Meet Olly on set at the Glow Collective shoot! Blogger and anti-racism activist. A Glow Hub fan, she also wants to use our platform to talk & educate on what it means to be anti-racist. From her favourite Glow Hub product to resource reccomendations, let's get into it...
Why did you want to be part of the Glow Collective?
I really like Glow Hub and it was such a cool brand! I saw the opportunity and I thought I’d just take it basically. I really enjoy engaging with stuff I like, so really wanted to get involved. Then, there was also the opportunity of sharing the message of something that was important to us, and I thought it was good, for a brand to be-able to be open about that and upfront about giving people a platform to speak about their issues. I think the best way to educate people and talk about issues is to give a step up to people who can talk about it.
You spoke about wanting to use our platform and are the chair of your university BAME society, can you tell us more about that?
I’m really into anti-racism, so obviously as a black girl I can talk about it from my perspective, but I started off at uni joining our BAME network and I ended up chairing it. We had an event called Race in Your Face Part 3, and it was a really cool event where we had panels with students and staff to talk about different topics, such as decolonising the curriculum and personal experiences as well. It was a great way to get change going at the university, so then the years since the university has been trying to create change in terms of anti-racism and different topics as well, both from the top down, in terms of changing policy, and from the bottom up with the BAME ambassadors. (I know BAME is a term we don’t really like to use, but at the moment it’s what is used.) It’s a really interesting thing, there was so many things I wasn’t aware that race impacts, I think it's interesting to learn that especially in academia race plays a part in the way people are taught. The pipelines from school and early education into higher education is actually really important in impacting how people graduate with their degrees, so it’s interesting to learn and explore how we change things and make them better. There are targets to reduce the gap because some gaps are as big as 18-20% and that essentially means between white students and other non-white students of the same academic ability, the non-white students are less likely to graduate with a first, even though they entered university with the same academic ability. So, it’s just really important to explore why that happens and what can be done with lecturers and changing perspectives. Teaching people in a way that is relevant to them, and they can relate to and understand the contents. That’s why we’re doing it, it’s really cool and important since race impacts everything in life. I’ve been learning about the different ways race affects medicine or politics, even buying a house, it’s interesting to learn and see how that happened, it’s amazing, I love learning about it and talking about it.
If you could summarise what you wanted to share briefly – what do you think needs a spotlight?
Race, essentially. Anything that comes in that conversation, keeping in line with current issues. We see so much going on in the world, people need to be aware that it’s still happening, nothing has essentially changed from the past, our grandparent’s era. It looks like it’s changed and people are talking about it more but, fundamentally what has actually changed? We’re just talking about the same issues over and over again, so I’m hoping though this, younger people can learn more and challenge more. A lot of the time we say with the new generation things will fizzle out, but you have to keep in mind that ideologies are passed down, so racism is too. So in the same way anti-racism needs to be learned and carried on and needs to be a constant changing thing that evolves.
Do you have any resource recommendations?
Books are really helpful and there’s a lot of resources out there! Lapp the brand - who I’ve written for before - they have a blog section that covers anything political and race orientated. It’s always from black and indigenous, POC female writers as well, keeping up with current issues and seeing it from that perspective too.
There’s also some black girl reading clubs - @merkybooks – have loads of great book recommendations from Black and POC writers.
I also really recommend Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of an Empire by Akala. It’s a great book, that I really enjoyed, it was just so eye opening and insightful from a British perspective as well. Because if you speak about race across a diaspora, the way different communities experience things changes depending on the geography of the area and the history of that area. So one person’s struggle is not the same as the others, but we have a connectiveness though the issues we face, even though they’re not the same. So, it’s important to keep in mind where this information is coming from and how it applies to you in the place you live. So Black British history has its own heroes and has its own challenges that people face, so I think it’s important to look at things from that perspective as well.
Do you know your skin type?
Dry skin, dry! I get oily sometimes at the end of the day, but I am dry skinned, I have to put a thick moisturiser on, especially in the winter.
Favourite part of your skincare routine?
Serums! I also gua sha a lot, that’s a fun way of getting all your oils and serums infiltrated into your skin and you come out looking snatched! I love that, but yeah definitely serums, it’s interesting to look at all the active ingredients.
Do you think you’re skin confident?
I think I am! I have no problem with or without makeup on, but I also come from a place of privilege where my skin has never really had massive issues, but I am skin confident.
Favourite Glow Hub product?
I love the Purify & Brighten Jelly Cleanser and the Calm & Soothe Serum Mist mist with hemp in it, it’s good for calming skin, good for breakouts and the cleanser’s good for not drying out skin. I use it as my second cleanser after my oil cleanse.