Skinned is a gripping new TV movie that is slated to debut tonight on TV One. Directed by Lisa Raye McCoy and Avery O. Williams, Skinned is about a dark-skinned girl who hates the skin she's in and believes that bleaching her skin to become lighter is the way to happiness.
TV One's dramatic new film is written by Clarice Kulah and Sharon Tomlinson and is based on a story by Lotten Yeaney. The cast of Skinned stars Jasmine Burke as Jolie, Lisa Raye McCoy as Mother, Brad James as Michael, Nicky Buggs as Nikki, Tasia Grant as Melissa, Kerri J. Baldwin as Aunt Mabel, Zeeky Minnis as Sophia, Cycerli Ash as Dr. Smith, and Queen Blessing Itua as Dr. Blessing.
The movie Skinned centers around Jolie, a young black woman who seeks a better life by making herself look like a lighter-skinned woman. What fuels Jolie is her dark past, caused by the constant teasing she endured by light-skinned bullies throughout elementary school and high school. Always being made to believe that dark skin is ugly, Jolie begins packing her face full of bleaching cream in order to whiten her skin, believing that this will increase her chances of landing the perfect job and even a chance at love with a handsome guy.
What she doesn't know is this particular whitening cream is full of dangerous chemicals that could lead to a terminal illness, such as skin cancer. TV One's Skinned is a movie that examines the deep-rooted cause of this line of thinking and the role family and society play in making this problem of skin bleaching skyrocket to epidemic proportions.
Actor and director Lisa Raye McCoy says she was inspired to make this movie after hearing about a skin cream called White-a-licious. We were unable to find such a cream, but the pronunciation could be a play on the cream called Whitenicious, a popular skin lotion by Dencia that she claims was designed to remove spots and blemishes. Dencia, a Nigerian and Cameroonian singer, came under fire about her product by critics who labeled it an abomination, according to the Daily Mail. The cream has been a huge success and sold out within 24 hours of Whitenicious hitting the market, according to Ebony. Dencia says that she doesn't mind the negative attention. Here is what she stated on Twitter.
"Every time a celeb or blog mentions Whitenicious, saying anything Good or bad, the sales go up 1000% so hey they can keep talking I kip l2TB."
Despite Lisa Raye McCoy's good intentions of getting the message out about the use of whitening creams, many in the black community say they won't be watching. The reasons they cite range from being tired of hearing about the dark skin vs. light skin debate to being embarrassed that the subject is being highlighted once again for all of the world to see.
More than that, many say the movie Skinned doesn't represent what is happening in the majority of black households and that not all dark-skinned women are ashamed of their color. In fact, many African-American women with dark skin say they were raised in households where they were told they were beautiful, and that they never felt inferior to lighter-skinned women who always assumed that they were jealous of them.
Also, skin lightening is not an issue that only affects African Americans. In some Mexican-American families, there are young women who feel inferior because they have skin that is darker than the rest. Some Cuban Americans, with obvious African features, will become fighting mad when they are called black. Also, the use of bleaching cream and feelings of not wanting to be dark skinned is a huge issue in India and in some other Asian populations. It's also a problem in places like Peru, Colombia, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic. In fact, in an interview with V-103, Lisa Raye McCoy brings up the subject of Sammy Sosa, a famous Dominican baseball player whose skin is several shades lighter than before.
It's a heavy topic, one that might not be pleasant to discuss. However, it will be interesting to see how Lisa Raye's movie Skinned deals with the topic. Please tune in tonight on TV One at 8/7 central. After the movie, state your opinion about the film using hashtag #Skinned.[Image via Twitter]