Irene Major Malin is a former Cameroonian model who walked the runway in Cameroon and Paris before the meeting and getting married to Canadian oil tycoon, Sam Malin. After getting married, Irene and Sam remained in France for a couple of years before moving to London. His husband, Sam Malin is the founder the oil company known as Madagascar Oil.
While Irene Major was not so popular during her modelling career, the ex-model now a British citizen got a lot of attention last year. The mother of five, who was one of the contestants at the 2014 edition of X-Factor UK appeared on the scene with a bleached skin that caused a lot of controversy around her and skin lightening.
Irene who contested at last year’s X-Factor UK with her sister, Elsa Major, has used skin lightening creams to drastically alter her skin tone from dark to very pale colour. On why she altered her appearance, the millionaire wife live in an Abbey in Kent with her husband and their five children said she did so because “she feels prettier” in a lighter skin tone.
Defending her drastic skin lightening and her new skin tone in an article by the Daily Mail UK that was entitled: “The women who’ll do anything to have whiter skin,” Irene said: “When my skin is lighter, I just feel prettier”.
She continued, “It’s a taboo subject, and people get judgmental about it, but that’s how I feel…A skin-lightening regime has been part of my life practically since birth. There are many different types of African skin — from dark charcoal to a lighter version — and you grow up knowing that the lighter ladies are the prettier ones. It’s just a fact. Just look at all the pop stars whose skin has got so much lighter over the years. Many celebrities do it. We’re just turning a blind eye to it.”
Even though Irene was dark when she met and married her successful oil tycoon husband over 17 years ago, the extremely bleached former model told the Daily Mail, the reason she lightened her skin is because successful African men go for light skin women.
“Being lighter shows you belong to a different place on the social ladder. All the rich, successful black African men marry either a white or a very light-skinned girl because they too grew up thinking that the lighter is the most pretty. It doesn’t matter how dark a man is, of course — the pressure is all on women,” she said.