INVISIBLE BEAUTY – Review by Jennifer Merin

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Invisible Beauty is a thoroughly engaging autobiography documentary by and about Bethann Hardison, the Black fashion model, modeling agency owner and activist who challenged racist attitudes and practices in the fashion industry and changed ‘the look’ of runway shows, magazine spreads and other platforms for fashion marketing.

The documentary features Bethann speaking up for herself (and others) and telling her story in current on screen interviews, at contemporary events and via archival footage from throughout her entire career, spanning from her emergence as a super model in i973 at the legendary ‘Battle of Versailles’ fashion show to her resent awards and accolades, including her receipt of the prestigious Council of Fashion Designers of America’s Founders Award in 2014.

The film serves as a chronicle of the American fashion industry from Hardison’s perspective. And, appearing with her in this documentary are a cadre of the many well-known people whose success is directly connected to her influence — included among them are Iman, Tyra Banks, Tyson Beckford, Naomi Campbell, Zendaya and Hardison’s son Kareem the actor, and a very long list of others. Continue reading on CINEMA CITIZEN

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Jennifer Merin

Jennifer Merin is the Film Critic for Womens eNews and contributes the CINEMA CITIZEN blog for and is managing editor for Women on Film, the online magazine of the Alliance of Women Film Journalists, of which she is President. She has served as a regular critic and film-related interviewer for The New York Press and She has written about entertainment for USA Today, The L.A. Times, US Magazine, Ms. Magazine, Endless Vacation Magazine, Daily News, New York Post, SoHo News and other publications. After receiving her MFA from Tisch School of the Arts (Grad Acting), Jennifer performed at the O'Neill Theater Center's Playwrights Conference, Long Wharf Theater, American Place Theatre and LaMamma, where she worked with renown Japanese director, Shuji Terayama. She subsequently joined Terayama's theater company in Tokyo, where she also acted in films. Her journalism career began when she was asked to write about Terayama for The Drama Review. She became a regular contributor to the Christian Science Monitor after writing an article about Marketta Kimbrell's Theater For The Forgotten, with which she was performing at the time. She was an O'Neill Theater Center National Critics' Institute Fellow, and then became the institute's Coordinator. While teaching at the Universities of Wisconsin and Rhode Island, she wrote "A Directory of Festivals of Theater, Dance and Folklore Around the World," published by the International Theater Institute. Denmark's Odin Teatret's director, Eugenio Barba, wrote his manifesto in the form of a letter to "Dear Jennifer Merin," which has been published around the world, in languages as diverse as Farsi and Romanian. Jennifer's culturally-oriented travel column began in the LA Times in 1984, then moved to The Associated Press, LA Times Syndicate, Tribune Media, Creators Syndicate and (currently) Arcamax Publishing. She's been news writer/editor for ABC Radio Networks, on-air reporter for NBC, CBS Radio and, currently, for Westwood One's America In the Morning. She is a member of the Critics Choice Association in the Film, Documentary and TV branches and a voting member of the Black Reel Awards. For her AWFJ archive, type "Jennifer Merin" in the Search Box (upper right corner of screen).