Annya Santana Is Bridging The Gap Between Wellness And Culture

Did you know that July 24 was International Self-Care Day? It couldn't have come at a better time, in my opinion.

COVID-19 is making headlines around the world again. Some parts of Australia, including Melbourne where I live, are back in lockdown. So self-care will continue to be a high priority going into this week.

BIPOC women are working their magic in the self-care space and we've rounded up some of their stories in this week's newsletter. Self-care is also incorporated into this week's reco. I can confirm Joanna Soh's HIIT workout is a great way to get a sweat on ... and on that note ...

Let's get glowing!


P.S. ICYMI, check out this feature on Glowreel in MamaMia's breakdown of 10 feel-good accounts to follow!

News To Know

BIPOC Women On What Self-Care Means To Them

BIPOC Women On What Self-Care Means To Them

Self-Care is a pretty subjective term. Face mask and wine, decluttering your space, speaking to your therapist = self-care. Switching off from social media, going for a walk or doing a workout, laying in bed all day = self-care. You get the idea.

Get ready to elevate your self-care game, c/o some of our favourite self-care routines by BIPOC women.

If you're in lockdown or isolation, these 18 women of colour have some hot tips for you. “Self-care for me means doing whatever I need to do to make myself feel the most happy and healthy at that time,” says Salem Mitchell, and we couldn't agree more.

Meanwhile, Badria Ahmed, Neada Deters and Zinnia Kumar share their holistic and relatable approaches to self-care. Brb, we're off to follow their routines immediately!

See also: Jacqueline Ashley on the importance of multi-dimensional self-carein leadership, and these five change-making black women on their self-care practices.

The Power Of Sharing Our Stories

The Power Of Sharing Our Stories

Storytelling is an incredible tool to share our experiences, build connections and can even be a form of self-care. Some of our favourite BIPOC women focussed organisations are currently tapping into the power of storytelling, and we're here to spread the word!

The Australian South Asian Centre has kicked off its Stellar South Asian Women series, as part of South Asian Heritage Month. The first story being shared as part of the series is that of Lisa Singh. The series will highlight five exemplary emerging and established South Asian creatives, founders and leaders. Glowreel is a proud community partner of the series - we'll be sure to keep you looped in on it.

Meanwhile, the Creative Cooperative in Australia launched its Stories of Intersections project for BIPOC woman writers and illustrators. Find out more here.

On a similar note, the The Tuhituhi Project in New Zealand is raising funds. The money will help publish a book of stories written by 10 young girls who are being mentored by the Project.

Glowreel Reco Of The Week

You need to try one (or both!) of these at-home exercise routines by BIPOC fitness YouTubers - who doesn't love a boost of endorphins?!:

  • HIIT - for an easy to follow (no equipment needed) HIIT workout, look no further than Joanna Soh.
  • Yoga - improve your flexibility and relax under the soothing guidance of Yogalates with Rashmi.

This week's reco is brought to you by Mel Tan - self-professed fitness junkie and Team Glowreel's research and strategy queen.

Insider tips:

Have a reco to share? Let us know what you love and why here - we'd love to share your recos in Glowreel!


  • Mary Simon will be Canada's first Indigenous Governor-General.She'll be formally sworn in as Canada's 30th Governor General today, 26 July. Simon is an Inuk leader and a former Canadian diplomat.
  • The Tokyo Olympics are in full swing! For the first time ever, close to half (48.8 per cent) of participants are women. Check out this round up of 15 must known women of colour who are competing at this year's Olympics.
  • Still on that Olympics buzz: Gabby Thomas is one of the six heroes who helped battle COVID-19 before competing in the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. The track-and-field athlete studied global health and health policy and is now working toward a Master’s degree in epidemiology.
  • Priyanka French is popping open the wine industry for BIPOC women. French is the lead winemaker at Signorello Estate in Napa Valley. She's shared her story and her blueprint to open up the wine industry for more BIPOC winemakers.
  • “I decided to be H.E.R.” It stands for “Having Everything Revealed.” Gabriella Wilson reflects on the power of sisterhood, what it means to be a woman and her impressive career so far.

Community Spotlight

Annya Santana Is Bridging The Gap Between Wellness And Culture

Annya Santana Is Bridging The Gap Between Wellness And Culture

Santana is the founder of Menos Mas - a gender fluid, clean beauty line and online community that’s all about caring for the skin and body from the inside-out.

As an Afro-Latina woman growing up in the Bronx, Mas didn't see people who looked like her represented in mainstream media, brands or wellness spaces.

“When I first started incorporating wellness into my life, I found myself kicking down the door into spaces that weren’t built for me.”

Santana is leveraging Menos Mas to create a space for wellness for the people that need it most, those from marginalised communities.

The brand is currently getting an upgrade but will be back soon.

“I feel it’s my duty to empower not just one another but the entire generation, to embrace the very best of who we can be without losing touch of who or where we came from.”

Santana's top tip for incorporating wellness into your life? Start with attainable goals that you can achieve daily.

Historical Woman

Dr Martha Bernal: The Woman Who Helped Advance Multicultural Psychology

Dr Martha Bernal: The Woman Who Helped Advance  Multicultural Psychology

Dr Martha Bernal was the first Latina to receive a PhD in psychology in the US and made significant contributions to the advancement of ethnic minority psychology

Born in 1931 in San Antonio Texas, Bernal grew up immersed in Mexican culture at home. She felt a strong connection to her Mexican heritage.

However, her experiences at school led her to feel ashamed of her ethnicity.

Her school prohibited students from speaking Spanish and Bernal and her siblings were discouraged from taking academically advanced courses.

Bernal pushed through systemic and cultural barriers to obtain her education

After graduating high school she wanted to go to college. Her dad thought that a college education would be a waste for a woman, but Bernal convinced him otherwise!

She earned a Masters degree at Syracuse University and pursued her PhD at Indiana University.

She faced a few challenges during her PhD years - female and coloured students weren't invited to participate on research projects. Despite the challenges, Bernal became the first Latina woman to receive a PhD in clinical psychology in 1962.

Leveraging her experiences as a woman of colour, Bernal dedicated her career to advancing psychological research and support for ethnic minorities

Bernal was concerned with the lack of knowledge psychologists had to work with multicultural populations.

She lobbied to recruit and train more ethnic minorities in the field of psychology. He work and research led to the creation of the Board of Ethnic Minority Affairs in the American Psychological Association.

Bernal received many awards in her lifetime for her contributions to psychology and for helping ethnic minorities to access culturally relevant and safe psychological support.

One Lioness To Another

“We constantly want to give to other people … Too much of not caring for yourself is not a good thing. We’re bad at that as achievers. Self-care is a priority and we have to do it more.”

-Ava DuVernay

January 19, 2023
Shilpa Bhim