“Savage Beauty” is a scandalous, spicy revenge story

“Savage Beauty” is a scandalous, spicy revenge story

Photo via Netflix

Upon its release on May 12 to Netflix, “Savage Beauty” intrigued me as someone who indulges in shows with overflowing drama and crazy, yet realistic, plot twists. Although not a show I would typically click play on at the Netflix home screen, the series did not disappoint. 

The show follows a powerful South African dynasty of beauty moguls who conquer the global makeup industry through their brand, Bhengu Beauty. Each year, a new “face” of the brand is invited to live with the family in their mansion, but this year was different. The public was allowed to elect the representative, and a middle-class woman, Zinhle (Rosemary Zimu), was selected.

As you dive further into the series, Zinhle has deeper motivations on why she chose to become the face of Bhengu Beauty. She seeks revenge from the power couple who runs the beauty company, Don (Dumisani Mbebe) and Grace (Nthati Moshesh) Bhengu, who also run an illicit skin-bleaching business on the side. This side business tested the bleaching cream on children in poverty against their will, creating long-term negative health effects for those involved as they age. Zinhle was one of these children.

After completing each episode, the show left me wanting more and hurrying to click the “next episode” button. I was enveloped in each character’s storyline as if I knew them personally, which is something hard for me to achieve as a viewer. If I could get a dollar for each time my jaw dropped throughout this series, I would have a hefty number of bills. 

Not only does it showcase the “powerful family, dark secrets” storyline, but also highlights unrealistic beauty expectations that African women face daily to have lighter skin. I personally thought it was great that they represented an invisible evil that women, not only in Africa, face as Western beauty stereotypes dominate the makeup industry.

Netflix has a notorious reputation for releasing poorly produced shows and movies, but “Savage Beauty” provides a light at the end of the tunnel of the streaming platform’s flop era. It’s a short watch but succeeds in providing an excellent, bombshell story. I would recommend this a thousand times to anybody in need of a spicy, scandalous show to binge.