Diversity & Brilliance Displayed at Poetic Insight

If you weren’t at Poetic Insight on April 25th, then you missed out, because it was fire!  The diversity and brilliance displayed by each young performer was truly special, making me feel honored to have them on the Poetic Insight stage.

When I see potential and talent like I saw on Tuesday, I feel incredibly proud to be a young person, yet incredibly frustrated with the media for not focusing enough on that.  The dialogue surrounding young people needs to change and this month’s Poetic Insight was another confirmation for me.

It was also great to look around and see the support in the room, as well as feel the love in the room.  There is no hate and disrespect at Poetic Insight – just art bringing people together and shining a light on important issues or matters of importance to us.  Again, I don’t understand why the arts are always suffering cuts, but that’s a whole different matter.

We had our first ever Poetic Insight wheel up, coming courtesy of first time performer Tania, who let us know she was proud of her beautiful black skin.  Sid had the room click, click, clicking with a poem about religion and Alana had us all cracking up laughing again with that poem about sagging pants.

And then there was Annotate, who perfectly summed up the reason for me starting Young People Insight with a powerful poem about young people and them not seeing their potential.  Moments like that are very special and I won’t be taking it for granted.

Just like always, I want to say a huge thank you to the performers – Alana, Demi, Tania, Sid, Jamal, Annotate, Fahad and Gamma Kid – for gracing the Poetic Insight stage.  These nights would not be possible without you and your talent.

I also want to take this time out to appeal to you to support the Young People Insight crowdfunding campaign and make a pledge, so that I can continue to give young people a creative platform to make their voices heard.  It is more important than I can even express, so please head over to our campaign page: http://bit.ly/empower-youth-voice

The next Poetic Insight will be on May 30th and seeing as Mental Health Awareness Week will be happening at the beginning of the month, the theme will be Mental Health.  If you want to perform, email me at shaniquab29@yahoo.co.uk

Stay updated with Young People Insight by following @YPInsight on Twitter, following @youngpeopleinsight on Instagram, liking Young People Insight on Facebook and subscribing to the Young People Insight YouTube channel.

Do you prefer synthetic or natural beauty?

On April 18th, it was the battle of synthetic beauty vs natural beauty at the YP Insight Forum.  Regular YP Insight participant, Alana, took the lead on the night, as we discussed the topic of her choice.

After breaking the ice, she kicked off the conversation by asking, what is beauty to you?  Responses included:

  • “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” – Shaniqua (me)
  • “I think it’s on the inside, it’s not what we’re taught.” – Naomi
  • “It can be a number of things… I think it’s subjective” – Renee
  • “I think beauty is everything… To me, beauty is in my cat” – Alana

We then moved on to the beauty industry, with Alana posing the question, do you believe the beauty industry needs any changes or improvements?  Some individuals raised the need for more dark-skinned girls – “They need to make dark-skinned girls feel good” – while we all agreed that there needs to be more representation.

References were also made to what Kendrick Lamar did in his latest music video and Alicia Keys not wearing make up.  Overall though, Alana thinks that there needs to be more self-acceptance and self-expression.

Next up was the big question of the night: do you prefer synthetic or natural beauty?  Personally, I couldn’t say whether I prefer natural or synthetic beauty, because I just like beauty.  Tania said that she prefers natural beauty, because she thinks there are certain things you notice more without make up.

However, Andrae said that he prefered in-between, because some people can’t carry off natural and some people work better with make up.  On the other hand, Alana believes that everyone can do natural, as no one was born with make up on their face.  And Steven, he “prefer[s] natural all day”.

Naomi responded to a point Andrae and some others made by saying that the problem with make up is when it comes off and there’s been too much going on – “I think it should be used to enhance your features.”  Naomi also made us think a little deeper about synthetic beauty, as we had been focusing on make up, saying that you might draw on your eyebrows, but you might also pluck your eyebrows.

Alana then asked us about our views on men taking on women’s beauty trends.  Steven thinks that “they are all liars”, while I believe that there’s a broad spectrum, from drag queens to men simply wearing make up.

This led on to a conversation about social norms with Naomi saying, “I think men wearing dresses, boys wearing blue and girls wearing pink is a norm that has been pushed on us.”  Steven carried this point on slightly by explaining that straight men wearing make up goes back far in time, even past the Egyptian times, which gave us all something to think about.  I mean, who set out the norms that we’re all supposed to buy into?

With the next question, Alana got very deep with us.  She asked, do you believe the reason why some men go for synthetic beauty is because natural beauty shows truths, imperfections and flaws, therefore making the men remind themselves of their own flaws?  Or is there another reason?

Andrae thinks that it depends on the man and Steven thinks that it is purely based on the man’s insecurities – “If you’re comfortable within yourself, you won’t care if a woman has weave, short hair, is bald.”

“I think some of these problems we go through as women is because of you men,” Tanya strongly expressed.  Steven also agreed with what Tania had to say and he later added, “It’s a double standard – why can I be what I want to be and you can’t?”

Us females also spoke about males approaching us more depending on how our hair is done, whether we are wearing make up and what we happen to be wearing.  I said I was approached more when my hair was straightened and in braids.  Naomi said she was approached more when she wore a dress.  But there was a variation of whether we got approached more in make up or not.

Alana’s final question of the night was, what’s your message to women about the whole concept of beauty?

  • “Do you boo boo.” – Steven
  • “Be yourself.” – Andrae
  • “Beauty is the truest form of yourself.” – Renee
  • “Beauty is personality as well.” – Monique
  • “Do what you want to do.  Be what you want to be. ” – Alana
  • “Beauty comes from within.” – Naomi

Our next forum will be on May 16th when we’ll be talking Mental Health from 6.30-8.30pm in Project B and we’ll be joined by some guest speakers.  Hopefully this will challenge the stigma of mental health and generate some interesting points, so come chill with us and join the conversation while we munch on some snacks.

And don’t forget to make a pledge to our crowdfunding campaign as we work towards empowering more young voices: http://bit.ly/empower-youth-voice

Stay updated with Young People Insight by following @YPInsight on Twitter, following @youngpeopleinsight on Instagram, liking Young People Insight on Facebook and subscribing to the Young People Insight YouTube channel.

Info for April’s YP Insight Forum & Poetic Insight

Somehow, we’re already on to the month of April.  We’re one day away from the launch of our crowdfunding campaign, and of course we’ve got two more Young People Insight events coming up.

Alana wanted to talk about Synthetic Beauty vs Natural Beauty, and that will be the topic of conversation on April 18th at the YP Insight forum.  The ideals of beauty are constantly changing and the argument between synthetic or natural seems to constantly be in our faces, so I’m interested to see where this conversation will take us.

There are a whole lot of questions I could ask, but I’m going to save them for the day and let you come with any questions you want to raise.

If you’re 16-25, this is the opportunity for you to come and chill with us at Project B from 6.30-8.30pm, munch on some snacks and join the conversation.  It’s a fun night and all views are welcome, which is what makes the conversation so interesting. Let us know you’re coming by registering on Eventbrite.

Like the month of March, April’s Poetic Insight won’t have a theme, so every poet will have the opportunity to speak their mind on whatever they want.  Last month was powerful, so you won’t want to miss out.  If you want to perform, just send an email to shaniquab29@yahoo.co.uk or message me on 07910092565.

So save the date of April 25th and enjoy some inspiring poetry with us at Project B.  Doors open at 7pm, with performances starting at 7.15pm and the event concluding at about 9pm.  Get your free tickets now by registering on Eventbrite.

Stay updated with Young People Insight by following @YPInsight on Twitter, following @youngpeopleinsight on Instagram, liking Young People Insight on Facebook and subscribing to the Young People Insight YouTube channel.

Crowdfunding Campaign Coming Soon

As you know, Young People Insight has been running as a physical platform for over a year now.  It has been empowering the voices of young people, and giving them the opportunity to speak their mind through forum discussions and poetry nights.

I’ve loved the journey so far, but I want to go further and empower the voices of young people in Croydon.  Through YP Insight, I want to get them more engaged in their community, develop their confidence and build their communication skills.

To do this, I’ve got something very special coming up.  I’ve been working hard on creating a crowdfunding campaign over the past two months and April 12th will see the launch of our campaign, ‘Empower Youth Voices’.

Through this campaign, I not only want to raise funds, but I want to raise awareness of YP Insight so that more work can be carried out through the platform.  Yet in order for it to be a success, I need support from you.  It may be by sharing this blog post and future posts on social media, telling people you know about the campaign or making a pledge when the campaign goes live.

It’s going to be exciting, so look out for the campaign on April 12th when it goes live on Fundsurfer.  You’ll be playing a part in Young People Insight by showing that our voices matter to you.  For now though, I want to say thank you for all of your support so far.  This would not work without you.

Stay updated with our campaign and all things Young People Insight by following @YPInsight on Twitter, following @youngpeopleinsight on Instagram, liking Young People Insight on Facebook and subscribing to the Young People Insight YouTube channel.