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New Feature Doc Tackles What 'Beauty Is' From A Pan African POV. Watch Trailer

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by Tambay A. Obenson
January 7, 2014 3:18 PM
5 Comments
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From London-based filmmaker Toyin Agbetu comes a feature-length documentary titled Beauty Is, which, according to the filmmaker's email to me, explores the topic of beauty from a Pan African perspective through a collection of candid personal and group interviews, touching on touchy issues like hair, skin, body image, relationships and character.

Here's a little more:

Beauty is... includes an assortment of short films and animations through which we also explore the impact of education and schooling, confidence in dating and relationships, and controversial topics like skin bleaching and 'light skin -- dark skin' preference.

Beauty is... examines the nature of our external features such as hair, skin and body shape, and then dives deep into investigating societal pressures from both our peers and a sexist global media that feeds insecurities about body image whilst perpetuating shadism and western ideals.

Beauty is... questions experts about the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industry and reveals how the harmful chemicals in some skin bleaching creams and hair straightening products work.

Beauty is... also looks beyond the traditional "natural v processed" argument to engage with philosophical debates about the role of ethnicity, gender, culture and tradition in defining what beauty really is in a wonderfully diverse world of billions.

This will probably make for a good companion piece to films like Dark Girls, and even Good Hair.


Agbetu says that the film will debut this year (2014); likely on the film festival circuit, I'd imagine.

In the meantime, watch a trailer for a glimpse at what's coming:

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5 Comments

  • Toyin Agbetu | January 19, 2014 5:42 PMReply

    Thank you for your comments, and thank you Shadow and Act for helping raise awareness of my new film.

    There are many shared issues affecting our community worldwide due to the global nature of "whiteness" as suggested by BLACKMAN. However it remains my belief that the ultimate solution lies within ourselves to reject western values that harm us and embrace the empowering aspects of our cultural heritage and those beautiful qualities we all have within.

    This film seeks to identify some of those western values that distort the way we see ourselves. Many of us have lived with them for so long we forget they are always there working on us. The problems are complex, multifaceted and were erected over hundreds of years and so likewise our solutions will need to be holistic, consistent and rooted in more than rhetoric.

    I know I'm not a sista DANDE but this film is about beauty, not just 'Black women'. As a father, husband, brother and son, I recognise that African men also perpetuate many of the problems we have in how we see ourselves and thus brothas also have to be part of the solution. It is my hope that this film and the campaigns I plan to run alongside it will contribute to making things a little better.

    Peace

  • blackman | January 8, 2014 12:41 PMReply

    Attack WHITENESS. not blackness. It is whiteness that creates ALL filth.

  • Peggy | January 8, 2014 2:04 AMReply

    I'm excited to see what our brothers and sisters in the UK have to say about these issues. Seems the same as what their American cousins are saying.

  • dande | January 7, 2014 4:58 PMReply

    I would much rather see documentaries about Black women made by Black women. I'm just sayin
    Good hair was rubbish, I preferred My Nappy Roots
    Dark Girls was subpar
    This looks alright but still

  • D.A. | January 7, 2014 5:26 PM

    I don't think having a black female director/producer would make much of a difference. Say this doc. were directed and produced by black females, would the outcome be different or the same? That's not to say that having a woman of color behind the camera is a bad thing (the more opportunity, the better), but if this documentary is utilizing opinions and beliefs of today's black youth (in the UK in this instance) in hopes to garner a discussion about a social norm, does it matter who's directing?

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