On Tuesday, the London Curls descended onto the streets of West London so as to attend another of the #BeautyProject events at Selfridges. We absolutely loved the Untangling the Politics of Black Hair event in May, and this event promised to be just as enthralling with a star studded panel. The panel included founders of multicultural beauty website, ThandieKay, BAFTA award winner Thandie Newton and Kay Montano, BBC Radio 1Xtra presenter Gemma Cairney and Health and Beauty Director of Women’s Health, Anita Bhagwandas.
The main topics of discussion were the lack of representation of black people on magazine covers, and how women with darker skin tones are ‘ghettoised’ into going to black specific shops as their skin tones are not represented by main brands in shops such as Boots. Thandie Newton was particularly vocal on how to turn this around, by suggesting that money is what drives the make up industry, suggesting if more women of colour do buy products in main brand stores or buy magazines with black women on the cover, the companies will be forced to continue supplying to meet the need. The discussion wasn’t all negative however, as the women celebrated recent advancements such as Lupita Nyong’o becoming the face of Lancome and London-born Jourdan Dunn now representing the Maybelline range.
As with the other event we attended, there was a lovely, open atmosphere within the room as the women shared their personal experiences of growing up in the UK and the various struggles with identity they faced being that brown skin tones were so under represented by brands. Thandie described what it was like growing up in Devon as the only ‘brown girl,’ while Anita spoke candidly about crying as a 15 year old after seeing herself in a picture wearing make up that resembled a scream mask! After questions from the floor, Thandie brought her adorable baby onto the stage before closing the event perfectly with a quote from Maya Angelou about the importance of accepting ourselves. Overall, the event was captivating, however my only minor criticism would be that a dark skinned woman on the panel would have added more variation in opinion.
As always, the event was a fantastic opportunity to mingle and meet some familiar faces. We bumped into Melissa – the creator of Big Hair – who we are looking forward to interviewing on Friday. As always, keep an eye out for the event video, as we will be putting it up onto our YouTube over the next week.
With Love from London,