Hollywood Producer Stephanie Frederic Talks 'Light Girls' Documentary and Colorism within the Black Community
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Hollywood Producer Stephanie Frederic Talks ‘Light Girls’ Documentary and Colorism within the Black Community

Image: Stephanie Frederic

Image: Stephanie Frederic

How will the documentary shed light on colorism not only in America, but abroad?

Oh god, yes! You know the color bias is not just in our community, it’s worldwide. It’s frightening how people feel worldwide. In India there is a colorism issue. In Africa we know there is a color issue and there is a lot of bleaching. In Japan also, and I’m like you guys are already pale. A young girl told me, “No, we want to be light. Light is better.” And I just think that we have to stop looking at what the standard of beauty is because it’s really what people are seeing on billboards and magazines and online.

Now, I will say there is some good news here in that the world is changing. The majority is no longer the majority. The minority is the majority and it’s becoming a very multicultural world. There’s 3 billion Chinese, there’s 1.8 billion Indians. There’s only 300 million Americans. So I think that what we’re about to see is brands embracing different ethnicities. I’m looking at all the native prints that’s out in different resorts and in magazines and it comes from us. They love our culture, so I’m like just love us. We come in all colors. The range for black women is phenomenal and we have to start embracing that and stop running from our darker sisters or lighter sisters.

What’s the ultimate message that you want people to take from the Light Girls documentary and what type of action do you hope it will spark?

Well, you know as black woman I think we have been cultured to compare and not to connect and I think it’s time for us to have honest conversations and connect. It’s time for us to say “Look, I was jealous. I didn’t like you. I thought you were beautiful and I’m sorry I didn’t tell you that.”

There was one young lady we interviewed who was light skin and she said there was this beautiful dark skin girl at [her] school who [she] thought was so beautiful. Imagine how powerful it would have been for her to go over and tell that sister that. There is power in sisterhood and I think that’s something we have to latch on to and stop running from this conversation. You know that’s the message I’d like to tell both sisters and brothers. We interviewed a lot of men for this and there are some powerful men who are going to tell you why they go for certain women and I don’t think people are going to be shocked. You know people go for what they see and what’s being marketed to them. You have to have some pretty conscious parents or guardians to steer you in a certain direction. So it’s eye opening in many ways, but I’m ready for the healing to begin and I want us all to start exploring ways to move towards healing. Someone asked me what does healing look like and I said it starts with us just talking.

 

Be sure to tune into Light Girls on Monday, January 19th at 9 p.m. EST on OWN.


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