Today, I leave London. I’ve been here for 10 days, shooting the Colorism and Skin Bleaching documentary for the BBC that I’ve been working on for the past few months, and my gosh it was intense.
The Doc is so important to me. I’ve experienced colorism my entire life, and anyone who comes from a POC (person of color) community knows this experience all too well, too. So, I wanted to do a doc about it, that was meaningful and impactful, and I think that’s what we have.
The past 10 days, I’ve travelled across the UK, meeting with people who have bleached their skin, in order to lighten it, in the hopes of being treated better, like their lighter skinned/white peers. It’s been so incredibly emotional. I knew it would be, but no one could have prepared me for all the feelings I’d have to process. It was just so sad to hear the lengths people have gone to, to want to be seen as worthy of love and perceived success.
This was just the UK leg of the filming. I still have filming to do in Asia and the US, and then we can work on getting this edited and out there. Gosh, I hope you’ll enjoy the doc. I know it sounds super intense, but I'm trying to make sure it’s not an “after-school-special”, but rather a pacey, fascinating special.
When I got to the UK, I had a sore throat that I thought would just pass in day or so. Instead, I just got more and more sick, for my first 6-7 days. It was horrible. I was so sick with a cold, cough and fever, but I had to go on with the shoot. If I don’t turn up, there’s no show. But, we were doing 12-13 hour days, on top of jet lag. It was one of the hardest shoots I’ve ever done. I am so grateful for the career I have, and that I'm even in a position to be able to do a doc like this, but being ill and having to “perform” is so intensely difficult. I'm glad I’ve had at least 2-3 days of feeling like myself again, so that I was able to finish this UK filming in a positive head space.
I had to leave Rob at home with Ismail, as it was too long of a flight for a new born. It’s the hardest part. I haven’t been away from them for longer than a couple of days, so being away for this long is so sad. I’ve missed my baby like you wouldn’t believe. Rob would send me pics and videos each day, and I’ve FaceTimed also, but not being able to hold him has my body literally aching for him. I cannot wait to get home in a few hours and give him the biggest kiss and cuddle.
Real Talk, I’ve really struggled with leaving Rob on his own with Ismail, all day, everyday for 10 days. We have a night nurse, thank gosh, who comes in every night from 10:30-7am. But, being with the baby all day is still so much work. Rob is the best dad, and has done all he can to make sure I don’t feel guilty for leaving him alone to manage, but I feel such, such guilt. I know how hard it is for 2 parents, so I know this past 10 days would have just been so intense, all alone. When I get home, I'm going to make sure Rob has time to do his own thing, out of the house, and I'm going to do as much as I can to take care of Ismail, to counter-balance, somewhat. Wish me luck!!
Time to finally watch Squid Game, on this flight home. See you next week.