Black Beauty and Wholeness

In this week's episode Leyla is joined by Dr Rochelle Rowe to talk about Black beauty and wholeness, what it means and how society still has a long way to go. Continue Reading Black Beauty and Wholeness

Welcome to the 85th episode of the award-winning Diverse Minds podcast. This month we are looking at personal development.

In today’s episode, we’re going to be talking about Black beauty and wholeness. That’s not to say that Black communities need to focus on beauty as an area of personal development. Rather, this is for people who don’t understand the stereotypes, pushbacks and struggles around Black beauty. As well as the pressure that Black women are put under by society at large.

To talk about this topic in more details, I’m delighted to be joined by Dr. Rochelle Rowe.

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About My Guest Dr Rochelle Rowe

Dr Rochelle Rowe (SFHEA) is a British writer and a historian of gender, race and the body.  

Dr Rowe obtained her PhD in History from the University of Essex in 2010. Whilst she was at Essex she helped pioneer interest in the history of beauty and beauty culture, which is now an established research area. She is published in the Radical History Review, Gender & History, in addition to other high profile journals. Rochelle’s career in higher education includes teaching history and leading major programmes of learning and development. She currently works part-time at UCL, where she focuses on leadership development. 

Rochelle’s first book is entitled Imagining Caribbean Womanhood. It centres on feminist history of Black beauty spanning the British West Indies, Harlem and postwar London. Her current research interest focused on Black Victorian women, more about this soon! This work is due to be published soon by Bloomsbury.

In today’s show, about Black Beauty and Wholeness

  • How Rochelle came to research beauty in the Caribbean, Black Beauty ideals and the work that does now. [02:20]
  • Ways things have changed and shifted around beauty and identity for Black women in the last year. [05:04]
  • What the term wholeness means to her in this context. [11:15]
  • How Black British women can build themselves up in the face of subtle and obvious racism. [13:33]
  • Her top 3 tips for looking after her mental health [27:33]

Quotes about Black Beauty and Wholeness

  • My cynicism is born of an element of self-protection.
  • Women bear the brunt for respectability. Respectability politics is often overlooked and has been a key issue in the Caribbean.
  • The Self-respect can cut you off from your sexuality.
  • Wholeness to me means paying attention to all aspects of your life and looking after yourself.
  • I think lavishing time on yourself can be partly the antidote to the hostility that the world can often still show us.

Connect with my guest to learn more about Black Beauty and Wholeness

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Remember to tune in next week, where I’ll bring you more insights on mental health and inclusion.

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