Film tells story of racism in fashion: Video

SPECIAL: Leila Gurruwiwi features in a short film about fashion. Picture: CONTRIBUTED
SPECIAL: Leila Gurruwiwi features in a short film about fashion. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

A NEW short film looks at dark skin women in the fashion industry.

The film titled See Me Now is available on YouTube for general viewing.

It takes viewers through what life can be like for an indigenous woman in the fashion industry.

It speaks of objectification and racism but also of hope and change.

It is a fashion film showcasing the beauty of dark skin and encouraging women to feel comfortable within themselves. 

The film begins with the shocking fact that in India, more skin-lightening cream is sold than Coca Cola.

Global Industry Analysts estimate that the skin lightening industry will be worth $10 billion globally by 2015.

This empowering film looks at more than 15 stories of indigenous women.

It takes the profiles from each of the women and translates it into a powerful message of racism throughout the world.

The narrator of the film says: "Every time (you said) I wasn't good enough, I believed you.

"Eventually I felt strong enough in myself to say, 'I am not the black one, I am the beautiful one'."

Leila Gurruwiwi grew up in Bendigo from the age of 18 months.

She tells her story of injustice in the film.

She said she grew up in the most Anglo-Saxon community in the whole of Australia.

"There I was, this little black dot in a sea of white," she said.

Following her time growing up in Bendigo Ms Gurruwiwi has become a reporter for the Marngrook Footy Show.

She said she often considered her time growing up to be a learning experience.

"I'm back in Bendigo every couple of months and it's very much an important part of my life," she said.

"My friends from Bendigo are very supportive; they still see me as the shy girl they knew from high school."

Ms Gurruwiwi spoke in the film about the many facets of her life now.

"I have many different faces in life, with work, family and friends, but I only have one skin," she says in the film.

"Coming from the oldest living culture in the world I have learnt to embrace my heritage and embrace me."

The film encourages worldwide acceptance.