Monday 22 October 2018

Alesha Dixon: Diversity issue still needs to be addressed

The star said ‘we clearly have more work to do’ still, in 2018.

Alesha Dixon says young people need role models to feel included by (Isabel Infantes/PA)
Alesha Dixon says young people need role models to feel included by (Isabel Infantes/PA)

By Lucy Mapstone, Press Association Deputy Entertainment Editor

Alesha Dixon has said she hopes for a world where the conversation about racial diversity in society is not needed.

The Britain’s Got Talent judge said that we are “getting there slowly” in terms of having a balance, but that there is still room for improvement and that she encourages her four-year-old daughter to embrace her own heritage.

Dixon, who is mixed race, told Fabulous magazine that she did not have a role model, either on TV or in fiction, that she could relate to when she was younger.

“Every young person needs to have a character that they can identify with and feel included by,” she said.

“At home, my daughter Azura has got this long blonde wig that she loves, and she’s obsessed with Rapunzel, but you need to have balance.

“It’s important that she understands her curly hair is beautiful, too.”

Dixon, 39, added: “You would think that in 2018 it would be balanced, but I still think there is an issue that has to be addressed.

“We’re getting there slowly, but for me a healthy place would be where we don’t need to have this conversation.”

Dixon, who welcomed Azura in 2013 with partner Azuka Ononye, said she was “choked” when her daughter “let me put her hair down” for the first time ever recently.

“She said that now she has the same hair as Aurora Beam,” Dixon added, referring to the mixed race character in her debut children’s book Lightning Girl.

Dixon said it is a “shame that there’s been any negativity” surrounding the marriage of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex due to Meghan’s heritage.

Meghan last weekend became the first mixed race person in modern history to marry a British senior royal.

“It’s just so interesting that in 2018 anyone would ever come up against a problem because of the colour of their skin,” Dixon said.

“It’s a real shame. So we clearly have more work to do.”

Press Association

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