You may not have heard of Danielle Cadet, but you should get acquainted with her. As the Managing Editor of Refinery29’s Unbothered, Danielle has made it her mission to amplify the voices of Black women. Through Unbothered, she is building and nurturing a much-needed safe space where this underserved, often underestimated population can freely exchange ideas, share experiences and thrive. It’s familiar territory for Danielle, who previously ran the Huffington Post’s Black Voices vertical and later launched ESPN’s Undefeated, about the intersection of race and sports. But she first discovered a then-nascent Unbothered, at the time just an Instagram account, organically. “It felt like a room that I was walking into,” she tells Christene Barberich, R29’s global editor-in-chief and cofounder, on this week’s UnStyled. “Where I felt seen, where I felt comfortable. And there was something about that — I was like, I need to know more about this.” As it became apparent that a job opportunity was in the cards, Danielle recalls the gig felt like “a calling.”
Unbothered — which now encompasses social channels, on-site articles, video and an extremely engaged audience (R29’s fastest growing IG page ver)— compelled Danielle from its evocative name alone. “Black women so often carry this weight; as a black woman, you can be in a room, and you can feel very bothered, right? Whether it's microaggressions at work, instances of prejudice or dealing with a partner at home.”
She continues: “For Black women, moving through spaces can be very tense and fraught, and the idea of being unbothered, is pushing back at all of those things. Being able to say none of these things are phasing me, and I'm able to exist and thrive, and I'm completely unbothered by all of the very real threats that exist to my livelihood and to my safety and to my mental health. That's a very freeing and liberating thing.”
The key to achieving this sort of “unbothered” freedom, she says, is community, sisterhood. “Going back to this idea of a safe space, the times when we really do genuinely feel that way, is when we're with each other. When we get to have those moments of sisterhood with other women where you can say sis, I see you. I understand, I might not be going through exactly what you're going through, but I see it. I acknowledge it, I'm going to make this feel safe for you. There is something about being in a room full of black women that just elevates that unbothered feeling.”
But Unbothered, of course, isn’t simply about the struggles of Black women — it’s also about their triumphs, brilliance, artistry and their very particular, precious form of power and strength. “Black women are the most educated demographic in the country,” Danielle points out. “Michelle Obama is the most educated First Lady in history...We've been lit for a long time. Black women are the largest group of entrepreneurs in the country, black buying power is at an all-time high. Black women vote in the highest numbers...We're bringing something really unique to the table, and people are starting to finally wake up and see that.” (The 2020 election is just 18 months away, by the way.)
She adds: “I always tell people I will bet on black women any day of the week.”
Listen to Christene and Danielle’s entire discussion on this week’s UnStyled now, and subscribe via Apple Podcasts.