talks & debates

Beauty: It’s a Shady Business

Part of Africa Utopia

Join us for a close-up discussion chaired by radio presenter Clara Amfo on beauty, from self-expression and the performance of identity, to purely the skin deep.

‘She did what girls generally do when they don't feel the part: she dressed it instead,’ said Zadie Smith in her 2005 novel, On Beauty.

In a time of an expanding palette of make-up shades and black-owned beauty brands, what do the highlights and contours of our faces say about those of our being? How do we navigate skin bleaching, fetishisation and colourism?

From the full coverage-flawless to the natural and near-naked: what does it mean to be best face forward?

One of Radio 1Xtra’s best loved radio hosts, Clara Amfo took over Radio 1's mid-morning show – home of the infamous Live Lounge – in 2015.

She has interviewed a startling number of stars since then, including Lady Gaga, Drake, Nicki Minaj and Mary J Blige. In 2011 she took her talents to Ghana, teaching young women radio skills as part of a campaign for free education for girls by charity Plan.

This event is presented in association with Indaba X.

Dates & times

14 Sep 2019
Approximate run time: 90 mins
Run times may vary, find out more
    • Sat 14 September 2019


Queen Elizabeth Hall


£15 - £25
Booking fee: £3.00 (Members £0.00)
£15, £25


25% off (limited availability)
Find out more about our Concessions policy

need to know

Age recommendation
For ages 14+

Multi-buy discount
Book two or more of the following Africa Utopia talks in the same transaction and receive a 20% discount:
Sport: The Power and Price of Protest
Fashion: The Battle Continues
History: Memory and Consciousness
Beauty: It’s a Shady Business
The Black Film Renaissance
The Music that Made Us
Find out more

Access information
This talk is Speech-to-Text transcribed (STT).

To join our free Access Scheme and book tickets for these services, call our Ticket Office on 020 3879 9555 or email
Find out more about our Access Scheme