Raven-Symoné Tanned 'Three or Four Times a Week' to Darken Skin

Raven-Symoné Tanned 'Three or Four Times a Week' to Darken Skin

Actress says she tried to change for That's So Raven.

Published January 15, 2015

Raven-Symoné caused a stir last year when she seemingly declared she didn't want to be labeled as African-American, and now the outspoken actress has revealed she spent several years as a young star trying to achieve a darker complexion.

In the upcoming OWN documentary Light Girls, Raven says that throughout the four seasons in which she starred on That’s So Raven, she used to tan to darken her skin. “When I had my own show, I used to tan three or four times a week in a tanning bed to get darker,” she said. “I did.”

Raven’s skin changed so much that it affected the production of her show.

“It’s funny, one of the lighting guys came up — I love him to death; I love him, oh my goodness — he goes, ‘Raven, I need you to stop tanning. You’re getting too dark, and we have to re-light the whole entire show,'” Raven recalls. “I was like, ‘Sorry. I was just trying to be pretty.'”

Light Girls also features interviews with Soledad O’Brien, Iyanla Vanzant, Diahann Carroll, Tatyana Ali, Amber Rose, India Arie, KeKe Wyatt and more.

The film is a sequel to the 2011 documentary Dark Girls, which sparked a dialogue about beauty and self-esteem in the Black community.

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(Photo: Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

Written by Evelyn Diaz

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