matter what. Whether I’m the face of this brand or the next brand, or whether I’m working a 9 to 5, I’m still going to be mommy.”

As the new face of Ulta, Devyn realizes being able to get a foot in the door, will prepare her for a future career as a businesswoman as well.

“It’s me getting my foot in the door of the modeling industry, and I’m really excited about it. I want people to love me for me, to be attracted to me for my story and where I come from and to recognize me as a businesswoman. It’s amazing,” Devyn told Time. “Being a single mother, working four jobs before I did this show—any single mother can relate to how hard that is. I was made to model and I was made to be a mother, so why not do just that? The Face definitely helped me with it.”

Congrats to Devyn on her win!

‘The Face’ Winner Devyn Clears Up “I’m Not A Black Girl Model” Comment

‘The Face’ Winner Devyn Clears Up “I’m Not A Black Girl Model” Comme


  • Sasha

    Awww she won, that’s awesome!!! That explanation seemed like a lot of backpedaling but the optimist in me will give her the benefit of the doubt and wish her great success!

  • Marketing Gimmicks

    Yeah. Whatevs. Good PR will wash over messiness. Just don’t speak that type of ignorance again. Congrats on your beauty win.

  • maya

    Bullshit. that’s not what came across at all. She said what she meant to say, no need to try to cover it up now-___-

  • LadyCoco

    I understand what she was trying to say, I just think it’s a little naive to think that the two don’t have anything to do with each other.
    The sad reality is, she can’t just be a model. She is a black model. When she goes to castings she is going as a black model. It would be wonderful to live in a world where she can be taken at face value just as a woman and a model but thats not the case. Declaring that you’re “not a black model” doesn’t change the reality that there are VERY few notable black people in the fashion industry and it’s still operating by the notion that “black doesn’t sell.”
    The fact that we can name all the top black models on like one and a half hands….. its just, sad.

  • Cheesy

    God she is so plain looking…and those buck teeth need to be fixed. As far as her “clearing up” her statement–bull*hit. She said she didn’t think of herself as black because she is “fair-skinned”. She mentioned her complexion to explain why she wasn’t black—a really big no-no. I am very disappointed with this choice.

  • Dedra Sneed Gomez

    I understands what she means. You identify yourself as a “black model” and you get type-cast where she’ll be a Newport cigarette model in Jet magazines. Why can’t she just be a “model”. White models don’t have to declare they are white, it’s obvious. Sometimes we are our own worst enemy. My daughter’s name is Devyn also…Congrats!

  • Pseudonym

    [keeps wallet in purse]

    Not buying it.

    That is not AT ALL what she said. What she said was “I am lighter skinned and, hence, have a more international look [than this darker-skinned black girl standing next to me].” In response to a question about what she has that the other contestant didn’t, she noted her lighter skin tone (which she interpreted to be more desirable and “international”) as what she felt set her apart from the other darker-skinned black contestant. She can take this PR speech and shove it.

  • Keshia

    I was very disappointed when she won, and I am having a very difficult time understanding her statement. Ehh whatever girl go be “international”

  • lili

    yeah im tryin to figure out the whole lightskinned thing which makes me thing she might be a little thinking she better for somehow having a certain skin tone. im yella, mariah cariah is light skinned, raven symone is lightskinned.Tamala mann is lightskinned, i mean she’s light skinned compared to naomi but what is all this colorstuck ish. #letitgo well anyway i dont know who she’s talkin too but congrats.

  • Dedra Sneed Gomez

    LOL…yeah, now I didn’t understand the light-skinned comment.That’s a whole new can of worms.

  • Bosslady

    Yes, I understand not just wanted to be classified as “the black girl” however, why did she need feel the need to say she’s light-skinned…Does that make her any less black??

  • Allie

    Right! It wasn’t just the darker-skinned girl next to her but the darker-skinned coach who is an INTERNATIONAL SUPERMODEL. How dare she even think that was ok to say, especially when a model who is known worldwide is around the corner.

  • jamesfrmphilly

    so why is ‘international’ better than black?

  • TajMarie

    Agree. Furthermore, no one calls him/herself “International”. As a graduate student in a PhD program, I have known students from other countries such as Cameroon, South Africa, Venezuela, China, and India. Although they were designated International Students based on their residency status, everyone identified him/herself by their country of origin. Furthermore, what is wrong with identifying oneself as being dark skin or brown skin. Why do some women “like Kelly Rowland” need to doll it up by calling their skin “chocolate”. I am brown skin or of a darker complexion depending on other people’s scale and have no qualms of being characterized as so. At the end of the day, I am more than my skin or hair as India Arie would say.

  • Treece

    I don’t think she is trying to denounce her Blackness, but she is trying distance herself from being “The Black Model” and in that industry, it is virtually impossible to do. I don’t care how “international” she believes she looks and I understand that she wasn’t trying to say “I’m not Black”. But, she is delusional if she believes that agencies, designers, and those offiliated with casting shows and photo shoots will look at her as something other than a Black model. Point blank period. I hope she gets a grip on reality before her feelings get hurt.

  • Nadell

    Her logic is hers to express.
    As I’ve said before, when there’s a fashion show and the casting director states that they only need 1 ‘black girl model’ she’ll understand and she’ll hope then that they don’t consider her as a “fair skinned” girl but as black only.

    And she won….

  • Shirl


  • heavenleiblu

    I don’t believe you, you need more people.

  • FK21

    Bullshet! Not buying that. She clearly meant what she said, she’s sorry she got caught.

    I find idiotic when people make these kind of “apologies”. Damn, just own up to it and sincerely apologize.

  • jenn dunn

    she apologized lets move on

  • ScriptTease

    Not sure if it’s all Ulta’s or certain ones, but the one in my area don’t carry black products, however they do carry products that some black folks can wear. Maybe they will now step up their game a little.

  • Gina Wild

    she’s one stubid pitch.

  • Beyonce’s Weave

    She is lying. She said she doesn’t consider herself black and she said she was “fair skinned” which made her international. Chile have a seat.

  • synthiarose

    This new answer helped not at all. First she said she’s fair-skinned and therefore “international” not black …now she’s saying a profession based on the superficial and the outer aesthetic is about the “inner woman” and therefore beyond race. Just stop answering this question.

  • shoSTOPPER

    she is not like skin nor does she look light skin- and she’s like rick ross- back peddling because she put her foot in her mouth

  • T.

    Unfortunately her “I’m fair-skinned, I have an international look” was probably reinforced by the fact that the Ulta rep on the show said, when announcing Devyn as the winner, that they liked her because she has “kind of an exotic look”. I still don’t see what’s so exotic about her.

    That being said, from the time I saw her on the show I thought she kind of reminded me a little bit of Solange Knowles and a little bit of Rihanna (so a look that’s very current right now), and I think she was the most photogenic of the contestants, so I’m not surprised at all that she won.

  • Blaque217

    Let me just start off by saying I disagree with what she said initially. She IS a BLACK model. Period.

    But I would have more respect for her if she stuck by what she originally said and not try to back out just because she is being called out.
    If she feels that because she is lighter that she doesn’t want to be looked at as a Black model, then she should own it! Stand by it! Sure, it would make her look like a self-hating moron, but at least be consistent.
    I hate it when someone says one thing, then apologizes and try to take it back because they can’t stand the heat.

  • Cocochanel31

    After recently having a conversation with a black man who denied that his ancestors came from Africa and to call him American and not African American I am no longer baffled by the level of self hatred that many of our people possess.

    This young lady STILL did not explain herself so maybe she is confused herself. I took her first statement as she wanted to be seen as a model – period, not just a black model. However, people misinterpreted her words, and she did not help matters by not being more clear.

    Offtopic- Is the premise of the show that you have to be a single mother? I saw that the other runnerup had two children as well and was a single mother. # justwondering

  • jenn dunn

    what is wrong with being called an american most of us were born and raised in america and have american values, most of us dont even know anything about African people or their values. most black people living in america are black americans

  • Ukweli

    There is nothing wrong with being called an American. And actually there is no such thing as American values. American values are Native American ones which have been suppressed of course (you know they loved nature and peace but America is not that today)
    So in the end everyone who came to America whether they are white or black have consciously or unconsciously carried values with them from their “motherlands.” You might be doing some African stuff and not even know it because it is inborne…even on a scientific level you have African genes and no such thing as “American” genes.
    So it’s odd for somebody to have pigeon genes and say no I am not a pigeon….just call me a bird. I know nothing about being a pigeon.
    Don’t believe all the lies the media shows you about Africa. Do your own research and respect and know your African ancestors. Even so called other American people take their time to search their roots, and are proud to claim their Irish, Swedish or whatever side and take the time to learn all they have no idea of. But we African Americans why are we so quick to put the AFRICANNNNNN grandmom in the closet??????

  • Nubiahbella

    She said it like she meant it on the show lol!

    Also I see the word light skinned is a very loose term.

    She’s not what I consider to be light-skinned also about her “international look” the most successful and well known Black women models are (by my standards) dark skinned and NOT ambiguous looking!

    Even if I wish her well, she doesn’t have anything special to be a Supermodel, she’s average at best (not in term of beauty, she’s of course beautiful).

  • ArabellaMichaela

    My thoughts exactly. The modeling world is all about the look of the moment. For black women, the look du jour happens to be Rihanna, Beyonce and Solange. Devyn owes her win to her resemblance to these three black women whose look is selling products right now. However, I’m sure Devyn doesn’t realize this.
    To me, she is average looking. I give her a few months before she turns up with a nose job.

  • Pema

    Her comment was stupid but I do think she was misunderstood.

  • Kemba1248

    I know her personally and she KNOWS where she came from and is proud of it!!!

    Just because she is black doesnt mean she has to wear it on her sleeve. Why is it every time a black person is in a position of power, they have to walk around saying “i’m black, look at me….”. We know she is black but there is so much more to a person than their color.

    She doesnt represent the entire black race just like J. Lo doesn’t represent the entire Puerto Rican community….

  • marston45

    It only takes one drop.

  • S.

    Am I the only person who thinks the outrage is slightly irrational?

    This controversy made me watch the series online and throughout the series she is CLEARLY aware that she’s Black. She calls herself “African American” and her seems to be proud of the fact.

    I agree with someone else who said she is naive and terribly inarticulate. I understood what she was trying to say the first time around but poor thang doesn’t realize it works like that.

    I think if there is a reason for outrage, then it’s because she listed her skin tone as something she has over the other Black girl. Now THAT was side-eye worthy

    She is beautiful tho. I’m surprised that she won though… I thought the Rashida Jones lookin’ white chick woulda won

  • Ms. Write

    I understand what she is trying to say, it just wasn’t articulated well. For example, a great athlete wouldn’t want to be remembered as a “Black athlete” just as a great athlete. To say someone is a great “Black athlete” would mean he is an exception to the rule, and that the assumed greatness is in white athletes. However unlike sports, there is one Black model to every 50 white models (probably more) so she really doesn’t have much of a leg to stand on with her statement. We are not in post-racial society and that is totally apparent in the modeling world. Wherever she goes, she will always be cast as a “Black Model” or “Ethnic” (whatever that means). Ask Chanel Iman.

  • Ms. Write

    After commenting on this article, I went back and looked at the original clip from The Face where she says her look is ” fair skinned” and therefore more “international” in comparison to Ebony, the other darker model on the show. Now I see why nobody takes her response seriously.

  • Allpeople Gifts


    The ONLY way that aspiring-model ‘Devyn’ could be
    seen as being racially-”Black” is via an adherence to
    the racist-’One-Drop Rule’ (an socially-constructed
    “rule” which was created by racial-supremacists
    in order to degrade BLACK lineage — and which
    was also and legally-banned in the U.S. in 1967).
    This means that any BLACK person who
    supports the black-lineage degrading’
    / racist-’One-Drop Rule’ either has no
    self-esteem, is insane or is an idiot.
    THERE IS absolutely NO SUCH THING AS A
    so-called ‘LIGHT-SKINNED BLACK’ person.

    The LINKS in the SIDEBAR of my YouTube
    CHANNEL explain this in greater detail.
    More people need to realize and accept the fact
    that THERE IS actually NO SUCH THING AS
    A so-called “LIGHT-SKINNED BLACK” person
    … but rather … such individuals and groups are
    actually people who are of a ‘Multi-Generational
    Multiracially-Mixed’ (MGM-Mixed) Lineage
    that some may have been pressured or
    encouraged to ignore or downplay.
    People of Mixed-Race lineage should NOT
    feel pressured to ‘identify’ according to
    any standards other than one’s own.
    The legal -application of the racist-’One-Drop Rule’
    (ODR) was banned in the U.S. way back in 1967.
    Listed below are related Links of ‘the facts’ of the histories
    of various Mixed-Race populations found within the U.S.:
    There is no proof that a ‘color-based slave hierarchy’
    (or that ‘color-based social-networks’) ever existed
    as common entities — within the continental U.S.
    It was the ‘Rule of Matriliny (ROM) —
    [a.k.a. 'The Rule of Partus' (ROP)] — and
    NOT the racist-’One-Drop Rule’ (ODR) —
    that was used to ‘create more enslaved
    people’ on the continental U.S.
    This is because the chattel-slavery system that was
    once found on the antebellum-era, continental U.S.
    was NOT “color-based” (i.e. “racial”) — but rather
    – it was actually “mother-based” (i.e. ‘matrilineal’).
    There were many ways (and not solely the sexual assault
    and sexual exploitation of the women-of-color) in which
    ‘white’ lineage entered the familial bloodlines of
    enslaved-people found on the continental U.S.
    An ‘Ethnic’ category is NOT the
    same thing as a “Race” category:
    Other Topics:

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