Recap: ‘Black Beauty in the Media’ panel at Shades of Beauty Live

Events, SceneTV | Saturday September 29th 2018

Over the August bank holiday weekend, the first ever Shades of Beauty Live expo took place in London. Founded by sisters Grace and Christina Adesina, the event featured some of your fave beauty brands such as Palmers, L’Oreal and Creme of Nature, influencers and business leaders within the industry – all to celebrate the diversity of beauty and challenge narrow industry standards.

Yours truly curated a panel about the representation of black beauty and women in the media with a focus on how we can all play our part to ensure fairer representation. I cannot tell you how much I loved my panel members – all dope women in their own right and they all brought their passion and expertise to the session. So I have to give a massive shout out to Nicole Vassell (Entertainment & Features Editor, Pride Magazine), Dalia Dias (Photographer, Videographer, Creative Director), Zeze Millz (Creator of The Zeze Millz Show), Sharmaine Aderemi (Brand & Talent Manager, Storm Model Management) and Yinka Bokkini (DJ, Presenter, Model, Blogger) and Basma Khalifa (Creative Director, Fashion Stylist, Media Personality).

The main take-out, and one thing we all agreed on, is that as individuals and as a community, we need to recognise our value and our power. Our spending power as consumers, taking care about where we invest and spend our money, as well as our power and influence as creators. More so now than ever, entrepreneurship amongst women of colour is high. We have our own platforms and run our own business on our own terms. However, there is a question about whether we support one another enough, engage in peer to peer mentoring and collaborate. What are your thoughts? I’ve seen myself how the tide on this is changing and there have been great examples of women connecting however, what I think is sometimes lacking is the network that helps to take this collaboration beyond intimate circles and industries. One thing I’ve seen in the States is cross sector networks where people from all industries are within reach of each other – marketers, accountants, lawyers, tech experts, the list goes on. At the moment, I fear many of us operate within out own industry circles which limits a sense of infrastructure, which could really help our businesses grow. What happens when a journalist needs an accountant, or a marketer needs an app developer – are we in each other’s reach? Think about that the next time you are looking for a networking event to attend, how can you broaden your relationships outside of the obvious?

Thanks to Shades of Beauty for having us, roll on next year!

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