Naturally, all ethnic minorities face adversity in any industry, but these trials seem particularly cut-throat in the world of dance, and, noticeably, appear to disproportionately affect black dancers in ballet- whether through racial stereotyping, biased casting, or the ruthless scrutiny of any dancer’s appearance, which is especially vicious for anyone who doesn’t fit euro-centric beauty standards and norms.
Growing up in an Anglo Indian household, I always thought the answer to the question of whether different cultures benefitted society as a whole was a no brainer. From as young as I can remember, my siblings and I took equal delight in celebrating the bright lights of Diwali as we did the festivities of Christmas; this is why I was so shocked to find out that 40% of Brits think that a multiculturalism has had a negative impact on Britain as a whole.
Sometimes, putting another person’s needs or wants in front of your own seems like the courteous, “good” thing to do, even if that jeopardises your own happiness. The conception of “the good life” in the minds of Ancient Greek philosophers, such as Plato and Socrates, was described as placing priority on being virtuous in life instead of deriving pleasure from life out of stereotypically “good” things, such as power or wealth. This definition of the good life was even taken a stage further by Socrates, who argued that it was better to lead a life of pain and suffering over a life of corruption and abuse through trying to find pleasure. However, is Socrates’s philosophy really that agreeable?
For decades there has been a strong movement growing in Europe to ban women from wearing headscarves, niqabs, and burqas, labelling them as symbols of female oppression and threats to security. Far-right nationals have gone as far as saying that the wearing of these garments is not a causal, personal choice but part of a wider attempt by political Islamism to gain support and ‘win recruits’.
On May 11th, Rita Ora released the third single from her upcoming album: an energetic, upbeat pop song entitled ‘Girls’, supposedly a celebration of bisexuality. Released only a couple of weeks after the end of WHS’ own Pride Week, it seemed a reassuring affirmation of the increasing public support for the LGBT community. Unfortunately, not everyone saw it that way, and in the wake of the song’s release, it was met with considerable amounts of backlash. The question, however, is whether or not that backlash was justified.