Season two of Stacey Dooley Sleeps Over features a positive representation of a wealthy Black family, highlighting the story of a Black mother-daughter modelling duo.
Stacey Dooley Sleeps Over is an award-winning television series that follows documentary maker, Stacey Dooley, as she spends a weekend in the homes of Britain’s most extraordinary families. In episode 2 of season 2, Stacey spends 72 hours with mother-daughter modelling duo, Princess Keisha and her six-year-old daughter Dior, alongside millionaire father, Prince Adekunle “Kunle” Adebayo Omilana and their son.
Keisha is a successful model with an impressive portfolio that features campaigns for L’Oreal, Maybelline, Revlon, Cover Girl, and more notably, Pantene. As an accomplished model with years of experience under her belt, Keisha launched her daughter Dior’s child modelling career when she was only three. Dior is already following in her footsteps, having been featured on the cover of new magazine, Cocoa Girl and several other commercial campaigns. During her time at the Omilana household, Stacey steps into the world of a Black child model, working in an industry that has a history of racism and promoting unrealistic standards of beauty. From conversations on colourism to challenging child modelling stigmas, this episode tackles some important issues while showcasing an unfiltered portrayal of a successful Black family living in one of London’s most privileged areas.
Here are some highlights from the episode.
Living Life As A Child Star
At first glance it’s clear to see the Dior is a confident, bright and energetic almost-eight-year-old with a special star quality. Growing up in Chelsea and raised by wealthy parents who are Nigerian royalty, Dior is definitely not short of anything she wants or desires. As Stacey speaks to Keisha about Dior’s modelling career, she reveals that she finds joy in sharing her passion for fashion with her daughter and does her best to make sure that Dior enjoys all of the work that she takes on.
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“For me it’s her choice, if it’s not fun or exciting to Dior, then we are not doing it,” says Keisha. “I personally think it’s great to be child model and to be guided by a mother who is a model herself. I always tell Dior to give the director what they are looking for, always do what they ask, always listen but for the most part she just needs to be cute.”
When Stacey asks the young star what she enjoys most about being a child model, Dior cheekily says “the money.” But how much do child models actually make? “When she books editorial, she gets £50 and we give it to her to do what she wants with it, but the big money comes from the commercials, which we put straight into an account for her to use when she is 18,” Keisha explains.
On Colourism Within The Black Community
It’s no secret that the fashion industry is known for putting forward Eurocentric beauty ideals – think light skin, straight hair and light eyes – on a pedestal, while excluding Black women from the limelight. The show explores the challenges that Keisha has faced with colourism in the Black community and how it has impacted the way she perceives her own beauty and feminine identity and how this has influenced the guidance that she gives to her daughter Dior.
“Colourism is very real and very hurtful,” says Keisha”. “Nobody wanted to be dark. Most of my friends were light so anytime we would get picked to do something in school, like a play, I was always the character that had to be in the back or the bad one or the one that wasn’t cute. After experiencing this for years, it does impact who you are and what your sense of beauty is. But I also remember my grandmother being my biggest cheerleader, and I remember her giving me my baths and saying, ‘oh you’re so pretty and Black, look at all your Black skin, I just love this chocolate’. That’s why it’s so important as a parent to shower that and instil confidence in your children, so when they do hear these [negative] comments it will just bounce off them. We are very big on building self-esteem in our household, so with Dior, in this domain, she is the greatest thing since sliced bread.”
The second series of Stacey Dooley Sleeps Over airs on the W Channel from 3 May at 10pm. Watch episode 2, Child Model on Monday 10 May.