For quite some time thoughts have been brewing in my mind, but I’ve just not been able to construct them in such a way that they’re suitable for documenting. So let’s just cut to the chase: blogging in the UK has evolved into something very white. One of the reasons our mediums originally became so game-changingly popular is because they were democratic, free from air brushing and representative of ‘real women’ in all their shapes, forms, colours and sizes. However, increasingly I’ve noticed that women of colour just aren’t getting the recognition they deserve and it’s tricky to even discover new talent that doesn’t have a Caucasian skin tone. With the launch of every new brand campaign the same faces fill up my feeds, reflecting only one part of the makeup of this country and proving we’re still some way off equality. In the 2011 census 1.9 million (3%) of the population identified themselves as Black British, an increase from 1.15 million ten years prior; with more and more diversity on our streets should come the diversity available online, but that just doesn’t seem to be happening. With the recent #BlackLivesMatter campaign bringing ethnicity to the forefront of our minds, it’s made me question why there aren’t that many commercial and traditionally ‘successful’ influencers outside of the creamy coffee colour spectrum.
I touched on the issue of inequality on the high street here, with the launch of Superdrug’s ‘Shades Of Beauty’ campaign, and unsurprisingly it garnered quite the reaction. It seems women of colour are becoming progressively frustrated at the lack of products suitable for their skin tone, but equally there’s frustration amongst the community as it’s very hard to find bloggers they can relate to. Although a body moisturiser, lipstick, eye cream or nail polish can be universally enjoyed no matter your ethnicity, when it comes to hair products and foundation shades women need to trust those that are most similar to their own biological makeup. So what happens when that’s near enough impossible to find? I think as a community we need to champion diversity and celebrate WOC, but equally brands need to widen the spectrum of those they support through campaigns and opportunities. The bloggersphere has become very one dimensional because of the level support given to one set demographic, so I really want to see talent from across the colour spectrum applauded and recognised as having equal value. After all, a fab pair of shoes or the hottest new lipstick can be enjoyed no matter your skin tone. In an attempt to do my bit, no matter how small, here are eight women of colour that are kicking backside when it comes to blogging – and I want you to check them out.
A mix of fashion, beauty, lifestyle and bold colours, Kristabel’s blog is an inspirational melting pot of all she’s passionate about. A great place to spend your lunch break browsing, and the perfect destination if you need some inspiration.
Probably one of the most well known WOC bloggers in the UK, Patricia has been documenting her love of fashion and beauty since the early days and has achieved a huge amount of success already. Having just introduced her baby Grace to her audience, Patricia proves you can have it all and more. An inspiration to many I’m sure.
Although predominately on YouTube, Grace’s blog is a refreshingly open and honest account of her life, interests, passions and opinions. I adore her no-BS approach to life and how she’s not afraid to tackle issues around mental health; her recent documentary ‘Clean Eating’s Dirty Secrets‘ illustrated how she’s known for saying it how it is and is an absolute must-watch. Total girl crush.
The only thing wrong with Annie’s site? I wish she blogged more. I adore her style, her photography is amazing and she’s got lots of projects in the pipeline to help WOC choose the perfect shade of makeup for them. I can’t fault her approach to blogging.
Like a ray of sunshine on a cloudy day, Shirley just makes me smile. I love her Instagram shots, her lighthearted way of filming GRWMs and her easy to follow tutorials. Again, she’s already hugely successful but until very recently I’d never even heard her name – proving that we need more black beauties on our radar.
A fashion and beauty journalist by day, by night Joy documents her love of everything from lipstick to pizza via this bright and enjoyable site. A mum of two, this isn’t a mummy blog in the traditional sense – proving you don’t stop being who you are when you push out some little people.
So high fashion it hurts, Freddie’s blog is an absolute inspiration. Her natural hair is gorgeous and definitely helps her stand out, but what I love most is how much she obviously enjoys what she does. Plus, she may well have the world’s best shoe and bag collection.
I discovered this beautifully put together site during the Thirty Plus awards and loved it immediately. It’s a collection of eclectic topics, discussions, interviews, features and so much more, predominately written and curated by mum of two Sareta. Any blog with a unicorn in the header is a winner in my book.
So what can we do to make a change and ensure there’s adequate representation and success across the bloggersphere, no matter the individual’s skin tone? First of all, read and follow the sites you think are awesome; share them with other people and let others know you want to see more content from women of colour. If you’re a blogger, let brands know of great sites you think would be perfect for them and encourage the use of faces from across the colour spectrum. If you’re a brand, PR or marketing executive reading this: start including more diversity in your proposals and not just opting for the same old. If you know of any other great sites that you want others to read, then please share them in the comments below so we can enjoy them. Finally, WOC – I want to know your ideas and suggestions about how we can make a positive change. How can we help you get the recognition and representation you deserve?
Image taken from epiphanniea.co.uk (because it just couldn’t *be* any more appropriate to this post!)
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