Skin is amazing: it covers our body, and reveals our soul. For many, skin is a symbol of pride, for others it’s a canvas to tell a story — and for almost all it represents a heritage to be honored. Skin means something different to almost everyone you ask. Vaseline(R) Cocoa Butter traveled the globe asking people “what does your skin mean to you?” and compiled responses in a short film, Vaseline Skin Stories, that finds while continents may divide us, the experience of skin unites us. The film, narrated by Tony Award-nominated actress Sanaa Lathan, premieres at the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans on July 4, 2008. Vaseline Cocoa Butter is giving people a chance to attend the global premiere by asking them to visit http://www.skinvoice.com to enter our sweepstakes and add to the Vaseline tapestry of skin stories by sharing how they honor their skin. Winners will also be able to attend the Essence Music Festival, which features performances by some of the best names in music including Mary J. Blige, Chris Brown, Keyshia Cole and Jill Scott.
Skin cloaks us, but only begins to cover who we are as individuals. The 20-minute Vaseline Skin Stories documentary, set against local, social and cultural backdrops, features personal narratives from across the world including the United States, South America, the United Kingdom and Africa. The inspirational stories touch on the similarities and differences between people’s skin as it relates to their lives, “My skin is magic, my skin is strength, and my skin is resistance. My ancestors suffered so much, but today here I am, like a queen.” Such eloquence imparts a poignant yet powerful tone to Vaseline Skin Stories.
The film is enriched with a special voice over by Sanaa Lathan, as well as a brief introduction where Lathan shares her own personal story of what her skin means to her: “My caramel brown skin represents me but also my history and those who came before me and will come after. They were all shades and beautiful. I honor, love and take pride in my skin because of them.”
Other notables have joined the conversation by sharing how they honor their skin including Law and Order alum Jesse L. Martin; actress and singer Raven-Symone; Dreamgirls’ and Grammy-Award nominee Anika Noni Rose; Access Hollywood correspondent Shaun Robinson; and television and film star Jill Marie Jones. Each examines and shares what their skin means to them at http://www.skinvoice.com, where people can also view excerpts of the Skin Stories documentary.
The journey doesn’t end with the documentary. Vaseline invites people to help continue the dialogue about skin and make the collection of stories a living documentary by visiting http://www.skinvoice.com and sharing how they honor their skin. When they do, they will be entered for a chance to win one of five trips for six to the Essence Music Festival July 4-6, 2008 in New Orleans, where they will attend the premiere of the short film hosted by Lathan and experience first-hand the Essence Music Festival — the largest event of its kind in the world. It is a special occasion in which families and friends come together to celebrate the rich cultural African American legacy. The deadline to enter is June 4, 2008. No purchase necessary. Must be a legal U.S. resident age 18 or older. See http://www.skinvoice.com for rules. Void where prohibited.