Monday 21 December 2015

Black is beautiful. Bleached is...?

Black and Proud

Dark and Lovely

Black is beautiful

Despite these popular phrases, it seems though that yellow/white is the preferred colour.  What I’ve never been sure of is if this preference is real or imagined.  Do men actually prefer light skinned women or light skinned women think they do? I know men bleach, in fact the number seems to be growing, all you need do is watch a certain TV station and you’ll see loads of them but for the purpose of this post, we’ll concentrate on women. Women in Nollywood actually. Why are women in Nollywood bleaching? Does the camera really prefer lighter skinned women or is it the men behind the camera who do? Technically, my friend who is a cinematographer insists that the camera prefers lighter skinned people. Perhaps. Considering that yellow or white(up to you) is a brighter colour but do the audience really care? In the grand scheme of things, does skin colour help or deter you from achieving stardom in Nollywood?
Let’s think about it for a bit. How many light skinned top rated actresses do we really have? Let’s work with the earlier generation Nollywood.
There’s Omotola Ekeinde
Rita Dominic
Tonto Dike
Ngozi Ezeonu
Monalisa Chinda
Rachel Oniga
Eucharia Anunobi
Ngozi Nwosu
Stella Damasus.
 Now let’s think about the dark ones. There’s Genevieve Nnaji
Ini Edo
Mercy Johnson
Patience Ozorkwo
Uche Jombo
Nse Ikpe Etim
Dakore Akande
Funke Akindele
Liz Benson
Chika Ike
Kate Henshaw
Stephanie Okereke
Chioma Akpotha
It looks to me like the darks have it. This is my argument each time I meet young bleached actresses who insist they did it to stand a better chance in the industry. Lie. You did it for yourself. You bleached because you wanted to bleach.
Maybe light skinned is more attractive, maybe some producers/directors will cast you because you’re light skinned and you’ll pop out on the screen but you cannot sustain a career based on that.
Without the accompanying skills and talent, as one of the marketers likes to say, you'll be headed back to the village.
P.S This is an inconclusive list, feel free to add your own names.