Rachel Dolezal will be featured in a documentary about black beauty.
Dolezal makes an appearance in Subjects of Desire, directed by Jennifer Holness. Holness said she’s s aware putting Dolezal in the documentary is an “out-of-left-field decision.” The director told The Daily Beast her film examines “appropriation and beauty standards shifting to include what’s commonly associated with Black features, such as curvy bodies and full lips.”
Holness said, “It wasn’t a commercial thought. It wasn’t like I thought, ‘Oh my God if I put her in, it’ll be controversial!’ No, not at all. I’m doing a film on Black women and beauty, and this is the first time that I’ve come across a white woman pretending to be Black for ten years when there wasn’t a massive financial benefit.” She went on to say,
“The standard of beauty historically has been white and that has been protected and upheld, so as someone who has that standard, she’s blonde with freckles and green eyes, and stepped away from that, there’s something there.”
In Holness’s documentary, Dolezal said black and white people had ridiculed her. She said, “I’ve been called an insult to white women and an insult to Black women. White women are angry because I did what they never would do and went further like I put 110. I didn’t just be that white ally and do a little bit; I canceled my white privilege. I canceled my hair. For Black women, I feel like it’s a reaction to pain. It’s like a trigger to post-traumatic stress.”
Dolezal made news headlines in 2015 when her parents revealed she’s white. Dolezal was a former NAACP civil rights activist who spent years disguising herself as a Black woman, even though she was born white. BBC reports Dolezal was also a former Africana studies instructor. She sees herself as “trans-black,” like a transgender person. That same year, Dolezal was forced to resign from her leadership position at her local NAACP chapter. She was let go from her job at Eastern Washington University as an adjunct instructor of Africana Studies due to the scandal. She currently makes a living from her hair-braiding business, DB reports.
Take a look at a clip from a few years back of Dolezal telling “her side” of things:
Let us know how you feel about the documentary!