Interview of Joy Joses, Founder Of Melanmag.com, The New Online Lifestyle Magazine For Women Of Colour
Tired of reading the same old Cosmopolitan magazine? Smile! Melanmag.com is a new online lifestyle magazine for women of colour, which aims to supply real and authentic content for the millennial woman of colour.
If you check out the website, you will find rich and diverse content served by a sleek design. We love it.
Oh! And Joy Joses, the founder of Melanmag was kind enough to chat to us about very interesting stuff you certainly want to read about!
Hello Joy, could you introduce yourself in 5 words?
That’s a tough one! Perhaps; driven, ambitious, loyal, inquisitive and passionate.
Nice! Thank you very much for taking the time to chat to us!
In the current “blogosphere” where black female bloggers let their voices heard, why create an online magazine like Melanmag?
I applaud the hugely talented women (and men) who are expressing themselves and their interests through blogs. It is clearly an area that resonates, the ease and relatively low maintenance nature of blogs, means that it can be nurtured alongside a career or paid employment. It offers the best of both worlds. Blogs tend to give a subjective view of the bloggers interests, while I believe, a magazine should have a more impartial and wide-reaching perspective.
Could you give us a bit of background as why you started Melanmag?
I started Melanmag.com because I feel there is space for a lifestyle magazine for people of colour that talks to all aspects of living in the 21st century, from fashion, beauty, health and wellbeing, food and travel to name a few, all of these areas are covered in my publication. Having scanned the industry for the best part of 20 years, save for a couple of long-standing publications, I do not always recognise myself, my interests or those topics I consider important reflected in mainstream media and to be honest, that’s fine. The mainstreams by and large cover what they know. I feel it’s up to us, people of colour to create a platform for ourselves, one that showcases our interests and places our identity, first, before anyone else. In a world where such notable women’s titles as Vogue, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan and many others coexist side by side, I cannot fathom why we shouldn’t be creating more publications for people of colour in the UK.
I started Melanmag.com because I feel there is space for a lifestyle magazine for people of colour that talks to all aspects of living in the 21st century, from fashion, beauty, health and wellbeing, food and travel to name a few, all of these areas are covered in my publication.
What do you think is the priority in terms of content for black lifestyle magazine like Melanmag?
I would like to clarify that Melanmag.com is for women of colour and that includes the black profile, but the colour spectrum goes beyond that. With the advances in technology, the world is getting smaller and we are all exposed to different cultures everyday. These influences slowly, but surely seep into fashion, food, entertainment etc. It strikes me as being short-sighted to not embrace these influences from Africa and Asia. So to answer your question, our priority is to make sure that our content is always told from the point of view of the women of colour, wherever they may hail from.
What is the edgy or controversial topic that Melanmag plans on focusing on?
I wouldn’t call it edgy or controversial, but an area that I find under reported in mainstream media are health issues that are largely confined to people of colour. Sickle Cell, ‘women’s issues’ like fibroids, polycystic ovaries are just some topics that we will be tackling in the near future. I believe raising awareness and throwing light on some of these issues can only be a good thing. At the very least, people will feel like that they are not alone and the numerous organisations, forums and communities doing amazing work in these areas will get that recognition.
What do you think of the natural hair “movement”? Do you see it as political statement or a lifestyle?
I see it as both. The afro has long been associated with being ‘conscious’ and the unwillingness of the wearer to ‘conform’. More recently women are embracing their hair’s natural kink and seeing the beauty in wearing their hair au naturel, without chemicals. For me it was a lifestyle choice. In my youth I had my hair braided and threaded in intricate styles many young black women will be familiar with. I couldn’t wait to ‘relax’ my hair, to see the swoosh and movement that comes with it, and promptly permed my hair as soon as I was allowed to. I don’t regret it, and enjoyed the look, but when I got to my 30s, almost overnight, I no longer wanted to add chemicals to my hair. Also, literally day-long trips to the hairdresser for that relax, wash and blow dry became impractical when I became a mother.
The word chilling is no longer in my vocabulary, with two young boys! I don’t get to read much anymore either, but back then I would happily settle down with a good mystery thriller or a Toni Morrison classic
You have beautiful Locs and we were wondering how do you get such a vibrant colour without damage!
Thank you! I very recently coloured my hair but it’s something that I’ve wanted to do for years, as I feel it more accurately reflects my personality. I was fortunate enough to have my colour applied by award-winning and celebrated hair stylist Charlotte Mensah of the Hair Lounge. Anyone who knows her work will understand the emphasis she places on frequent treatment and care of hair, all hair, not just natural. I plan to stick to a strict regime of regular conditioning and treatment.
Last question – could you please tell us about a book you would read again and again? And give us a couple of your favourite songs to chillax on a Sunday morning – even though it must be tough with 2 kids!
(Laugh) The word chilling is no longer in my vocabulary, with two young boys! I don’t get to read much anymore either, but back then I would happily settle down with a good mystery thriller or a Toni Morrison classic. Nowadays, in my downtime, you would more likely catch me watching a good documentary about nature, history or the universe or binge-watching a trashy Netflix series. I’m also a bit of a blerd and will happily sit through the latest Star Wars or Star Trek movie.