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Series Three: Episode One – Ateh Jewel

Dr Ateh Jewel is on a mission – and it’s personal. Launching series three of The Root of It, she speaks candidly about beauty activism, championing diversity and fighting for social justice over her 20-year career

In the third and final series of The Root of It podcast, presented by Creative HEAD in partnership with Treatwell, multi-award-winning journalist, producer, director, influencer and diversity advocate, Dr Ateh Jewel joins Creative HEAD editor Amanda Nottage behind the mic.

The Root of It podcast – Dr Ateh Jewel

About Dr Ateh Jewel

Ateh grew up in central London and was obsessed with beauty from a young age – a welcome escape from the harsh realities her young life was presenting. A child of the 80s and student of an all-girls catholic school, Ateh had a difficult childhood, often feeling a sense of otherness and being labelled ‘the black one’. During this time, negative representations of black beauty were commonplace on television and in magazines and advertising campaigns, all of which fuelled Ateh with a fire to fight for change.

People think beauty is superficial, trivial, but it’s not. It’s about culture and identity. Especially as a black woman, writing about diversity, it’s been about asking questions of value and power and statusAteh Jewel

In 2000, Ateh graduated from Bristol University with a degree in History and landed her first job as a journalist for In Style magazine, later moving to Tatler magazine before going freelance aged 24 and after just three years of employment. This turned out to be a pivotal career move, granting her the opportunity to write for a variety of top publications including The Sunday Times Style, Telegraph, Vogue, Daily Mail, Guardian Weekend Magazine, Black Hair and Beauty and Harper’s Bazaar.

Within her work and for the wider beauty industry, Ateh made it her mission to champion diversity, which later earned her a regular column, Colour Counter, in marie claire, where for two years she discussed and examined beauty for all skin tones. After the birth of her twin daughters and determined to prevent them growing up as she did, with feelings of low esteem about their hair, beauty and identity, Ateh created and founded the award-winning Jewel Tones Beauty, a beauty and lifestyle hub for those with deeper skin tones and textured hair.

Ateh also runs Couture Communications, a digital agency delivering film content and providing social media strategy and consultancy for major brands including L’Oréal, The Body Shop, Chanel, Estée Lauder and Revlon. She is also a director and award-winning producer in her own right; short film and documentary credits include The Secret World of Foley, Drone and London of Arabia.

In 2018, Ateh was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Media by Southampton Solent University, an institution she visits regularly as guest lecturer and to host workshops in media and beauty. In 2020, she joined the British Beauty Council Advisory Board with plans to make greater positive strides in the industry when it comes to prioritising inclusivity. She is currently developing her own foundation and POC (brands owned by people of colour) cosmetics line, due to be launched soon.

Hear from Ateh about her beauty passions, societal misgivings, consumer engagement strategy and entrepreneurial spirit in The Editor Asks – episode one in series three of The Root of It.


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