Avoiding Hypocritical Cries for Diversity

Lately, there has been lots of talk about diversity. Women would like to see more diversity in fashion magazines, the campaigns of brands, and in blogging communities. As human beings we know that the world is home to people of all shades and sizes though, the mainstream media seems to believe otherwise. As women, we have a desire to see images that represent us, individually and as a whole. We want acknowledgement that not only do we exist but, that beauty comes in our size and/or color too.

Tara Lynn for Vogue Italia

One awesome thing about being a blogger is we have the voice that can resound throughout the Internet and be heard around the world. Recently, there was an article posted on the blogging community site, IFB. This article that caused such outrage uproar among fashion/beauty bloggers that IFB re-edited the post: Bloggers and Body Image (I was displeased about this. I feel clarification of the writer’s thoughts should have been made in a second article). Founder Jennine Jacobs also issued an apology (though I have my theories about it) for her emotional response towards the blogging community of IFB, for what she felt was bullying of her writer (though, I look at it as lovingly chastising the writer for attacking first).

Yes, I was offended by the article, as I should have damn well been. It was ignorance in written form. However, as the days went past and bloggers were putting their reactions up in posts on their sites, I noticed as I clicked on link after link that many bloggers made diversity about themselves.

How they should be featured on the site or in an campaign. How they should getting more shine or more traffic. ME. ME. ME.

Guess what, it really is NOT about you. It’s about us.

China Machado for Fashion Magazine

Are bloggers looking to really change the fashion industry’s perception of beauty or do we just want our own image used and our own blog recognized?

If a fashion brand chose a blogger to represent their product in a campaign and they choose a plus-sized black woman from Alabama . . . your reaction would be ????

Please, be honest with yourself when you answer.

If the brand chose a petite young Muslim lady . . . your reaction would be ???

Please, remember to be honest.

A woman in her 60’s.

Honesty, please.

If a brand used a “untraditional” (I hate that term) model/blogger in a campaign would you share it? Blog about it? Tweet about it? Like it? 1+ it? Pin it (oh, I learn so much looking at what others pin)?

Alek Wek for How to Spend it Magazine

If you want REALLY want to see change then, you have to take all these actions. Brands are about the bottom line. They want to use models that are going to create buzz and sell products.

How can we as bloggers use our voice to make changes and make the fashion industry realize that beautiful women come in all shades and sizes? That we truly want to see all women represented in magazines and in advertisements. Well, it begins with us.

• Visit or follow blogs/sites of those ran by women of different races.
• Visit or follow personal style bloggers of various body types.
• Visit or bloggers in different niches? Not just beauty bloggers. Not only personal style bloggers.
• Stop attacking and making derogatory remarks about thin bloggers who are representing brands. They are people with feelings too. They are entitled to feel just as beautiful as everyone else. And guess what . . . thin women are real women. The most ridiculous memes I have seen are those that claim thin women aren’t real women like curvy women. What are they? Lollipops?
• When a brand does choose to use a plus-sized, older, or model or color in a campaign share it. . . everywhere and loudly however . . .
• When sharing campaigns that have used models of non-traditional beauty standards, avoid using words like black, plus-sized, older, Latina, etc to describe the person. Use the model’s name instead (if known). Talk about the imagery, the styling, and the brand. By doing these things it downplays the notion she is different than usual and makes it just normal.

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8 Responses to Avoiding Hypocritical Cries for Diversity

  1. Heather says:

    Love this article! I too have been following the IFB debacle. The original article was very upsetting to me, on a number or levels. Firstly I realized that as an older woman writing a personal style blog there was no way I would ever become a “top” blogger. Why? I can’t work any harder on my blog than I already do. Taylor’s point was that if we want to see more diversity the diverse bloggers need to do a better job, right? But I can’t do much better, and even if I did the odds are stacked against me.
    My other reaction was that we, the bloggers, the individuals, the women, deed to be the change we want to see. We need to support one another. We need to support the diversity we want to see, otherwise it’s not going to happen. So I’ve been updating my blog roll and trying to find interesting blogs written by women and men who don’t look like me!
    Heather recently posted..Blogs in Style: The Fall Fashion Edition

    • Heather, I choose to ignore the do “a better job” gibberish and focus on how we can support one another and hopefully, make changes together. But, the whole work harder thing was so ridiculous. I can spend 24/7 on my blog, networking, and promoting, but that doesn’t mean companies or going to come running with offers and money. Because, I know I don’t fit “the look” either. Hopefully, we can change this with the little things we are doing. Hey, a small rock can make a big ripple.

  2. I really, REALLY love this post. I have been very vocal about the need for diversity in the mainstream media, as have a lot of women, but you are completely right in saying that while people are pushing for diversity, they are really thinking “what about me?” Wanting to see people who you can RELATE TO and wanting to see YOURSELF are different things, and I think that to a degree, bloggers have started to take themselves way too seriously. If you want to be in the fashion industry, please, go dive into the fashion industry. If you want to make music, go for it. If you want to flip houses, I would love to see you do that. I really believe that people, especially women, should be encouraged to do what makes their hearts sing, but don’t write a blog about a particular topic and then all of a sudden believe that you’re an expert or should be treated like a celebrity because you’re taking up a miniscule amount of space on the internet. It doesn’t work that way, you have to work for it, and you can’t expect a handout just because you’ve been writing on a particular topic for six months and think it is owed to you. Nothing is owed to anyone in this world, for any reason. The people who receive, have generally worked for it. We really need to start supporting each other, our fellow women, regardless of their age, their ethnicity, their weight, or their lifestyle. Support someone who wants to do amazing things and maybe when it comes time for you to take that giant leap into the unknown, people will be there to catch you and cheer you on while you do amazing things.
    Holly (Woman Tribune) recently posted..8 Inspirational Women in Business

    • Wow, at this comment. haha. I really love it. “Wanting to see people who you can RELATE TO and wanting to see YOURSELF are different things . . . ” isn’t that the truth!! I am completely with you on women doing whatever their heart desires. Go for it !
      You are right, I am not knocking those who have worked hard to get where they are, but I do believe that for some no matter how hard they work . . . particularly in fashion . . . will not achieve the success of others because of perceptions of what is beauty. That doesn’t mean it is impossible for many have achieved great success. I just know that the best way to open the doors for others of all body types and races is support without the ME factor. Thanks for your comment.

  3. I read the article and had mixed emotions. Here is where i stand, I think we create controversial content to gain readers. The mind, or should I say the “ego” is draw to conflict and chaos. I am, dare I say, “An Old Broad” Regarding the media, times have change drastically for the better regarding the type of women we are exposed to, on blogs, youtube instragram and the other popular platforms. I frequent many many blogs, I am always pleased at the diversity of women blogger. What i have observed is a huge support of plus size women. Especially when they are fashionable. Regarding ethnicity, the range is off the charts. So my honest opinion is this has “much ado about nothing”. I personally do not react to negative post, because I am aware that our egos are drawn to conflict. The only solution is awareness. I am a fashionista, regardless of your size, shape or race I can make any women appear and feel beautiful. I believe in focussing on the positive. There will always be those negative rotten apples. I choose to promote positive ideas and thoughts. Funny it doesn’t get the same response as negative content. This is what we need to exam. Become the change you seek.
    thefashionistachic recently posted..How Fashion Influences Brain Chemistry

    • Oh, I agree with you on the level that media has changed over the years. We are seeing more women of different sizes, races, and shape in ads, campaigns, etc. However, as we see more we see less. For example, a few years ago NYC fashion week was plagued with controversy when no (maybe 2) black models were used. So, just because some great strives were made it doesn’t mean there aren’t more to be made.
      Yes, there are a wide range and diverse bunch of women bloggers however, the mainstream media, magazines, and brands focus their attention on those who meet their standard of beauty. So, no matter how hard some of these bloggers work they will be overlooked. Does, that mean that it is impossible for women like us to rise to the top. Of course not it’s just a little tougher.
      But because there are a wide range of diverse bloggers . . . we have the power to be the change we wish to see.
      I choose to promote positive thoughts and ideas. Which is why I believe in supporting others something and why I believe that we all do need to check our egos. Both I am encouraging others to do.

      • You know Sharon I think I view things a bit different. I try to look at other components other than race or size. It is easy to point fingers. To give you an example, I read something about a blogger expressing her dissatisfaction with the success of her blog. She indirectly contributed the lack of success to her size or her weight. When the truth of the matter is her style was mediocre at best. Sharon please allow me to be frank, this is not coming from a negative space. It is coming from an honest space. We view situation from our personal experience. It takes an emotionally intelligent person to see the world outside their own experience. Yes, Sharon I am happy you choose to promote positive thoughts and ideas. I am sure you can look around the net and find many positive women to highlight on your blog. Will the masses be interested in you promoting positive people, positive things ,positive ideas? I award a Girls Best Friend Beauty on my blog. When I award the winner I have to go out and seek people to come and praise these girls. Now if I was writing about the ignorance surrounding Gabby Douglas’ hair, I’d have 20 thousand comments. Instead of discussing what we don’t have I make it a habit to discuss what we do have. I can only strive to be the change I seek.
        thefashionistachic recently posted..How Fashion Influences Brain Chemistry

        • I understand what you are saying. But this is not about how I view the world it is how the media views the world. In order to get more women of shapes, sizes, colors, races into magazines and on runways we as bloggers can be that force. That does not mean you have to follow someone just because. If a blogger has mediocre style there are 3 others who have awesome style. Be supportive of those. The bloggers who cry me me me as you pointed out in your comment (as I did in the post) are missing the bigger picture. I am not talking about getting views or comments. Bloggers still need to be held accountable for content and such.
          I am saying if we were to diversify our own actions, like the ones I mention in the post above . . . mainstream media would follow. We would see more models like those above in ads, campaigns, magazines, and on the runway.
          So, I highlight positive women and you highlight the beauty of all. Good. It may not get us comments or views, but it can move ONE person sees the world different and sees that the world is made up of all types and not just what we see in magazines. To see that beauty is not only thin or white (that doesn’t mean these women are not just as beautiful).

          That is why I wrote it is not about the blogger it is about us all.

          It is a ripple effect.

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