Women of colour across so many industries are driving change and making space at the table for themselves and their communities.
We're excited to be highlighting a few of these women this week - inclusivity and support for those in the community underpins every story in this week's newsletter.
Let's get glowing!
P.S. Happy Holi to those in our community who have been celebrating the past few days!
A Foundation Shade For Every Skin Tone In Australia...
... That's The Aim Of Adore Beauty's Global Shades Campaign
Raise your hand if you've ever been personally let down by the lack of foundation shades that cater to BIPOC skin tones. We're imagining most of you are raising your hands right now.
Shanthi Murugan, a South Asian woman who is Head of Campaign & Strategy at Adore Beauty in Australia knows what it's like to not be able to access makeup products because of her skin tone.
"As a teenager, I never wore makeup. Not because I didn't want to, but because makeup didn't exist for people who looked like me"
In 2017, Murugan emailed Kate Morris, founder of Adore Beauty. She highlighted that she couldn't shop for foundations and concealers on the Adore Beauty website. They weren't available in her shade.
Murugan's email saw Adore Beauty begin its journey towards inclusivity. The online retailer started ensuring it could sell all foundation and concealer shades made available to Australia.
But a whole bunch of shades for people of colour that are sold overseas are currently not available in Australia.
The Global Shades campaign seeks to truly make Australia's beauty industry inclusive
Spearheaded by Murugan, the campaign kicked off last week with an open letter to all Australians.
The aim? For all Australians to have equal access to foundations and concealers regardless of their skin tone. "By the end of 2021, together we can make this a reality."
Adore Beauty is currently working towards stocking over 2,600 different shades from 350 complexion products.
"It’s time for us to elevate the voices of Black, Indigenous and people of colour and show the world how beautifully diverse our country is. It’s time for change"
Action and support from the beauty industry and the public will help the Global Shades campaign to achieve its goal.
You can learn more about and show your support by signing the petition to stock all shades here.
You Need To Read…
The First Woman, by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi.
Set in a small village in Uganda, The First Woman tells the story of a young girl named Kirabo who is discovering what it means to become a woman in a family, community and country determined to silence her. Finding her place in the world will take all the courage she has.
- The power of #rippedjeans ... Political statements and fashion (and social media) go hand in hand. Ripped jeans were all the rage this week after a government minister in India made public comments about a woman wearing ripped jeans next to him on a flight - apparently ripped jeans are not in line with Indian values (all together now, and sigh/eye roll!). Women in India united, and responded in protest by posting photos of themselves in ripped jeans on social media. At one point, #RippedJeans was the top trending hashtag on Twitter in India!
- Xiao Zhen Xie is planning to donate the $1 million raised for her recovery to combat racism against Asian Americans. Xie is the 75-year-old woman who was punched by a man in San Francisco last week, and fought back by smacking him with a board. Nearly $1 million was donated for her recovery via GoFund Me. "She insists on making this decision saying this issue is bigger than her," said her grandson John Chen who announced the plans to donate all of the money.
- These women of colour are fighting for gender and racial equality.Kittu Randhawa, Nyadol Nyuon and Mehreen Faruqi share their experiences with pushing for gender and racial equality in Australia, and holding the line on the narrative they want to support. "The concept of change is fighting … even when you can't see when you will win."
- EnrichHER is all about supporting women of colour led businesses. Founded by Dr Roshawnna Novellus, the US based fintech startup is helping women of colour in business get funded while educating them about multiple methods of business financing. "I strongly believe that in order for society to change, access to resources must change. Diversification of business ownership is part of the solution", says Novellus.
- Disney Channel is about to release its first film centred on Indian culture. Spin (release date TBC) will follow Rhea, an Indian American teen, who discovers her artistic side through the unique world of DJ culture. She learns she has a passion for creating mixes that blend the textures of her Indian heritage and the world around her.
- Who's Loving You. Sareeta Domingo's latest book (Who's Loving You)is a celebratory, striking collection of love stories by ten women of colour authors. The love stories swing from the queer, complicated, and fairytale-like, but all championing something vital for women of colour to see in the world. We're adding this one to our reading list immediately!
Bread Beauty And The Boss Women Collective
Maeva Heim Launched Bread Beauty Supply During A Global Pandemic ...
... And she's never looked back! Heim grew up in Perth, Australia and had been relaxing (chemically straightening) her hair since she was six years old.
A few years ago she decided to transition back to her natural hair texture and realised there was a massive gap in the market for textured hair. "As a woman of colour, I didn't feel like I was getting the same level of product availability or brand experience that everyone else was, and I was determined to change that."
Enter Bread Beauty Supply.
The brand's ethos: Do more. Do less. Do whatever. Do you. Bread is all about getting the fundamentals of curly hair care right - so you can spend less time worrying about wash day.
"Our mission is to champion diversity in the hair-care category, and also to become the staple of every curly-haired human's hair-care wardrobe."
Fun fact: Bread was one of the first Australian brands to be selected for Sephora Accelerate (an incubation program for beauty startups) and is now sold on the Sephora USA website.
Riana Singh Is Here To Amplify Diverse Voices Through Boss Women Collective
The Boss Women Collective, or BWC as it's affectionately known, is a platform and community focused on empowering women in the early stages of their careers.
BWC was founded by Singh who built the platform after graduating from university and realising she was missing the sense of community that is easily fostered as an undergraduate student.
She realised there wasn't a space for young women to receive and share advice from those in the same boat, who are also navigating the start of their professional careers.
"I wanted to create a space that showcased the beauty of finding community and friendship while also finding your voice in the workplace."
BWC uses the idea of peer mentorship to build safe and open environments to make personal and professional connections.
Dr Bath: The Trailblazing Woman Behind The Laserphaco Probe
Dr. Patricia Bath was the first female African American doctor to receive a patent for a medical invention in the USA
That invention was the Laserphaco Probe. AKA, a medical device that improves on the use of lasers to remove cataracts, and for ablating and removing cataract lenses.
The Laserphaco Probe was patented in 1988.
She was a trailblazer from the start and experienced many firsts throughout her career
Dr Bath received her medical degree from Howard University College of Medicine in 1968. She completed her training at New York University and was the first African American resident in ophthalmology.
She was also the first female ophthalmologist at UCLA's Jules Stein Eye Institute and the first female African American surgeon at the UCLA Medical Center in 1974.
By 1983 she was chair of the ophthalmology residency training program at Drew-UCLA, the first woman in the USA to hold such a position.
Dr Bath was driven by a passion to help those in her community, underpinned by the principle that eyesight is a basic human right
She became aware of the higher rate of blindness suffered by impoverished urban African-Americans when starting out her career.
So she worked with colleagues to create a system of community ophthalmology to reduce the incidence of eye disease and blindness in the African-American community.
Dr Bath also founded the American Institute for the Prevention of Blindness in 1977. The Institute is a non-profit organisation dedicated to the prevention of blindness through programs designed to protect, preserve and restore sight. What an inspiring woman!
One Lioness To Another
“Our backs tell stories no books have the spine to carry”