Thursday, 1 May 2014


From my research findings I found a few british celebrity role models that people looked up to in regards to the media. I went throughout the list of women to gather information about them to see what I could find about them  for my research.

Diane Abbott

Diane Julie Abbott (born 27 September 1953) is a British Labour Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Hackney North and Stoke Newington since 1987, when she became the first black woman to be elected to the House of Commons. In 2010, Abbott became Shadow Public Health Minister after unsuccessfully standing for election as leader of the Labour Party but was removed in a reshuffle three years later. - bio

"I'm not thick-skinned at all, and of course I'm hurt by people attacking me as a person." - Diane Abbott Jourdan Dunn

(Age: 23, Ethnicity: greek and jamaican, Occupation: singer)

Jourdan Dunn (born 3 August 1990) is a British fashion model. She was discovered in Hammersmith Primark in 2006 and signed to Storm Model Management in London shortly thereafter. In 2008, she was the first black model to walk a Prada runway in over a decade. She has attracted attention because of the paucity of black models in the fashion modelling industry. In April 2014, it was announced that Dunn was signed as the new face of Maybelline New York. - bio

"I go to castings and see several black and Asian girls, then I get to the show and look around there's just me and maybe one other coloured face." - Jourdan Dunn

Lack Of Diversity In The Fashion Industry Interviews
Lianne La Havvas

(Age: 23, Ethnicity: greek and jamaican, Occupation: singer)

Lianne La Havas (born 23 August 1989 as Lianne Charlotte Barnes is an English folk and soul singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. She was nominated for the BBC's Sound of 2012 poll. Her debut album Is Your Love Big Enough? was awarded the title of iTunes Album of The Year 2012. - bio

"Women who have strong identities, who know themselves, really inspire me." - Lianne La Havas

"I love the music of Lauryn Hill and Erykah Badu and more recently the music of Laura Marling. All these women share a strength and a wisdom in their voices and music that really makes me want to make music and sing." - Lianne La Havas

"I've always had this identity thing. When I was little, I was always changing my handwriting because I couldn't decide which one I liked best." - Lianne La Havas

Interviews About Her Music and Identity

"I used to relax my hair when I was at teenager from the age of 13- 19. Then I just realized and people would tell me how bad it was for my hair. You would just hear these horror stories of girl’s hair falling out and breaking and my hair actually broke off and it was just devastating. I make it a point now to never ever chemically straighten my hair. Especially when I’m on tour, it’s easier. Sometimes I do blow-dry it and use a curler and add a few extra curls. More often than not I just keep it natural now." - Lianne La Havas

Emeli Sande

(Age: 27, Ethnicity: Zambian and Scottish White, Occupation: singer and a bachelor in science)

Adele Emeli Gouraguine (née Sandé), born 10 March 1987, better known as Emeli Sandé (/ˈsændeɪ/ san-day; is a British recording artist and songwriter. In 2012 she received the Brit Awards Critics' Choice Award. She has written for a number of artists, including Alicia Keys, Cher Lloyd, Parade, Susan Boyle, Gabrielle, Preeya Kalidas, Rihanna, Leona Lewis, Alesha Dixon, Amber Riley, Cheryl Cole, Tinie Tempah, Ella Henderson, Mutya Keisha Siobhan, and Fantasia Barrino.

In 2010, she signed a publishing deal with EMI Music Publishing. She later announced that Virgin Records had given her a record deal. Sandé released her first solo single "Heaven" in August 2011. Sandé has three number-one singles across the United Kingdom and Ireland with "Read All About It" with Professor Green, "Next to Me" and "Beneath Your Beautiful" a collaboration with Labrinth. Her album Our Version of Eventsspent 7 non-consecutive weeks at number 1 and became the best-selling album of 2012 in the UK, with over 1 million sales. In 2012 she performed in both the Opening and Closing ceremonies of the London Olympics. - bio

"I was quite different and sometimes it was hard being completely different to everybody else, in terms of knowing where you fit in." - Emeli Sande
''If I ever said to my parents, 'Ooh someone called me this at school', or 'Someone asked me all these stupid questions' they'd get frustrated and say, 'Just tell them they're an idiot'. They didn't want to fight my battles; they wanted me to be strong and find my own way to deal with it.'' - Emeli Sande

Interviews About Her Music and Identity

Alesha Dixon

Alesha Anjanette Dixon (born 7 October 1978) is an English singer, dancer, rapper, model and television presenter. She found fame in the all-female R&B/garage trio Mis-Teeq. In 2007 Dixon became a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing and won. n September 2009 Dixon became a judge on the seventh series of Strictly Come Dancing, replacing fellow judge Arlene Phillips. In January 2012, shortly after completing the ninth series and her third year as a judge on Strictly Come Dancing, Dixon quit to become a judge on Britain's Got Talent. Alesha Dixon is one the first black females to be a presenter on both of these shows.  - bio

"When you are knocked down you have two choices - stay down or get back up, stronger."

Interviews about being on TV and being black

Michelle Ogunhedi

(Age: 45, Ethnicity:, Occupation: Editor in Chief of Elle Interiors)

Michelle Ogundehin is internationally recognized as an authority on interiors, style and design. She was appointed a Trustee of the V&A Museum in 2008 and is also a director of MO:Studio Ltd, her own creative direction and interior design consultancy ( 

Michelle was appointed Editor-in-Chief of ELLE Decoration UK in May 2004, consolidating a relationship with the magazine that started in 1997. In September 2007 she launched ELLE Decoration Collections, an annual guide to the world’s best new designs, and in August 2007 she was appointed Editor in Chief of Real Homes magazine (a position she held in addition to her editorship of ELLE Decoration) masterminding its re-launch in January 2008 and subsequent sale a year later. 

Originally trained as an architect, she began her publishing career assisting Tim Marlow, the renowned art historian turned television presenter and director of the White Cube Art Gallery, on the launch of Tate Art Magazine. It was a short hop across the Wordsearch publishing house to Blueprint Magazine (then edited by Deyan Sudjic, currently director of London’s Design Museum) where she rose to the position of Senior Editor in less than three years. Her energy and enthusiasm led to her ultimately being headhunted by style guru Ilse Crawford, joining ELLE Decoration as its Features Director. 

Just 12 months later she was promoted to Deputy Editor. And a year after that she set up shop on her own, albeit maintaining her connection to ELLE Decoration as its Editor-at-Large. She has also worked as Interiors Editor for Esquire magazine (September 1997 to April 1999); Interiors Editor of Nova Magazine, (April 2000 to April 2001), as well as regularly contributing to influential publications including: Arena; Design Week; ELLE; The Evening Standard; The Face; Frank; Hoch Parterre (Zurich), The Guardian, iD; Interiors (New York); International Design Magazine (New York); Numero (Paris); Scene; Sunday Times Style.

Interviews about Her Identity and Job

Although the majority of the results from my survey said that they didn't have any black british role models or thought there were not any. The few that I did find had done really inspirational things and would be good to put into the exhibition material to educate women about these other women in Britain. 

Also in my research I found that there was a lack of information I could find on Michelle Ogundehin, so I tried to contact her through Twitter, in doing this I hope that she will get back to me for a short interview to add into the exhibition magazine.

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