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Actress Beverly Naya Explores The effects of discrimination of Skin Colour in New Documentary “SKIN”

In many parts of Africa, women with lighter skin are thought to be more beautiful and likely to find more success than women of darker skin tones. Often this barrier leads to women turning to skin lightening treatments, many of which are harmful to the body.

Historically, the cause of skin lightening goes back to colonialism, where individuals with lighter skin received greater privilege than those of darker tones. This built a racial hierarchy and color ranking within colonized African nations, leaving psychological effects on many of the darker skinned individuals

Colorism affects both women and men in African countries, but it has taken hold of the beauty standards associated with a woman’s ability to find success and marriage. The number of women across African countries using bleaching products have gone up with 77% of Nigerian women, 52% of Senegalese women, and 25% of Mali women using lightening products.

Watch the trailer here:



Skin is a feature documentary about exploring through identity the meaning of beauty in all the different shades of black. It is set in present day Lagos, where Nollywood actress Beverly Naya goes on a journey to learn about contrasting perceptions of beauty. She speaks to school children, traders, artists, beauty entrepreneurs and sex workers. This narrative is interwoven by poignant personal accounts of individuals who have dealt with the pressure to conform to certain standards of beauty, revealing how colourism continues to shape the face of the entertainment industry in Africa. Beverly concludes her journey with a trip to her hometown exploring her rich cultural heritage with her mother and grandmother. Between them, we have three generations of beautiful black women who through sheer hard work and self-love have built useful businesses, laying a solid legacy for her and many like her to build upon.

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