Let’s be real, representation in previous years has taken little steps toward where it should be but this summer, we have seen a HUGE revolution in representation. From the Fashion industry to the big screen, there is no questioning that representation is finally coming to the forefront of our minds! From Crazy Rich Asians (I can’t wait to see this) to the blackout on the Fashion magazine’s September issues (I am obsessed!), we have witnessed some truly iconic moments for people of colour and people of different abilities. I wanted to write something that celebrates all of this greatness!
The reason why September issues are the most iconic and important of the year is that it is the kingpin for the fashion world. Also, fashion month begins in September which is why most of your favourite magazines will do a Fashion edition as their September issue. It sets the mood for the season ahead!
Because of their prestige, Septemeber issues take the longest to plan and have the most effort put into them. So the facts that we were graced with so many women of colour on the covers is a monumental move! The myth that Black women don’t sell magazines is one the fashion industry has maintained for decades but it is finally being broken as more than half of the September issues were covered by women of colour… Just let that sink in! I am still shook.
From Beyonce, Rihanna & Zendaya to Yara Shahidi, Constance Wu & Issa Rae, it was a beautiful array of colour and diversity. Even though this is a huge step, there is still a long way to go in regard to the representation of Asian women & men. But with all the love for Crazy Rich Asians, To all the boys I’ve loved before and Searching, I hope that this won’t be a problem for much longer!
Both Beyonce and Rihanna made history. Beyonce had full creative control of Vogue magazine and had her cover shot by Tyler Mitchell, a 23-year-old African American photographer who has become the first ever black photographer to shoot a Vogue magazine cover shoot. Whether you’re a Beyonce fan or not, I would highly recommend reading what she has written. It’s very eye-opening and empowering! Rihanna also made history as she is the first black women to ever cover British Vogue’s September issue. Under the new direction of Edward Enninful, British Vogue is doing some new, wonderful and empowering things!
Our young queens, Zendaya and Yara Shahidi – both women who I admire – are the new game shakers who are here to disrupt what we knew before and create what needs to be in place. Long let this love for people of colour last – and not just be a trend! #NotYourTrend
Stars of the silver screen
Constance Wu was already a hard hitter when it came to the acting world but with Crazy Rich Asians under her belt, it has put her into a new stratosphere. Her Fashion Canada cover above is as exquisite as her work in Crazy Rich Asians and I am so excited to see it when it comes to the UK. Let’s just put this into perspective: Crazy Rich Asians in the first mainstream film in 25 years that has had an all Asian cast! 25 long years without our Asian brothers and sisters being able to show who they really are in the spotlight. I am filled with the same excitement that I felt for Black Panther and A wrinkle in time, (Which I am still yet to see, if anyone wants to buy it for me on DVD… lol) this is just as monumental for the Asian community and we need to be there to support it. In the same way that we bought out cinemas so young kids can see themselves on screen, the same ethos needs to be carried forward.
The whole cast of Crazy Rich Asians are full of love, light and charisma. Henry Golding is now a new poster boy for hot Asian men, the days are over when Asian men are relinquished to the nerdy type that never gets the girl, the corner shop owner or the ninja, Asian Men are so much more brilliant, diverse and vibrant than that. Big up to all of my Asian brothers and sisters who are killing the game. A lot of my favourite bloggers and influencers are Asian.
Let’s be real, I gush about Edward Zo every other day, he’s an actor, influencer, entrepreneur and all round gem of a human being who is looking to push for more diversity in the acting industry. There are a load more people who you should definitely check out – they are all on my Instagram! Anyway back to Films!
Gemma Chan, Kris Aquino, Harry Shum Jr, Akwafina, Michelle Yeoh, Ken Jeong are just some of the cast and to top it all off, Jon M Chu directed this excellent screen adaptation of the Kevin Kwan novels. Who said that films with people of colour wouldn’t sell? Whoever said it must be kicking themselves now as business is BOOMING! Book adaptations really seem to be doing well on Netflix as well especially To all the boys I’ve loved before.
If you have been browsing Netflix lately, you probably come across To all the boys I’ve loved before. If for some unknown reason you haven’t watched it, this is your sign – WATCH IT! Not only does it focus on a 3 dimensional Asian American teenage girl, it’s a story written by Jenny Han that can beautifully transcend to whatever situation as it deals with everyone’s favourite topic – Love! Lana Condor’s portrayal of Lara-Jean Covey was inspired and it was such a relatable performance. I am sure we all know what unrequited love feels like. I would highly recommend giving this a watch!
That Primark Campaign
Now usually when you cite something as ‘that’ campaign it’s usually a bad thing like that HM monkey T-shirt. But this campaign was truly exquisite. It featured one of my favourite people, Kelly Knox – who was front and centre.
Firstly, I am immensely proud of her and all the amazing things she has accomplished with Milk model management. Secondly, I am so excited to see more images like this where disability, size, skin colour etc isn’t a problem but a superpower. We should all be proud of our differences and others differences. We still have a LONG way to go in regard to representation but a small step in the right direction is still a step! Big up to all who were involved in this campaign, I am simply just highlighting Kelly as I have spoken to her. There are so many other models who are so unique, talented and beautiful that do not get the credit that they deserve. Kelly is definitely one of them.
Here are some other brilliant and unique models that you just need to check out:
All of the new models signed to Brenda’s new Modelling agency, Ciel –
There are probably so many more but these are the ones you need to know about right now!
Olay – We are Fearless Like that!
This Olay campaign is – in the words of my favourite YouTuber, Lilly Singh – Bomb! 9 awesome, phenomenal and transformative women are heading up this campaign. Some I’ll admit, I didn’t know before this campaign but I am so intrigued to learn more about them.
In a celebration of all women, this is a beautiful video and campaign that represents so many. This was seen in Times Square and also in Beyonce’s Iconic September Vogue issue. But that’s not the end, Olay will be taking over NYFW with their Face Anything challenge. Lilly Singh, Mama Cax and the rest of the fearless 9 amongst others such as the brilliant Jackie Aina will be walking at New York Fashion Week… Barefaced! It’s about to get super really up in here.
The Big British Asian Summer
Last but by no means least, it’s time to talk about TV. The BBC premiered some spectacular TV shows all to do with British Asians and their culture and I have never learned so much about our Asian brothers and sisters. I believe I have some Indian in my heritage so it is always interesting for me to learn more as it’s part of my family history that I know nothing about.
The bright and vibrant talent that I saw from Asian comedians (That I could deeply relate to) who made me belly laugh to informative shows about how Bollywood movies are made and how Riz Ahmed feels about being a British Asian actor.
It’s so insightful and better yet, it is all still on BBC Iplayer, I urge you to go and watch something from this amazing series!
As I have said, we have come so far but we still have so far to go! I am so proud of the progression that I have seen in the last few months!