AJ Odudu has said she knows in her “heart of hearts” that she has had to jump through “a lot more hoops” than some of her white peers.
The TV host and former Strictly Come Dancing contestant, 34, spoke about the challenges she’s faced in her career in an interview with Women’s Health.
Odudu, who appears on the cover of the May issue, said: “Even if you’re not told (that you have to work harder to get half as far as white peers), you feel it.
“The opportunities you get and the things you do, you know in your heart of hearts you’ve had to jump through a lot more hurdles than your peers.”
On the importance of being authentic in her professional and personal life, she added: “Fortunately, I feel confident in a lot of areas, but when I’m not, I have to remind myself that it’s pretty brave to be yourself.” be – that sounds so ridiculous!
“But in a world where we have so many clues about how to be, how to look, where to travel — when you’re being yourself in the midst of all of that, it’s kind of like, ‘Oh my God, me have waded through it. And I’m still me’.”
Odudu, originally from Blackburn, was a finalist in Strictly’s 2021 series alongside professional partner Kai Widdrington but was forced to withdraw from the live event after tearing a ligament.
She described the evening as a “sweet dream and beautiful nightmare”.
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The TV star added: “It was absolutely amazing. I was allowed to wear the dress I wanted to wear for my show dance; I wanted to go to the final and I made it to the final.
“But it was also like, ‘Oh my god, I can’t believe I’m not on this stage because I have this injury! Are you kidding?’
“Now I feel kind of guilty for being so hard on myself in the beginning. I was like, ‘How did you get so mad at your body for doing so much? At least 10 hours a day for about 13 weeks.
“Yes, I have this body that let me down, but actually it carried me to the final; it did what it had to do.”
Odudu said that once her ankle is fully strengthened again, her training goals are to be “more flexible” with her routine.
“Exercising when I’m feeling awake and good, and then my body will respond to that,” she said.
“And just relax when my body tells me to.”
Read the full interview in the May issue of Women’s Health UK, available now.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/aj-odudu-on-having-to-jump-through-many-more-hoops-than-white-peers-41564986.html AJ Odudu on having to jump through “many more hoops” than white peers