7th November 2016


After having some deep chats with a couple of my close friends who also work in the entertainment industry one is a budding musician and the other a producer it left me with a head full of thoughts over the weekend. I decided to Snap about it (ThisIsMaxOnSnap) not the best way really to express a point in short annoying video clips… I also posted something on Instagram which again isn’t the best place to start a conversation but it’s how I felt in that moment. I can be so impulsive, I’m that person that wants to say so much more but always overthink peoples reactions. I created my blog honestly partly so I could share my opinion in a real and uncensored way, so we can talk to each other and express our thoughts even if they are different. max 10 I’m a Presenter, a DJ, a Blogger and a Youtuber…..But I’m also a female working in a very male dominated industry. Add the fact I’m also not white so have had to deal with both sexism and institutionalised racism at times. music I don’t think I will ever forget when I walked into work one Summers day wearing a baseball cap backwards. You know those days when you hair is just not listening to you, so you grab the cap to hide the mess. One of my bosses said to me ‘You no longer work in Urban radio Max, what are you wearing” as he laughed. Now where do I start with this comment, well firstly I didn’t realise wearing a baseball cap is only something fans of Urban music do? I remember friends growing up white, mixed race, black and asian wearing caps. Secondly when another member of the team who is in the office every day ia also wearing a baseball cap has never had a comment thrown on him like that, what’s that about?? The 2 differences between us is he’s white, I’m not and he’s a guy and I’m not. I felt uncomfortable and a little picked on. It was something I had to get used to in the jobs I had worked so hard to get. I didn’t get a co-sign from someone powerful or flirt with anyone to get my job. I just worked so hard sacrificing family and boyfriend time. First one in, last one home and my passion and love for music and entertainment kept me being super creative and being noticed by thankfully the right people.

When I saw this comment under my post on Instagram it made me upset but I also totally understand. I know how hard it has been for me as a woman of colour to get taken seriously and treated with the same respect as my white peers in presenting both in radio and TV. The jokes and unaccepatble sexist comments that everyone else seemed comfortable with made my skin crawl. You know what it feels like whenever I’m on a red carpet reporting when I see maybe 2 other reporters that are none white, while the 50 or so others are all white. Having to prove we are as smart and knowledgeable as our white counterparts when it comes to mianstream music and entertainment. Whenever there would be a big music event and we would look at the line up, most times it was expected I would interview the black acts. At the time I embraced it because I wanted them to get the same support as tradional pop acts!music Somewhere in the back of my head I felt upset and wanted to change the way the majority looked at none white acts unless it was Beyonce, Drake or Rihanna. I had to grow and move up to help change things, that’s how I felt, it was my mission and now I was no longer just a girl that loved presenting and playing tunes. There were times when I would talk to Wretch 32 and Chip, 2 of my closest friends in music about how difficult it was, but they would remind me of the bigger picture and what I was doing was already working. I appreciated their support through a lot of battles, proper brothers to me.


The amount of battles I fought alone when peers would say to me ‘F it Max, think of yourself and make money’…… I wasn’t that person, I was obsessed with music and loved interviewing, money and nice clothes was a bonus. I really care so to me it was part of my job to champion the right music no matter what colour the artist was and trust me when I say it’s lonely at the top and NOBODY stands with you when it comes to change. Am I naive? Do I have an idealistic point of view?  So many questions I ask myself daily but right now I’m trying to represent music, entertainment and inspire you to be happy and live out your dreams through my blog. This is a place I do have control of and can share content without having several meetings and having to convince everyone and their mum.

Part of the comment on my Instagram mentioned away from my colour being ‘pretty’ and that making it easier for me. I have NEVER used my looks to influence or seduce men to give me any opportunities with work or in my personal life. There is a running joke between most people I know in the industry especially with the male artists ‘Treat me like a boy, or we can’t be friends’!  People always say to me ‘Max you should use your looks more and should hang with girls like you ?? What does that even mean?? I have my few real good friends, who I love to bits and am totally myself with and I have a few industry friends, less and less these days to be honest as I can see the good from the straight up bad eggs. I will never try and second guess what you #Habeshagirlll or anyone else has experienced but I will say this I feel the same judgements and fears. This is what I love to do and I want to be a representation for other young women of colour to see it can be done and female in general. Work harder, be more focused and don’t you dare let racism and prejudices stop you from following your heart. Max xxx

5 thoughts on “‘PRETTY’ HAS NEVER GOT ME A JOB….”

  1. You may not have liked their comment and I see why but as a habitual follower of yours, I can understand why they’re on about it because in society when it comes to women? There are privileges and even if you find yourself not necessarily experiencing those privileges, by a broad scale, to others more oppressed than you, you ARE. Pretty may not have ever gotten you a job, but it does keep you liked, not just your cool attitude and ability to play good music/speak on issues. It isn’t realistic and I think attractive women like you deny this all of the time to make your hard-work seem like it will be the thematic emblem of all our lives. Yes, you work hard but it isn’t just that. Do you really think someone would hire a black woman on a radio station like yours to play urban music on a broad scale? No, and if they were to: I can promise you to your own face that it would not happen unless she was racially ambiguous and could pass as something else. That’s the politics. So while you may be blind to this because you genuinely do work hard and have struggled to overcome the bad odds: it is still unfair to presume that this isn’t the reality for many. To be black in London, and be in your industry, is just as bad as what you experience, if not worse. At least you do fit the standard of acceptance and beauty, your skin color is considering threatening, and people love exotic females. Just cause online people make these melanin tags and all sorts of stuff, doesn’t mean they check for everybody. The black market is even harder to crack because people like to keep them there. I consider myself mixed race but I’m also not blind to the oppression that black women in this sort of industry face just because I have social advantages. I hope you can adopt the same mindset. Sometimes it seems belittling to be called pretty and have people assume that’s all we are capable of because it feels good, when we do work hard. But recognize that for someone who is overweight, dark, with prominently black features society will treat them like crap in their own communities. I’m a big fan of the breakfast club podcast with Angela yee and I usually listen at night when it gets posted on soundcloud because of time zones. Angela Yee has a similar story to yours and has time and time again said that pretty and light skinned never got her a job. It wasn’t until recently that she realized that people lie. And that it has in fact encouraged her to get a job. And keep it. So yeah we all face our issues but I can’t blame anyone feels how they do about this because it’s clear that even in urban communities they’d rather have an ambiguous, possible non black, and passing person represent mobo. It’s sad but true. Either way keep doing you and don’t feel small just cause of folks opinion on this. Yeah you’re pretty, but you’re also cool! Every one need to love themselves for who they are and it is a journey not just a destination. Would love to hear you speak more on this. Have you considered YouTube?

    1. Where do I start with my reply….Well Mikayla thanks for sharing your thoughts. I totally understand and know it’s incredibly tough for all of us when we are in the minority and I know it can be even tougher for black women. But honestly don’t ever forget to the majority that is white we are all black whatever shades we are. I can only share my experiences but having friends that are all races has also made me totally aware how much shit we deal with as smart women of colour. Think of it like this … why is there only 1 Oprah, 1 June Sarpong, 1 Margarita Taylor when we were growing up?? This is a huge problem but I don’t want us to be defeated and only work in Urban fields of entertainment or feel we have no place? That’s not fair, but where are our role models?? I’m trying to create new platforms and hope to be in a position to hire other young talented women of all colours to share the journey with. My dad has always reminded me that we are a minority and never get comfortable. That has always saddened me but it’s the reality when we are not the majority. Being exotic, light skin doesn’t make me feel any better when I deal with racism in the work place and politically in correct jokes. I’m glad we are having these conversations and are smart enough to be respectful to each other to share our thoughts, opinions and personal experiences. I wish you all the best with all you aspire to be and do. Max x

      1. Hi Max,

        Really kind of you to reply. I definitely understand where you are coming from and love that you don’t view people or their worth on their outward image/projected disposition and I personally respect that. Being mixed race, I have a lot of other black female friends and other women of color. I never realized why some of this was important until I learned that it was partially because of the way people viewed them compared to me. I definitely agree with you that we are all black, because we are not white. It’s an idea I’ve always agreed with. But a friend had explained it to me like this: when we walk into a room, people’s eyes gravitate towards me or our other friends who “look like” me. It hurt me because initially I thought that we all had the same sort of look, but when she explained it, she then said, “No, you are the standard. I am the “regular” black girl, who is unliked and stigmatized.” I was very offended. I wondered how someone could try and separate a woman of color from another. I got angry, we had our first fight. After speaking with a cousin of mine, I called her quickly and apologized two weeks later. It was something I was not blind to, but had too much pride to say it was the way people saw us. I blamed it on her insecurities initially, but then I realized that that’s how it is. While I never saw her as the person she would describe to others, but in society; I always had more opportunities to shine. She has vowed to not dance again in London, and has moved to the states where she feels there are more markets for women of color like her instead of constantly being overshadowed. We both went to the same college for performing arts, there were times when we auditioned for the same roles. She never got any and it wasn’t because she couldn’t dance: she was fantastic. It is just because they would say I looked a lot more friendly, and that she looked too aggressive. It was not true. So, that is why I see things differently now. I definitely hear you on why there should not have to only be “one of us” because it is a shame there’s only ONE Oprah, ONE Margaret, ect. I do believe that being a smart woman trumps all. And while I do see preferential biases to acceptably beautiful people to be unfair, I know the bigger problem is just white patriarchy, colorism, and a long era of subconscious manipulation from those in power. We shouldn’t have to stay in just one place, and we should be able to take our platforms to the mainstream. I admire you, and Free from the old 106&park because you are both women who have come a long way in this industry. I love people like Scottie Beam, Rocsi, Angela Yee, Clara Amafo. (Bad spelling on my part lol) my main hope is just for people to love themselves and I do think women as a whole deserve self-love. A lot of times we are in competition with each other because there are limited seats for us on a whole. So sometimes I don’t blame people for their anger. I personally never see things from such a bitter or lacking point of view, but I understand that view because it makes many women feel unloved. I don’t know what profession or ambitions that individual @habeshagirl has, but I did feel for them because I do know how feeling unloved makes me feel as a woman. Or feeling like being yourself is worse than being someone else. I am lucky to have been raised never experiencing inferiority complexes in that way because a lot of smart women hold themselves back because they believe physically they are not beautiful or unable to be seen or accepted by a wide majority. I teach dance and am 21 right now. I see a lot of superficiality in the space I’m in now, and my biggest encouragement to young girls in my classes is to be who they are and don’t copy anyone else because they lose very special pieces of themselves as dancers when they do that. There are girls who hate their bodies in my classes, there are girls who dance in the back line so they don’t have close views of themselves via the mirror. It is very heartbreaking. They believe that pretty won’t get them jobs, but it will make them more appealing. Sometimes, I don’t know how to help because I’m young myself. I teach advanced contemporary and advanced to beginner hip hop, all levels really. These things bother me as someone who considers them self an artist, and humanist. There have been times I’ve wanted to record people to place on Instagram and I’ve had girls cry and beg to not be on camera because they “are bad or look ugly” and it’s just a shame. These are smart girls, not just academically but very conscious, influential, and self-sufficient girls. Just very lost. I say all of this because it is definitely an issue that I’m proud as a supporter to see you confront. I’d like to blame it on other people’s insecurities, but deep down, nobody chooses to hate pieces of themselves, that is learned. I just can’t wait for the day that women see their beauty from their intelligence and talents, not just through amazing clothes, makeup, accessories, hair styles. Those are all okay to love, but self love should be everything, not just one or the other. Let’s hope these conversations bring healing to all who need it. I was really intrigued by this and I went through YouTube and found some great videos: specifically one by this female-


        I think it was very powerful to watch and will be for any female who feels “victimized” by ideas that she can’t get anywhere because of the way they look. I really respect you and the hard work you’ve put in for our generation and putting us on the map. I would love to see you speak on a panel one day about being a woman in this industry, swear down you and Shannon Boodram (@shanboody) are my heroes! Hard work and intelligence do pay off, and yes there are certain social privileges but those are not what fuel either of you to get ahead because you stand for the struggle and not act against it.

        Thanks for the well wishes. Much love

        1. You rock and have made me feel great. When I set out to try something new and create my own platform Blog and youtube ( still working to make enough time for that and do the right content) I wanted to create a place where we were able to talk to each other as women and girls and support one another. Reading your words has shown there are other girls like me who give a shit and want to speak out but in a postive way not to make others feel crap. I really don’t like discussing on Twitter and IG as it always ends up with people being ignorant and not just listening and talking to each other. You make some great points a lot I agree with. I will say this as young girls from an early age we are taught to look pretty and have nice hair this continues through school, college, uni and worse in the work place. I love clothes and make -up too but there is a whole other side to us, we are thoughtful, thinkers and have so much to share aside from how we get our curls so perfect ( mine looks more like a bush most days lol)
          Thanks for sharing your thoughts from the heart babe and keep killing it and putting out your energy. You are my role model too xxx

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