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Photos by @saraldn

We still have a long way to go in terms of QTPOC representation

TextDazed Beauty

To celebrate Ace & Tate's campaign Seeing In Colour, we held a panel discussion about the representation of people of colour in fashion, beauty and the media, at their Brewer Street store

In their new campaign, Seeing in Colour, Ace & Tate has collaborated with gal-dem magazine to take on the difficult topic of colourism, speaking to four women/nonbinary people of colour about their experiences with racism and particularly colourism in the creative industries. Their goal? To deconstruct the idea of "colourblindness", the idea that we don't "see race". 

As an extension of this campaign, last week Dazed Beauty hosted a panel discussion at Ace & Tate's new Brewer Street store in Soho, inviting some of the most exciting and powerful QTPOC British voices in fashion, beauty and journalism to come and talk about how to improve representation in the creative industries. 

Sitting on the panel was Simran Randhawa – model, writer, and former gal-dem politics editor, Umber Ghauri – a talented make-up artist specialising in QTPOC beauty, Hélène Selam Kleih – model, writer and founder of HIM + HIS, a project about men's mental health, Kuchenga Shenje – a journalist and speaker, who wrote this Dazed Beauty article on her natural hair journey as a black transgender woman, and Kemi Alemoru – Dazed Digital's staff writer and a Dazed Beauty contributor. 

Stopping to take stock of the moment of apparent diversity we're in, in an age of Fenty Beauty and TV shows like Insecurethe panel cut to the core of how far we've actually come in culture more broadly. Kuchenga put it best when she said: "It can't be performative". As well as sharing home truths about how big brands can do better in their casting and treatment of POC models, the panelists discussed how, until representation really does improve, we need to look out for one another. 

Over the course of the hour-long discussion, they shared their experiences on how to deal with racist microaggressions and how we can all give people of colour more opportunities and support. They talked about performing acts of self-love and mutual acts of self-care (Kuchenga's tip was reading writers like James Baldwin and bell hooks, while Umber gifted make-up looks to queer people of colour as gestures of solidarity and kindness), and about "not pulling the ladder up" when you enter a company, but supporting and spotlighting others, especially those who are underepresented, in order to improve diversity from the inside out. 

Above, some photos from last night's event from photographer @saraldn. And you can read more about the campaign on Ace & Tate's website here

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