By  on September 16, 2005

NEW YORK — Iman stood alongside Mayor Bloomberg at City Hall here last week as he declared Oct. 15 New York City's official "Beauty of Color Celebration Day." The proclamation kicked off Iman's 10-city tour to promote her new book, "The Beauty of Color: The Ultimate Beauty Guide for Skin of Color," due in bookstores Oct. 11.

October through November, during each stop of Iman's tour, the mayor of each city — namely Washington; Memphis; Atlanta; Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; Miami; Houston; Dallas; Detroit; Chicago, and Los Angeles — also will proclaim a "Beauty of Color Celebration Day." The tour, true to the contents of the book, will include makeovers during book signings.

The idea behind the initiative is to spark a national dialogue among women that encourages them to celebrate their individual features, explained Iman.

"We really have to acknowledge our beauty before anyone else will," said Iman.

Iman, who celebrated the 10th anniversary of her cosmetics company last year, bills "The Beauty of Color" as the first beauty and makeup book to truly address skin tones across the color spectrum — a philosophy that also underpins Iman Cosmetics. Early on in Iman's modeling career, she began mixing foundations to match her skin tone after makeup artists continually asked, "Did you bring your own foundation?" In 1994, she created a makeup line specifically to meet the needs of women with skin color (Iman notes that terms such as "ethnic" and "women of color" are outdated).

Iman threads words of empowerment and self-acceptance throughout the book, which is brimming with photographs of women from around the world, makeup tips and insights from beauty icons such as Naomi Campbell, Venus and Serena Williams, Eva Mendes, Kimora Lee Simmons and Alicia Keys.

The book's forward is written by Salma Hayek, who wrote, "People often say that ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder,' and I say that the most liberating thing about beauty is realizing that you are the beholder."

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