In 2019, British Nigerian actress, Beverly Naya wrote and produced a documentary called Skin. Directed by Daniel Effiong, the documentary Skin is a documentary about exploring through the meaning of beauty in all the different shades of black. On May 28th, 2020, the documentary came to Netflix Nigeria, and is already number 5 on Netflix Nigeria. We caught up on the documentary and below are our thoughts on it.
Black doesn’t always have to be strong.
Self-love is always easier said than done.
Everyone says “love yourself” but how do you do that if you’re constantly called ugly? Perhaps the answer will be explored in another documentary.
Skin color shouldn’t be tied to demand and supply.
The idea that you should love your skin because it might be in demand soon seems strange. If it never becomes “in demand,” what then?
Someone finally said it.
It’s easier to be black and confident when you have the money. Colorism is one thing, classism is another and the interviewer, Beverly Naya doesn’t seem to recognize this.
So much ambiguity here.
Did she bleach because she felt unattractive as Idris, hated her skin, wanted to escape poverty, or because she wanted to give people something to talk about? Which is it?
We don’t know what we’re supposed to feel for her.
She goes from being bubbly and proud of her bleaching to regretting it. Are you glad you did it or not? Which is it?
Here’s an angle that should be explored.
People bleach just to get a spouse and then go back to their original skin colors? We’re very interested in how exactly that plays out and how said partner reacts to it.
Is this the right question to ask?
Perhaps the question here shouldn’t be “what if you meet a man that wants you to stop bleaching” perhaps it should simply explore why your worth is tied to a man in the first place.
Different approaches for different folks.
The somewhat lower classed people are questioned with pity while others are approached with curiosity and not pity. We don’t even get their names. The interviewer is unknowingly showing classism, which is another factor of colorism.
Does bleaching only affect women?
We didn’t quite delve into how dark skin men see themselves and their experiences with colorism.
What do passports have to do with this?
If the dark-skinned actresses are talking about the setbacks they face because they aren’t “light enough” shouldn’t the light-skinned actresses be talking about the privileges they receive ( or do not receive) so we can get a full perspective of the industry?
Are there statistics to back this up?
Perhaps we should reach out to these producers who seem to prefer light-skinned people and find out why. If they’re claiming that dark-skinned people can’t “carry” a movie, are there box office statistics to back that up?
Again, we don’t know what to feel here.
Should we be empathizing with her for getting so many opportunities in and out of the country?
Did she just realize this?
So she was fine with other people being misled by her products but not her daughter?
What a plot twist.
We have no idea how we went from talking about bleaching to talking about pictures. A heartwarming capture of three generations of women but ultimately sticks out of the rest of the documentary like a sore thumb.
Beverly Naya’s Skin starts off really well but gets lost along the way with a lot of cohesiveness and irrelevant points while avoiding real depth. Nontheless, it is an interesting watch and kudos to Beverly and her team for shading some light on this topic.