Zoe Saldana’s Use Of Dark Makeup In Nina Simone Biopic Sparks Colorism Controversy

Today on News One Now, host and managing editor Roland S. Martin spoke with EBONY Digital Editor-In-Chief Kierna Mayo, Author Dr. JeffriAnne Wilder, Ph.D., and BLACK co-director Amber J. Phillips about body image and colorism’s effect on the Black community. During the conversation, the issue of self-image and self-affirmation were at the center of the controversy behind EBONY magazine’s most recent cover of entitled, “The Body Brigade” which showcases plus-sized Black women and the backlash of Zoe Saldana playing Nina Simone in her biopic.

“For many Black women, their definition of freedom is tied to the conquering of fear. For so many women, body image is one of the ultimate fears, how we see ourselves and how the world sees us is a critical conversation that happens in the hearts and minds of most women, virtually, every single day sometimes consciously, sometimes not.” – Kierna Mayo

“You’re making the issue simplistic and it’s not. My issue isn’t with Zoe. My issue is with the fact that Nina Simone embodied her Blackness. She wasn’t a traditional beauty. So this isn’t about color, this is about a woman whose art was formed by the struggle she has as a Black woman.” – Amber J. Phillips

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