Actress, Juliet Ibrahim Talks About Colorism In Nollywood
Ghanaian actress, Juliet Ibrahim has opened up on the downsides of being a light-skinned person and how colorism has affected her Nollywood career.
The 36-year-old in an interview with Chude spoke about her realities as a light-skinned actress in the entertainment industry. She noted that movie roles are limited due to the color of her skin.
And oftentimes, the only available roles are the ‘Homebreaker’, ‘Homewrecker’ roles which, according to her, fuel the stereotype and colorism that light-skinned women are subjected to.
Like for me as an actress, we suffer to get movie roles because sometimes there are not just too many actors that are light-skin to pair up as parents. How many light-skin older men are there to play the father role? So sometimes I’ve lost out on movie roles because of that because they’ll say “Ah, we have to use someone that is dark-skin because we feel like the pairing up won’t work, the casting won’t make sense.” There are lighter skinned older actresses in Nigeria which has helped me a lot. So sometimes, they’ll just pair somebody like a Ngozi Ezeonu as my mother. But it really is a lot because even with the casting in movies, they want to cast you light-skin woman as the home-breaker, husband snatcher, so there’s this narrative they put in the minds of people that are watching films and I feel like that’s why we get misjudged with that light skin thing in Africa.
Away from the entertainment scene, Juliet Ibrahim also recounted how colorism affected her as a child. ‘Everybody has a perception that light skin people have it all but funny enough, we’re just like everybody else. We’re human beings just like everyone else.
While many thought people with low melanin pigment have life easier, Juliet noted that she was battling low self-esteem as a child.
And for me growing up, I suffered a lot. Self-esteem issues and my skin color was one of those things. Because everybody thought I was favored, that I didn’t deserve whatever I got when I got it. But I was an A class student. I would be competing with the best in class. If somebody is taking A today, I’m behind them. Valedictorian, I’m the next person. But it’s because I knew I had to learn to be able to pass.
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