Single Ladies actress LisaRaye McCoy is trading in her actor’s card for a director’s cap with her new movie Skinned, which tackles colorism in the Black community and Eurocentric beauty standards.
Skinned centers around Jolie (played by Jasmine Burke), a young Black women who is ridiculed in school for being dark-skinned. She is almost the exact contrast of her two sisters, who are lighter in complexion and always considered the “pretty ones.” They are socialites and have plenty of suitors while Jolie has never even been on a date.
Fast forward to college and the naive Jolie falls in love with a light-skinned college swim star named Bobby.
But dating the most popular athlete in school doesn’t come without consequence. Especially for a dark skinned girl. Jolie receives hate from Bobby’s friends and other girls who want to catch his eye. One girl in particular manages to convince our heroine that the object of her affection only likes light-skinned girls. Because of this, Jolie decides to bleach her skin.
As the film goes on, Jolie marries Michael, an African business man with an affinity for light-skinned women. Jolie tells her husband that she has vitiligo, a skin condition in which there is a loss of pigment from areas of the skin, whenever he questions her about her appearance. They live in blissful ignorance until the couple begins trying to get pregnant.
After four years of marriage and still no baby, Jolie and her husband learn that due to her constant skin bleaching not only can she not get pregnant but she has developed skin cancer. This knowledge sends the couple’s marriage and individual lives into a spiral.
The story line seems a little melodramatic, following trends like Tyler Perry’s Temptation, in which the main character pays an ultimate price for a mistake, but the issues that it deals with are enough to give the film validity.
The movie is expected to be available for film-goers in spring 2015.
According to the production company, Studio 11 Films, Skinned is a very important project for LisaRaye because she is “determined to speak on behalf of this epidemic with hopes to change lives on a global scale. Young girls that are thinking about bleaching and those that follow the trends of known celebrities who have bleached, she hopes to steer in a different direction.”
Watch the trailer here: