Actress Raven-Symoné recently confessed she used to go tanning three times a week to darken her skin while starring in her own Disney Channel show, That’s So Raven, which began when she was 15-years-old and ran until she was 20.
“When I had my own show, I used to tan three or four times a week in a tanning bed to get darker,” she said in an interview for the upcoming documentary, ‘Light Girls.’
Raven, on ‘That’s So Raven’ in 2005 (left) and in 2012 (right), when she was no longer tanning. Photos courtesy of Getty.
The documentary, which is a sequel of sorts to 2013’s ‘Dark Girls,’ addresses the discrimination faced by light-skinned women of color in Hollywood.
Hollywood veteran Chris Spencer explained, “I see a lot of lighter women deal with colorism, especially in our industry. They’ll have an audition and then they don’t get the part. A lot of time — whether it is true or not, I’m not sure — they’ll say, ‘I didn’t get it because they wanted to go with someone who looked blacker.’”
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Even though Raven was already the star of her own show, she still felt pressure to darken her skin in order to be beautiful. It wasn’t until it started having an impact on the show’s production that she stopped.
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“It’s funny, one of the lighting guys came up [to me]… He goes, ‘Raven, I need you to stop tanning. You’re getting too dark and we have to re-light the whole entire show,’” she recalled.
“I was like, ‘Sorry, I was just trying to be pretty.’”