Tag: colorism

Lupita Nyong’o Speaks on Colorism and More Opportunities for People of Color

Lupita Nyong’o (Photo: Courtesy of Vogue)

article by Erica Schwiegershausen via nymag.com

In the October issue of Vogue, three-time cover girl Lupita Nyong’o talks about growing up in Nairobi, and her desire to see more African narratives represented in Hollywood and beyond. “I want to create opportunities for other people of color because I’m fortunate enough to have a platform to do that,” she said.

Recently, Nyong’o starred in “Eclipsed” on Broadway, playing a 15-year-old girl held captive by a rebel officer in Liberia. In her latest film, “Queen of Katwe,” she plays the mother of a Ugandan girl who becomes an international chess master. (The film opens next week.) And she’s also working on the forthcoming film adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s “Americanah“— a love story that centers around two Nigerians.

“Being able to use my platform to expand and diversify the African voice … I feel very passionate about that. It feels intentional, meaningful,” Nyong’o said.  She was drawn to “Queen of Katwe,” she said, because it was “based on a true story, an uplifting story out of Africa.”  Nyong’o also reflected — not for the first time — on the significance of seeing darker-skinned women represented and celebrated as beautiful.

Alek Wek changed how dark people saw themselves,” she said. “That I could do the same in a way for somebody somewhere is amazing.” She added, “The European sense of beauty affects us all. I came home from college in the early two-thousands and saw ads on TV with a girl who can’t get a job. She uses this product. She gets her skin lighter. She gets the job. The lording of lighter skin is a common thing growing up in Nairobi. Being called ‘black mamba.’ The slow burn of recognizing something else is better than you.”

Working on the set of “Queen of Katwe,” Nyong’o said a young Ugandan-British woman came up to her and said: “I’ve never had so many people call me beautiful until you showed up. I get called to auditions I never would have been called to before. I know it’s because you exist.”

Source: Lupita Nyong’o Wants Opportunities for People of Color

LisaRaye McCoy Confronts Colorism, Pigmentocracy In Her Directorial Debut, “Skinned”

"Skinned" to air on TV One (photo via newsone.com)
Made-for-TV film”Skinned” about skin bleaching to air on TV One (photo via newsone.com)

This weekend, TV One will premiere LisaRaye McCoy‘s directorial debut with the made-for-TV film Skinnedwhich tackles a very sensitive topic within the African-American community.

Skinned confronts colorism, pigmentocracy, and the outbreak of skin bleaching, as well as the use of lightening creams amongst many individuals in America and around the world. 

According to Black Enterprise and the University of Cape Town, skin bleaching has ballooned into a $10 billion market and the long-term effects of bleaching one’s skin is currently unknown. Black Enterprise reports 35 percent of South African women bleach their skin, and 77 percent of Nigerian women bleach their skin.

LisaRaye McCoy talks about "Skinned" on NewsOne Now (photo via newsone.com)
Director LisaRaye McCoy talks about “Skinned” on NewsOne Now (photo via newsone.com)

On Friday, McCoy, best known for her roles in The Players Club, All of Us, Single Ladies and the TV One reality series The Real McCoy, joined Roland Martin on NewsOne Now to discuss the notion of colorism within the Black community through the muse of Skinned’s main character, Jolie.

Essence Magazine reports, “Jolie is a young woman who is uncomfortable with her complexion and begins to experiment with bleaching and lightening creams to alter her skin tone.”

When asked why she wanted to tackle the issue of colorism in her directorial debut, McCoy said Studio 11 Films asked her to direct the movie and once she read the script, the message behind it forced her to ask, “Why do they want a light-skinned woman to direct a dark-skinned project?”

McCoy explained the reason was controversy. She said, “Controversy now sells and I wanted to have all eyes on this epidemic, because not only is it happening in Africa and our Caribbean nations, but here in America too.”

During their conversation, McCoy mentioned the lightening of former MLB star Sammy Sosa and late King of Pop Michael Jackson as instances of skin bleaching’s prevalence in our society.

McCoy later added that skin bleaching “causes skin cancer, yet it is an over-the-counter drug.”

Psychologist Dr. Kevin Washington, a board member of The Association of Black Psychologists, also joined Martin to discuss the epidemic. He said people of color have been “indoctrinated into a system of European superiority.”

“Anything that is associated with the dominate group becomes desirable,” said Dr. Washington. Adding, “Even in Cote d’Ivoire — just in May — they’ve banned skin bleaching for the purpose of health and racial identity.”

According to Washington, skin lightening “is not just a Black issue.” Dr. Washington said, “The idea of pigmentocracy takes over as a result of a hierarchy that is ascribed to the features associated with Whiteness in this country and globally.”

Watch Roland Martin, LisaRaye McCoy, and Dr. Kevin Washington discuss colorism, pigmentocracy, self-esteem, and Skinned, which premieres Saturday night at 8PM ET on TV One.

article via newsone.com