Focusing their camera on practices of beauty, African women of the moving image investigate, among other related issues, societal notions of femininity, as well as the politics of aesthetics, the importation and internalization of Eurocentric normative standards of women's beauty, experiences and mythologies around hair, the practice of depigmentation in order to attain a perceived beauty derived from light skin, that in Dr Hadja Maï Niang's view, glamorizes skin lightening, to the detriment of 'blackness'". Mame Woury Thioubou's inquiry into practices of beauty probes women's self-fashioning and the characteristics that embody notions of elegance. Problematizing aesthetics choices and expressions of beauty, she investigates the reasons why women resort to artifices to feel beautiful, and in so doing, to what need are they submitting.
Following are related articles from the African Women in Cinema Blog on discourses of beauty as practiced by women of African descent.
"Papicha: Mounia Meddour in resistance mode" | "Papicha : Mounia Meddour en mode résistance" analysis/analyse by/par Falila Gbadamassi
Chez Jolie Coiffure by/de Rosine Mfetgo Mbakam (Cameroon/Cameroun)
Cinéma au féminin (Kinshasa) : Meduse, Cheveux Afro et Autres Mythes | Medusa, Afro hair and other myths by/de Adèle Albrespy, Johanna Makabi
Comfort Arthur’s animation film “Black Barbie” deals with skin bleaching in Ghana and Africa
Pretty, a documentary series that focuses on the perceptions of beauty by women of the global African diaspora
Ng'endo Mukii’s animation/mixed-media film: Yellow Fever, about African women and skin bleaching
This Colour that Disturbs Me | Cette couleur qui me dérange : Khady Pouye sounds the alarm on the practice of xessal (skin bleaching) by Mame Woury Thioubou
Mame Woury Thioubou: Face to Face, Women and Beauty in St. Louis (Senegal)
Akosua Adoma Owusu’s Triple Consciousness
Report by Beti Ellerson
The title is inspired by Hudita N. Mustafa's PhD thesis, Practicing Beauty: Crisis, Value and the Challenge of Self-Mastery in Dakar, 1970-1994, Harvard University, 1998.