“……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.
“… 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.
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… 💕💕💕💕💕
“….It’s not us who should be silenced or forced into guilt, it is those who hold resentment and fear of what our collective voices can evolve into that need you. Because I certainly don’t and I no longer wish to carry you alongside with me.”