THE LACK OF DIVERSITY IN THE BLOGGING INDUSTRY

THE LACK OF DIVERSITY IN THE BLOGGING INDUSTRY

by Charlotte Smith

There we said it. BLOGGING & THE LACK OF DIVERSITY IN THE INDUSTRY is still an issue in our books. On a daily scroll of Instagram, Twitter and the blogging world the power of people of colour only lives on these platforms. Where else can you see people that look like you on a daily basis?

I have been blogging for 10+ years and every day I am still hustling. When ladies like these get all the breaks? What is the formula for a POC blogger? Is it to stay ghetto and report on the latest Trashy tend. No, Style Cartel hopes to change that.

BLOGGING & THE LACK OF DIVERSITY

Your Blog looks like a bunch of rich white girls run it!

What is wrong with looking like that? Can’t Women of colour live like this or have a dream?

After a stint at a 9-5, I returned to full-time blogging. Why you may ask because the 1% still do not get it. POC’s have the purchasing power that is still untapped for most brands. On a daily, I see the only 1 or 2 that fit the demographic and feel like there is no room for others.

I personally am bored with seeing the same faces over and over again. I love my brothers and sisters, but can we take a page from the modeling world? Can we see some new faces or others get a shot at a paid partnership?

Yes, they have followers but do these Influencers really have to reach and buying power? Do some of them even blog anymore?

Content is King

Every day is a new opportunity to create great content. We predict journalism, blogging, podcast, and creative content is going to have a comeback. Why, because if you are like us we are bored what’s on Instagram right now.

Give us some real creativity and content, not just a pretty picture.

At Style Cartel, we strive to put forth the style, images, and cultures the best reflect our team. We have no competition because no magazine since the days of Honey magazine reflects our staff. Diversity. We want to change this in 2019.

WHY DOES EVERYONE LOOK THE SAME?

Whenever you hear about blog awards, there is rarely a brown person on the list. You normally see white, yellow and one of the others. When you scroll through the categories travel to beauty, also food to fashion.

When you get to the end of this list, you might think brown people do not love fashion speak other languages or travel. I personally speak four. Also, I have lived in five different countries.

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@shionat📍Chefchaouen, Morocco 🇲🇦

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Again, I realized the lack of diversity. ‘Where are all the black and brown people’?!  Most of the nominees on this list are always 90% white.

TIRED OF BEING THE ONLY ONE IN THE ROOM

My initial feelings are always anger and disappointment. Now they are turned to sadness and frustration. You see, the lack of diversity and representation in blogging is undeniable. It’s not just awarded either, its campaigns, opportunities, and visibility too.

Unfortunately fixing the issue isn’t as easy as we would all hope. The lack of WOC being seen and valued in blogging is actually an issue in society itself. One of my favourite bloggers is always picked as the black girl. Although I love her, can she have a brown friend in the room or in the picture or invited to the party too?

This also goes for marginalized bodies. Why does everyone simply look the same? The most successful bloggers in terms of followers, earnings and opportunities are 90% white, slim & upper-middle class or rich.

The majority of bloggers on the Instagram feeds of brands have the same statistics. The majority of bloggers bringing out their own collections or collaborating with brands are 90% the same too. Why?

Can Trust Fund Kids, be the only successful bloggers? Do we bloggers of colour just have to be lucky or come from money to win in the blogging game? It’s clear to see this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Representation matters yet Women of Color are completely disregarded in pretty much every aspect of blogging unless they transform themselves into a Black KARDASHIANS.

There are a few black girls doing huge campaigns and hitting 250k+ views per Youtube video. Unless you look for them, no one is promoting them. Many fashion models get promoted. The same goes with light skinned girls like myself.

We have a privilege that if I’m totally honest, I only noticed a few years ago. Needless to say, light-skinned girls do not get that much love either.

We can also see this in the Muslim and Modest fashion blogging scene too. Beauty brands always work with the lighter skinned Arab bloggers. Only Vogue Arab is at the for the front of all the shades of Islam, like the colours of the earth.

Having lighter skin is still preferred over dark skin and we need to see dark skinned girls and curvy women dark or light getting the recognition they so rightfully deserve. There are so many WOC creating engaging and creative content and blogging should be a place where diverse people are celebrated.

What about these bloggers here too.

You have to actively go looking for diverse people or people who don’t fit the ‘norm’. It is appaling at this point. It seems now that Yellow Asian’s fit the quota for other + Plus one black person who can pass. Is it down to systematic racism? Is it down to algorithms not catering to POC?

I don’t have the answers. But what I do know, is that there is a serious issue throughout the blogging world and the rise of the influencer industry and it has become even more obvious since every brand on the planet wants to tap into their key market.

Unfortunately, the lack of diversity is heartbreaking. They should build an algorithm for it. If you browse the Youtube homepage you will see the same type of people, and usually, none of those people look like us.

Growing up I rarely saw anyone who looked like me in magazines or on TV. Lisa Bonet is probably the only light-skin icon anyone remembers.

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“1993”

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So why in 2019 are we still having the same issue? It should be completely normal to see an array of skin tones and body sizes throughout blogging. Brands using only one black girl, or one Muslim girl, or one curvy girl can often feel like a token or an afterthought. And if she has an issue or attitude, she’s a Diva!

I’ve even experienced this first hand. Whilst I will play the system for what it is and take every opportunity I can get to be visible. But I am not ignorant to the fact that sometimes diversity is used as a ‘trend’. Since when was what I looked like a trend?

ARE POC’s in NOW?

We are still in an era where brands won’t work with you if you don’t fit their aesthetic. Which is usually a white girl with a tan, long hair who owns a Gucci or Dior bag.

I have no problem with girls who look like that.

Yet, I do have a problem with brands only recognising that as the only way to be beautiful or worthy.  It is like playing in Barbie’s house, can we invite other friends to the party?

I have memories of sitting front row at Fashion week in the blogger section and white bloggers, not even introducing themselves to you. Yet when another white blogger sits down they are BFF’s even though they have never met. It especially hurts when it is a brand who is fronted by a black person, but the entire event is filled with white bloggers. WTF

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Drip or drown 💦 @degrisogono

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When will Women of Colour who blog have those moments?

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MET.

A post shared by Zoë Kravitz (@zoeisabellakravitz) on

The same goes with brands using the same WOC for every campaign. There are 1000s and 1000s of diverse people within this industry who are fantastic at what they do. Can we get a friend to come along?

How do we get the industry to stop ignoring us?

We continue to create and talk about it. Leave a comment on your thoughts below.

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