This week the National Film Board of Canada launched “The Colour of Beauty”, a provocative short documentary that examines racism and lack of diversity in the fashion industry through the eyes of a young, ambitious Black model living in New York city.
Renee Thompson has got the looks, the walk and the drive. But she’s a Black model in a world where White women represent the standard of beauty. In interviews with industry insiders we hear that agencies seldom hire Black models, and when they do, they want them to look “like White girls dipped in chocolate.”
Is a Black Model less attractive to designers, casting directors and consumers? What is the colour of beauty? Canadian fashion icons like Jeanne Beker, host of CTV’s Fashion Television and Lisa Tant, Editor-In-Chief of Flare Magazine offer their insights.
Since its online launch this week, “The Colour of Beauty” has gone “viral” on the internet and sparked heated debate on influential sites like Jezebel.com. The documentary has also been featured on CTV News Channel, Canada AM, Fashion Television, cbc.ca, CBC French radio, Le Téléjournal Montreal and La Presse.
Director of the short documentary The Colour of Beauty, Elizabeth St. Philip is also a full-time news producer. Watch Journalist vs Doc Filmmaker where she describes what she considers to be the differences and similarities between making a documentary and producing TV news in bringing vital and compelling stories to an audience.
To watch The Colour of Beauty click here.