The Big Interview launches this week where Natalie Whitmore speaks with the hosts of Girls Talk, a chat show discussing women’s issues, before their second season.
Edited by Rebecca Pates
Loud, honest, and inspiring are the three words to describe the lively Girls Talk London bunch. The successful Girls Talk series is back for a second round, where founder, Vanessa Sanyauke, and co-hosts, Remel London (Sky1, BBC 1xtra) & Dean Quinton (Channel 4) sit down to address current social media controversies and trends that affect young people’s lives.
Girls Talk is one of a kind. The talk show is the only one in the UK that caters specifically to young women, featuring topics such as fashion, beauty, work and relationships. It’s something we can identify with in our home, work and love lives- oh, and the hosts do not hold back! This show rebrands what it means to be a young woman in the UK, as the trio honestly and openly tackle issues in their quest of female empowerment.
Vanessa Sanyauke, who as well as being CEO of Girls Talk London, is a speaker, and a contributor on business for the Houses of Parliament, The Guardian, Radio 4, The Sun and Google (just to name a few) says: “Being a women in today’s society is actually still very challenging- there are a lot of pressures and perceptions on women.”
It’s so important to be yourself, and go out and get it.
All three hosts are excited for the launch of their second series, after their first pilot series was featured in Look Magazine and caught the attention of over 15,000 viewers. The new series that first launched last week will have guest interviews and performances from top UK musicians and authors, to experts in gender issues. These guests include Adele’s stylist, Alice Burnfield, among many others. Dean Quinton, who was a cast member of the hit Channel 4 Show ‘The Island Bear Grylls’, says:
We want to give light to inspiring women who are behind the scenes of things, because these are the women who are hard working, and experience a lot in the industry.
The first and second episodes of the series, shot at Red Bull Studios in London, tackles the lack of ethnic diversity across the media, Twitter, and (of course) Kim Kardashian’s nudes. I caught up with the hosts to find out about what we can expect from the new series:
Q: So, talk to me about your new series, what are you hoping to achieve with it?
Vanessa: Well, in the series we will be interviewing different types of experts, so that women watching the show can leave with different tips and life-hacks. There will be tips on how to better your lifestyle, your work life, and also your career prospects. Also we want to address things like body shaming, nudity, and perceptions on social media.
Remel: We’re really hoping to show young women that you can have a voice and that you can talk about things that are controversial.
Girls feel like “maybe I shouldn’t say that” or feel like they shouldn’t sound too upfront about things, but it’s 2016, we all have voices, and we’re trying to promote the idea that we should all be confident about who we are.
You’re allowed to have a different opinion, and that’s why we’ve come together to share our different opinions and be the voices for all types of girls.
Dean: We want to try and show girls that it doesn’t matter what age, or what you do, or what career you choose, just be who you want to be and speak out. Don’t be in the shadows and hide, have a voice! Be the change that you want to see.
Q: How did you come about creating the show?
Vanessa: It started off with what I was doing with Girls Talk London, which was mainly involved being a speaker in classes that sought to empower young women, and then we noticed that there’s not one talk show on mainstream TV that caters to our demographic of women aged 18-30. So we just wanted to fill that gap and have a voice that represents our generation.
All of us had met as a three for the first time on the day of filming the first series, and we all just clicked. It was meant to be, we’re sisters.
Dean: Yeah, it’s real! We all get on, we love each other.
Q: What does it mean to be a girl in the UK nowadays?
Remel: Right now being a woman is tough, you have to be strong minded and persistent with who you are. For example in the media industry you have to make that decision of are you going to be a sex symbol or an professional independent woman, or somewhere in-between? That’s a main challenge – finding who you are and what do you represent- and it’s something men don’t have to face. I think it makes women have a struggle to find themselves.
Dean: Also there’s a perception on women that if your trying to break into the media industry once you reach a certain age, like say 30-years-old, you wont get in- and I don’t get why it has to be like that?
And the fight for ending sexism still has far to come. For example, if a man does something then it’s ok because he’s a man, but if a women does some of the same things it’s like “you shouldn’t be doing that”.
And it’s happening massively in the workplace, like, I’ll cut someone’s hair and they will say women can’t cut a man’s hair can they… I’m like yes they can, what do you mean?
Q: What pressures do social media put on girls these days?
Vanessa: I think social media puts an incredible amount of pressure on young women about their image. There’s eyebrows “on fleek”, body “on fleek”.
We live in a ‘filter generation’ and it makes young women be judged on their looks and their perceptions on a screen.
I went into a salon recently and my hair dresser was like: “your hair looks nice and now you just need some foundation and those eyebrows filled,” I’m thinking, for what? So I can put images up on social media? No I have work to do. We shouldn’t have the pressure to put up images and care about lighting, and to be like oh “take that picture down because I don’t look nice”. We should all be just enjoying ourselves.
Dean: Wow, where do I start with this one…Body image is a big thing. One word: Kardashians. And it’s an really all fantasy because these celebrities edit their pictures so much that it’s not even real, and young girls think “I need to be like this”. It’s constantly pushed into put people views through the media, which has negative effects.
Q: How important is it for girls/women to feel self-empowerment in their lives?
You can’t wait for anyone to change your life, the power is within you as a woman.