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The Colour of Beauty

The Colour of Beauty

| 16 min

Renee Thompson is trying to make it as a top fashion model in New York. She's 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. Agencies rarely hire black models. And when they do, they want them to look “like white girls dipped in chocolate.”

The Colour of Beauty is a shocking short documentary that examines racism in the fashion industry. Is a black model less attractive to designers, casting directors and consumers? What is the colour of beauty?

This film is part of the Work For All series, produced by the National Film Board of Canada, with the participation of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada.

  • director
    Elizabeth St. Philip
  • producer
    Alexandra Yanofsky
  • line producer
    Aisling Chin-Yee
    Marie-France Côté


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Ages 11 to 17

Diversity - Black Studies
Family Studies/Home Economics - Feminism
Health/Personal Development - Careers & Education
Media Education - Body Image

Student groups suggest 5 or 6 vocations or professions. Are some innate attributes required? Discuss: although film does not approach black models from the point of view of the readership, what is the effect on women's self-image? Students select an internet or TV ad and write an analytical paragraph indicating the target audience in terms of gender, income, age and other characteristics. Ad placement: who watches the program?

The Colour of Beauty
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