“Queer Eye” star and stylist Tan France shares his personal mission to take down the global beauty trend of skin lightening in the documentary “Beauty and the Bleach. It will premiere on Fuse and Fuse+ on Wednesday, March 1 at 9:00 pm ET/PT, which is United Nations’ Zero Discrimination Day, TheWrap can exclusively reveal.
In the Fuse Docs film, France reveals that as a nine-year-old in Doncaster, England, he started bleaching his own skin in an effort to escape racist bullying and the widespread prejudice. He also did it to please his South Asian community, which he says saw fair skin as a passport to the best jobs, careers and marriage partners. In the documentary, he returns to Doncaster to revisit that devastating chapter in his life of him.
“’In Beauty and the Bleach,’ Tan France bravely shares his early struggles to overcome racism and accepts his identity in a society that values your looks more than who you are as a whole person. These are struggles reflected often in our Fuse Docs, which shed light on the inclusivity challenges young, diverse people have today and their successes in combatting bias,” said Marc Leonard, Senior VP and Head of Content and Marketing. “
“We’re proud to share Tan’s mission to tackle public perceptions of beauty here on Fuse and hope to elevate the impact of his message of self-love and acceptance across our platforms on the United Nations’ Zero Discrimination Day,” added Leonard.
In the film, he talks to Kelly Rowland, of ‘Destiny’s Child’ fame, who was once compared to the color of a brown paper bag by a boyfriend’s grandmother. He also meets someone who literally peeled off their own skin in their quest to be a lighter.
Per Fuse, “Skin lightening is not unique to the South Asian community, having grown into a multi-billion-dollar business. The trend exists in Black, Asian and Middle Eastern communities around the world where light and white skin are in vogue, and darker tones are seen as undesirable. Tan sets out to unearth the truth about colorism–where you are judged not just on the color of your skin, but on the shade of it–and its impact on black and brown people in his home country of Britain and beyond.”
France also asks hard questions about the prevalence of colorism and what drives it—whether it’s communities, history or pop culture and advertising. He hopes to break the cycle that pushed him, and thousands like him to bleach.
“Beauty and the Bleach” is produced by Cardiff Productions in association with Clockwork Films. Executive Producer is Narinder Minhas. Heenan Bhatti directs and produces.