In OWN’s upcoming documentary, Light Girls, Black actresses and media personalities share their stories about how their complexions made them question their self-worth.

“I think the impact that colorism has on young girls—light girls and dark girls—leave scars on the soul that follow them well into womanhood,” said author Iyanla Vanzant.

Bill Duke’s earlier documentary, Dark Girls, received widespread acclaim after it premiered on OWN last year and sparked a conversation about colorism in the Black community. Now, Duke is continuing the conversation to include the stories of how Black women with lighter complexions also struggle against stereotypes and ridicule.

“There were times especially as a child where I suffered unnecessarily and felt a lot of shame about being light and having long hair,” Essence Atkins remembers. “The lightness of my skin didn’t insulate me from questioning my worthiness of being Black.”

Light Girls premieres Monday, January 19, at 9pm EST. Take a look at a clip from the documentary right here on

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