Smoke Fan Club - April 2018


It's time for Fan Club, where we share what we've been loving this month. In April's edition, we're all about getting people talking.


About Race

🔊 Coming March 22nd. #aboutracewithreni

A post shared by Reni Eddo-Lodge (@renieddolodge) on

Reni Eddo-Lodge, author of Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race, has launched a podcast to continue the conversation. In About Race, she speaks to activists and looks at the recent history of racial politics in the UK. In the first episode, Eddo-Lodge speaks to Simon Woolley from Operation Black Vote about politics in the 90s, and then to Farrukh Dhondy, Channel 4's Multicultural Commissioning Editor in the 80s and 90s, and Meera Syal, British Indian comedy writer and one of the masterminds behind Goodness Gracious Me, about race in wider culture. 


here's to her

Stylist’s Visible Women campaign has been highlighting inspirational figures from the past and present since the start of this year. Their Woman of the Week feature profiles those making a difference to society today and Stylist has also been spotlighting each woman on their Instagram page certificate-style as a way to celebrate amazing women like author and activist Clemantine Wamariya and the UK director of Kajal Odedra.


Up for discussion

As the world attempts to make progress to becoming a more inclusive place for all of its inhabitants, there are still some people who ask, “but how am I supposed to tell my children about this?” when they encounter someone who doesn’t fit their perceived norm. Well, HiHo Kids has them covered. In their Kids Meet series, kids meet people from all walks of life, from a bodybuilder to a burn survivor to a transgender soldier, and ask them whatever questions they have. It goes to show how smart and open-minded kids can be and, in some cases, how they set an example for the rest of us.


Just be you

If Pixar has taught us anything over the years, it’s that animation is the perfect medium to deliver all sorts of messages. With that in mind, it makes sense that Dove has teamed up with Cartoon Network hit Steven Universe for a campaign aiming to build self-esteem amongst young audiences. Creator of the show Rebecca Sugar has directed six short films discussing self-esteem related issues like body confidence and bullying, with characters sharing some of the lessons they’ve learnt. Steven Universe, a coming-of-age tale about a boy getting to grips with his magical powers, is one of the more progressive children’s shows out there with its diverse representation and themes like relationships, xenophobia, and sexuality weaved into its episodes.



Isn’t she cute? 💚

A post shared by Iris Apfel (@iris.apfel) on

96-year-old fashion icon Iris Apfel has been turned into a Barbie doll, making her the oldest person to ever have a Barbie made in their likeness. Mattel said “Iris Apfel is a fashion role model for Barbie with her singular style vision, entrepreneurial spirit and independence. Her long-spanning career makes her the perfect subject of a one-of-a-kind doll, the highest honour Barbie bestows.” The doll follows Mattel’s recent attempts to make Barbie more diverse. For this year’s International Women’s Day, the company launched their Sheroes line of Barbies made up of inspirational women including Frida Kahlo, Ibtihaj Muhammad, and Gabby Douglas. Sadly Apfel's Barbie won't be going on sale but we hope Mattel continues to make Barbie even more inclusive.


Nailing Transphobia

Trans activist Charlie Craggs started her Nail Transphobia campaign in 2013. She travels around the UK doing people’s nails, and in doing so creates a space where she can have important conversations and make people see and feel her humanity as she holds their hands to do their nails. She’s also released To My Trans Sisters, a book containing letters from over 70 Trans women imparting advice to readers who might feel alone in their transition.


Can you believe?!


If you haven’t seen the Netflix reboot yet, you’ve likely been pestered by one of your friends to watch it. Allow us to join them. Like the original, the show follows 5 gay men as they give a man a makeover each episode, addressing style, interior decor, and health and diet. They also touch on wellbeing and mental health, a topic too often seen at odds with masculinity, and discuss homosexuality, homophobia, and racism in some of the episodes. As Fab 5 member Tan Frances says in the opening of the series and the trailer, the original show was fighting for tolerance and this time it’s for acceptance. Overall, an uplifting watch that can restore your faith in humanity if the need arises.