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