“……As U.K. Editor for Brown Girl MagazineSejal Sehmi is a globally celebrated media insider – self-described as a ‘writer and full-time thinker’. Her passion for writing has ‘stemmed from challenging society defined rules created for women of her generation.’ Dr Reena invites Sejal to Harley Street to discuss topics further in depth and she reveals how her role within the industry has evolved since starting out.
As I lay down flowers outside the grounds of Buckingham Palace to pay my respects to the late Queen Elizabeth II earlier this month, I am taken back to the summer of 2001. My then 4-year-old cousin had decided to throw a royal tantrum outside the palace grounds, once she realised that she wasn’t on Her Majesty’s invite list to the annual Garden Tea Party. “But I want to see the Queen!” she cried. Just like her, I grew up on fairy tales of Kings and Queens living in magical Kingdoms — yet our reality was far from fiction. Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor, the country’s longest-serving monarch, leaves behind a legacy that will continue to heighten so many emotions and divide views amongst South Asians in the United Kingdom. For many, the history of colonisation and wounds of partition, inflicting my own family, is far from forgotten. Yet, equally there are those, like my immigrant grandmother, wanting to move forward — who not only participated with fellow South Asians in the Queen’s Jubilee celebration in Jun, but waited 12 hours to see the late Queen lying in state — that are simply mourning the matriarch, the mother, the grandmother — who single-handedly served the country for over 70 years. A country that my grandmother calls home. As BGM’s UK Editor, I was well aware of the challenges in bringing together different voices on one platform. Voices of loss, grief, anger and even hope, but voices that need to be heard. I am thankful to my team and all the guests that have contributed such raw emotions.
Following the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on 8 September 2022, Brown Girl Magazine’s U.K. team along with guest contributors, some who have been associated or recognised by the monarchy, have penned their views on whether this historic moment will shift attitudes towards the significance and standing of the Royal Family. Read the full Brown Girl Magazine opinion link here
Are our expectations as South Asians, of what we perceive as representation within the fashion and beauty industry realistic? Where do we draw the line between cultural appreciation and appropriation. Along with the founders of luxury sports brand The Wolfe London and brand consultant Arooj Aftab, Too British To Be Asian host Sharan Raju tackles all those uncomfortable discussions. Full video below.
Language isn’t the sole identifier in embracing and appreciating your cultural roots, so why do society set benchmarks to determine someone’s cultural appreciation. As UK Editor of Brown Girl Magazine and born into a mixed heritage, I have come across so many stories that relay the same question – why do we struggle with identity? I speak to Sharan Raju – creator of Too British To Be Asian podcast to discuss if these narratives will ever change?
…”..South Asian protagonist Seema’s, “No, I am just a bad Indian girl” response to Carrie Bradshaw’s ‘arranged marriage’ question really irked me! Her character has just played right into that aged narrative that so many single, sorry, happily single, women are trying to break away from. Why can’t, for once, there be a South Asian protagonist who is successful, happy with her single status, without appearing as if she is a rebel with a cause?…”
Brown Girl Magazine writers and readers from across the globe discuss the collective frustration at HBO’s reboot of Sex And the City is a reflection of why poor representation in 2022 is so problematic. Click here to read my full review.
“… My mum has always been my role model – she is an absolute hustler, looking after her business and her family…”
Along with Shirin Shah of SASS and Reshma Chohan, this week I spoke to BBC Radio Leicester’s Shruti Chauhan on what we define as South Asian female role models and their impact and influence within the British South Asian community. Check out the full interview on the BBC Sounds site or click below for the full audio link.
Is the term BAME – Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority Groups outdated and divisive. I speak to BBC Asian Network’s Ankur Desai along with guests Meera Sharma and Karanjee Gaba. Listen to the full interview on the website or full audio below
A vintage gem that speaks a thousand words and needs no filter.. Three generations in one frame, each silently narrating their paths.. The matriarch – my Nani – undeterred by the struggles life has thrown her, and leading her tribe forward with integrity and sincerity.. Her daughter – my mother – who looks on in awe and pride at this woman who has single-handedly raised the next generation, and still clutches my shoulder, oozing maternal love. And little ole me – clinging on to my mum’s hand, knowing I’m in the presence of motherhood and feeling safe and protected. I can’t think of anything more powerful than this…. Selfless, humble and pure love… 💕💕💕💕💕
In conversation with best-selling author Sweta Vikram and creative professor and author Sayatani Dasgupta – as part of South Asian Heritage month we discuss the wonderful world of writing and why our voices matter..!