Allyship: From the workplace to educating my children-what I have learned

Making a difference in the day-to-day

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Photo by Mike Erskine on Unsplash
Photo by Mike Erskine on Unsplash

While the fashion industry still has a long way to go, it has embraced diversity in many ways – not just skin tone, but gender too. Working in this environment has given me a very diverse set of friends.

I’ve always made a point of my door being open to anyone, and that also means talking about my work, my friends, and introducing my children and family to everybody that I work with or has an impact on me.

This is very important to my husband and I so that my kids grow up in a world where everyone is accepted through soul connections, rather than basing a friendship on a persons’ physical appearance or judging someone on it.

Recently, I’ve loved the way Sesame Street has educated children and their parents about the Black Lives Matters protests and why it’s happening through their Townhall. I’ve had very interesting and meaningful conversations with my children about it, and this moment has really opened up the conversations in educating our kids about prejudice, racism, caste privilege and black lives matter. I’m very grateful for that. 

For those that may be looking to educate their children similarly, I also feel it’s really important and helpful to introduce kids to the concept of role models. Roles models can be incredibly powerful and it’s so important that children see more people that look like them or from a similar background that have done great things.

Through my own experiences, I have come to learn how to take the positives from every situation – no matter how devastating. In the same way that Black Lives Matter has begun to help us educate our children a little better, the impact of Covid-19 has at last changed our perspective on those we view as role models. Nurses, doctors, retail and transport workers are the real heroes/heroines with a genuine passion to support the community. I’m excited for the value they have rightly been given, and I hope we never forget that, but continue to celebrate them. It was great to see British Vogue honour our key workers in this way through their front cover in June. It’s a really important message to give to society and educate our kids on, that you don’t have to be a celebrity or influencer to be a role model, they exist and are around us in the closest people we know. That’s impactful for this generation and future generations.

For myself personally, I have followed Oprah Winfrey since watching her shows in the 90s. I’ve always felt she is an incredible leader to learn from in the way she shows compassion and kindness to all. She has such a unique way of expressing and talking about the most difficult situations with such ease and thought for people. While small steps such as committing to educating our children will definitely help drive change within our smaller hubs, if everyone did that, we can enforce a bigger change in the long-term, we all should and can be brave in our own lives to make differences. As a makeup artist when I decided to take it on as a career, one of my ethos to be known for is that makeup should be accessible to any age, gender and skin colour. It was important to me to be able to work with anyone, have the knowledge on how to work with that skin and texture, and have the right products in my kit to do an incredible job. For any artist this is a must. So, in our day to day lives, really look at what is it you can do to make a difference, educate or research, and just like Oprah, we can all be just as strong and influential.

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