‘PRETTY’ HAS NEVER GOT ME A JOB….

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.

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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.

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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.

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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