STYLE AND CULTURE
ASOS MAGAZINE MEETS SIMRAN RANDHAWA
By Bella Gladman, 20 October 2018
Writer, activist, presenter… Simran Randhawa is making her British-Asian identity her signature. ASOS Magazine met up with her to chat about representation, beauty standards and what's in her makeup bag. Read the full interview only in the Autumn 18 edition of ASOS Magazine, available to buy right here.
On beauty standards
I made a documentary about how Eurocentric beauty standards impact people of colour in the UK today. Of all the interviews I did, my mum's was super-emotional. When she came to the UK after getting married, she felt greater pressure to be lighter than she had felt growing up in Malaysia. She'd tell us to stay out of the sun because she thought you needed to be lighter to get more opportunities.
Representing heritage through beauty
I spent 21 years rejecting my culture. I would say, 'We can't go to Asda on the way home [from temple] because I don't want anyone from school to see me in my cultural clothes.' When I went to uni I struggled with my identity. Over time I gravitated towards my culture for comfort – cooking curry or going to the Asian beautician to see other brown people. Through that, I unlearned everything that I'd internalised.
Her Instagram inspiration
My cool South Asian girls inspire me. My fave is Sanam (@sanam) from Rihanna's BBHMM video. A lot of the messages I get are from Indian girls between the ages of 13 and 18, which is sweet! Social media gets a bad rap but it provides more direct and diverse representation than traditional media.