Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain has revealed that she was once told ‘black hands don’t sell jewellery’.
Joining a growing list of celebrities sharing their experience of being black in the UK – highlighting that racism is not just an issue in the United States – the GBBO star shares a negative and damaging experience she had in the jewellery industry.
In a social media post, the star tells the story of when she auditioned to be a hand model for a jewellery firm. She recalls: “I was responding to an ad in the paper, back in the day when we looked for jobs in the paper… there was an ad for a hand model needed to model jewellery. I called. Made an appointment. No previous experience required. I had hands, I needed the money, so figured it was a no brainer! It was a sure thing, I was counting my pennies before I had even got the gig…
“I walked in on the day. The room went quiet, the room filled with white faces and white hands. The receptionist stumbled. I sat down while she called someone in. I was met by a women who came and greeted me. I figured it was my turn to show off my hands. She said ‘I’m sorry, I didn’t know you were black’ – ‘yes, right but the ad wanted hands, I have hands’ – ‘black hands don’t sell jewellery’. That was her response.”
The post continues: “The blood rushed to my face. I was so embarrassed, I was now a deep shade of burgundy. I never really thought about my hands, till the colour of the skin that covered them stopped me from getting a job. When you are a teenager, already a little lost, words like this stick.”
While the GBBO star does not name and shame the company that told her ‘black hands don’t sell jewellery’, she does go on to praise Swarovski, a brand she has worked with for two campaigns.
She shares: “I have since worked with Swarovski with these very hands, worn their jewellery with pride! When I worked with them they never knew the anxiety I felt at the thought of showcasing my hands, but I did it anyway! We need to start representing with our voices, with our eyes, with our thoughts, with our hearts and with our hands!
I am taking ownership back with my hands!”
The star has also spoken out about her experience in the food/TV industry.
PHOTO CREDIT: Nadiya Hussain Instagram