Nadiya Hussain has shared a powerful Instagram post as she recalled being told 'black hands don't sell jewellery' at a modelling job as a teenager.
The GBBO winner, chef and TV star posted two photos of herself on Instagram yesterday. In the first, she is holding her palms up to the screen while in the second she has her middle finger up.
She described her shocking experience in the caption, writing: '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... 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.'
Nadiya said 'the blood rushed' to her 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.
'Fast forward to my 30s and now my hands are in my cookbooks and in cookery shows, even now I look at them and still I have a seed of doubt imbedded telling me that people must be disgusted by the sight of my brown hands.
'But as you can see from my second picture, you know how I feel about it now. I use my hands with pride and allow them to grace cookbooks and cookery shows, to hold my chidren's hands and stroke their little faces, to cook, to feed... to hold!'
She said one job in particular helped take back control of what happened that day.
'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!'
Sadly, the Bake Off winner says little has changed. She recently revealed that she has 'experienced more racism in 5 years working in the TV/Food industry than any other time of my life'. But said now is the 'time to call it out'.
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