All too often earning a wage means giving up the 'fro, even a short, clean, pushed-back-by-a-hairband number that resulted in an on-the-spot and crude appraisal by my former manager: 'You need to put some Sof'n'Free' (relaxer) in that'.
I felt compelled to write this after watching on BBC, the video of a mother of an 11-year-old who produced an advert so her daughter could embrace her natural hair. Black hair is an important part of our identify and our heritage. Black women are beautiful regardless of what hair style they decide to rock.
Understandably, many Muslims are welcoming these companies' moves. Why not? It is a sign that we are being acknowledged as consumerists. Companies have discovered a niche in the market from social media where hijab fashion bloggers have created a platform for themselves and are using apps, in particular Instagram, to showcase modest fashion.
On International Women's Day, Garnier UK released an advert on Instagram of six women with the caption "We are strong, We are ambitious, We are awesome (and into double denim), We are women". All six women in the advert are white.
This was frightening. In every story I was a little white girl. I had blonde pigtails, I had the bluest eyes, so blue that 'sometimes they were clear'. What was clear to me then was the damage limited representation could do to a child.
I've seen plenty of campaigns and events aimed at the Muslim community dedicated to combatting extremism. Yet when I sit with friends I realise the sheer gap between what defines the lives of ordinary Muslims, desires for a sense of belonging, for equality, for a sense that we matter too and what governments and others think has come to define them.
Living with my Lady Beard has been amazing, but that doesn't mean that I have not had to face hard times too. I have been body shamed all my life, and I have come to realise that it will never stop unless I try to change people's perceptions of what beauty really is. I will forever challenge people's thoughts about what they think to be "normal" is.
The economic discrimination suffered by Black and Minority Ethnic Women (BAME) is an intolerable, yet sadly tolerated, reality of British life... If Theresa May is serious about her government building "a Britain that works for everyone", a good first step would be ensuring that all new policies are implemented with full regard for black and minority ethnic women, instead of leaving those who are already struggling even worse off.
He may not have taken home the golden statue, but Dev has given us something far more valuable: a genuine and authentic representation of people like us for the first time.
Jamelia regularly stands up against prejudice and believes that by talking about our differences, culture and race, we - as a society - can overcome hatred and misunderstanding. She recently hit headlines when she blogged about a racist incident she experienced on a train, which she touches on in this exclusive blog for The Huffington Post UK.
'Be Bold For Change' is the International Women's Day's slogan. And if there is one thing the Women's March has taught us, it's that we have to be bold if we want things to change. We have to speak out and push against that rhetoric. You can choose to be disheartened by Trump, or you can choose to be connected, empowered and uplifted by those of us making this change together. I know what I'd choose.
Diversity is the buzzword in everything from workshops to expos and conferences and everything in-between, but what about in the workplace? It's all too easy to get execs to give talks and bold statements or host glitzy awards about the importance of diversity and yet it's still so difficult to find actual examples of growth and success.
It's about honouring my mother and the struggles she went through to give us a better life. And it's about representing my female Asian community because, as silly as it sounds, you won't know you can do something until you see someone like you doing it. It's so when my niece grows up, she won't hesitate to lace her boots up and march because she's already seen me do it.
Why aren't black female directors given more of an opportunity to share their films with audiences? They bring different perspectives, challenging storylines and insightful characters to the forefront and the majority of these characters are people of colour. They bring us stories that would perhaps be left untold.
The BAME community is full of intelligent, creative and highly skilled individuals, but we need to show younger generations that they can succeed in business. Celebrating the achievements of diverse business leaders is a powerful tool in increasing the visibility of role models for younger people from minority ethnic backgrounds, and therefore helping to support the diverse leaders of tomorrow.
It is amazing to see the large contribution made by the many creative voices within the sector, that are continuing to work and make the creative world a colourful place. But this isn't just the people that are on our screens and stages making the noise for diversity. It is also the people in education who want to make change, the new generation of graduated talent or soon to be graduated talent.