It is rare to find someone as comfortable in the science world as they are in the creative one, but today’s guest, Fifi Buchanan, floats seamlessly between the two. Fifi, also known as Divine Hostess, is a qualified mechanical engineer and currently works as a technical writer, voice-over artist and also hosts her own podcast, Wonderfully Made. In this episode, we delve into what it was like working in the male-dominated field of engineering, and Fifi shares her experiences from college through to the workplace. As someone whose interests lie between the creative and scientific worlds, Fifi felt like she had to hide a part of herself because she did not want her colleagues to misunderstand her interests. She shares the value that she discovered in not sticking to one path and the solace she found in her creative work when she felt increasingly limited in the workplace.
Our conversation also touches on representation, particularly in the clean beauty space, the implications of the lack of access to green products for Black women, and the beauty of being able to express yourself through makeup without using it to fix you. Fifi is an insightful and all-around brilliant woman whom we really admire, and we know after tuning in, you will too!
Our email this week (40:20) is about how to make makeup last longer in hot weather. With summer coming up, it is a timely question and we give product recs and tips to help!
Call Outs from the Episode:
- Erin's Faces Matcha Mascara
- Fifi Buchanan on Instagram
- Fifi Buchanan on Twitter
- ILIA Beauty
- Erin's Faces Aloe Setting Powder
- Erin's Faces Rosewater Tonic
“Going through school in engineering, I didn’t realize that sexism would be a bigger issue than racism.” — @divinehostess [0:12:24]
“I often felt either unwelcome in certain spaces or uncomfortable, just because it was kind of this old boys’ club.” — @divinehostess [0:14:02]
“It bothers me that the implication is that if it has Black people on it or in it, then it is only for Black people.” — @divinehostess [0:22:58]
“It makes me tired just thinking about it because I won’t get what I need.” — @divinehostess [0:26:58]
Key Points From This Episode:
- What a technical writer does and the different types of outputs they produce.
- The choice Fifi made to pursue her scientific and creative passions rather than choosing only one.
- Guilt Fifi felt about having a blog, especially when she started her first big engineering job.
- The pervasive sexism in engineering both at schools and in workplaces.
- The lack of support Fifi experienced in the workplace and how it made her feel.
- Why Fifi was increasingly drawn to her creative work, where she could be herself.
- When Fifi became aware that Black women were underrepresented in the media.
- Debunking the myth that certain types of media are for a Black audience only.
- What it felt like for Fifi when she realized that she was excluded in so many spaces.
- The exhaustion that comes as a result of always having to fight for what you need as a Black woman.
- The lack of inclusion in the clean beauty space particularly, and the implications of this.
- What Fifi wishes she could see when it comes to representation and inclusion.
- Advice Fifi would give her 18-year-old self about self-love and body image.
- You are not abandoning yourself for wanting to play around with makeup and your appearance.