The That's So Raven star reveals her battle with the tanning bed

By Alex Apatoff
Updated January 19, 2015 10:33 PM

Raven-Symoné reveals insecurities she once had about her skin color in a new documentary on the Oprah Winfrey Network.

Arnold Turner/AP

The actress, 29, says she resorted to artificial tanning when she was filming her Disney show That’s So Raven to feel better about herself.

“When I had my own show, I used to tan three or four times a week in a tanning bed to get darker,” she reveals in OWN’s Light Girls, which explores experiences of lighter-skinned black women.

“It’s funny, one of the lighting guys came up — I love him to death — he goes, ‘Raven, I need you to stop tanning’,” Symoné says in the documentary of the time she spent filming her show. “‘You’re getting too dark and we have to relight the whole entire show.’ I was like, ‘Sorry, I was just trying to be pretty!'”

The documentary (which will air Jan. 19 at 9:00 p.m. EST) “dives deep into the discussion of skin color, preference, privilege, pain and prejudice,” and is a follow-up to the critically acclaimed Dark Girls, and also features interviews with Soledad O’Brien, Diahann Carroll and India Arie

Are you surprised by her revelation?

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–Gabrielle Olya