Born from the lack of diversity in the Australian media, Shine 4 Diversity is the collective brainchild of Mahalia Handley and Shareefa J. The platform dedicated to promoting racial inclusion, aims to create a world which has equal opportunities for all ethnicities by promoting some incredibly motivational and talented people from across the world, to educate and inspire positive messaging.
Following the success of the first campaign, Shine 4 Diversity presents 'Hair We Are', a campaign that explores the stigma around Afro hair and breaking the common urban "acceptable" look that female and male models are often stereotyped into within the media.
"The politics and sensitivities that come with being visible and vocal about your body and ethnicity can be really tough to deal with," Mahalia tells marie claire. "I want to champion the diversity movement to improve the ratio of ethnic to caucasian models in mainstream media. That's why I'm so passionate about Shine 4 Diversity. It gives voice to my fight for equality. I am actively advocating for change in the way we as a society define beauty."
"We believe we can change the way people feel about themselves for the better, and that has long-lasting effects, that is the basis of why we continue to create, we want to empower people and make a change."
"Every single person on set has felt a moment in time where they were stigmatised and it was so powerful to be in a room where every participant championed the movement and volunteered their time, services or product to come together to promote a worth cause," Mahlia adds.
"I hope this campaign continues the ripple effect for championing the voice that media, especially Australian media needs to be more inclusive of representation and that by presenting beautiful strong imagery can help change the minds of those making decisions by evidential showing them images like these which stand on their own."