Why We Need To Treat All Skin Tones Equally

The story of colourism is deeply anti-feminist. It is the story of femininity diminishing with skin darkness, romantic rejection by men both black and white and a society that denies women of colour agency and fullness of emotion. I argue this because the elevation of black women of lighter skin tones indicates a society with...

India’s Gaze On Women: Priyanka Shah

It’s hard to be a woman in India. From birth many suffer the consequence of gender hierarchy, where baby boys take the top spot in many families as they are considered both good luck and a blessing. As a female you’re at a disadvantage in society before you’ve even started your life. With a more...

I Hold My Own Hands

As black women, we are always meant to function within a ‘Strong Black Woman’ trope, one that positions us as indestructible and unfazed to carrying the world’s burdens. For us to hold our own hands speaks on our perceived independence, but also touches on how supportive it is to be comforted by other black women. We create our own support systems where we...

Bitchcraft

I was raised part-time by ghosts: grandmothers, cousins, the ouija board channels a family tree still hairpiled in ‘60s bouffants, still listening to Rumi on the radio. I occupy the absence of these women, whose lives I remember in a pre-Revolutionary Iran that I’ve certainly never known. And to their company I am adding, like...

Why I’ll Never Let You Touch My Hair

“Is that as long as it gets?” Growing up in the leafy, predominantly white suburbs of London, I was amongst only a handful of girls at my school who had afro hair. With a Caucasian mum who had virtually no knowledge of how to look after or manage her daughters’ wild, foreign hair, I had...

What Makes Us, Reel Good Film Club

For Maria Cabrera and Grace Barber-Plentie, their experiences of the world don’t just come through their gender, but their role as black women in society too. This affects everything: from what they wear, to how they embrace feminism as well as their work at Reel Good Film Club. Most Polyester readers will be familiar with...

Dear America

Dear America, My wrists may not bleed with the cuts of chains, But my rambunctious roar for freedom Continues to be muted like elevator music, Songs you bypassed and never cared to play.   My back may not be swollen with a whip Racing across my skin, But my spine is sore with weight you...

FaceTime

A collaboration between photographer duo Sally & Emily and make up artist Sissy Sosro: As much as we like to think that we are pretty low maintenance ladies, most women will find themselves with more products than they thought they needed, with more uses than they thought they had. I still stand by coconut oil,...

An Interview with Monica Garza

Eyes like almonds, lips poised and in red, strong and sturdy noses – Monica Garza’s women are instantly recognisable. They have thick thighs, rounded breasts and are blessed with hips for bearing life. They are comfortable with themselves and their surroundings. On the outside looking in these women are brave and beautiful. Inside, you can...

Girls of D.C.

At the first mention of Washington, D.C the first thing people think about is the White House. It’s safe to say that DC is not known for the artistic youth that live and work in the crevices of this capital city, slowly stirring up an artistic revolution that is sure to take the art scene...

The Cultural Black Hole of High Fashion

Charles Caleb Colton is responsible for the overused phrase: “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”. Gee, thanks, Colton. That may be the case. But sometimes it’s just blatantly copying. Fashion. Week. Twice a year the microcosm of the fashion world is in a frenzy. Designers trying to impress insiders, fans and the general public...