Why The Outrage Now?
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know very well the current outrage of the black influencer community as it relates to certain fashion and beauty brands. I decided to watch, listen, evaluate and now respond.
I’ve seen big influencers calling out brands on their lack of diversity. Pay disparity, and now how they’ve chosen to respond to said outrage. Then I began to look at some of the brands being called out and felt a bit perplexed. Why now, I thought? The majority of these brands have never been inclusive, and by never I mean since conception. In fact, during the creation process, black people weren’t even part of the conversation. We were never their target demographic.
I then began to also think about the luxe industry. Now, to each their own, but I’ve never bought high end and if I’m being completely honest, it’s never been because I couldn’t afford it, I just couldn’t make sense of paying for a purse what I would pay for a mortgage. Please know, this is in no way a dig against those who do, this is just my personal preference.
Growing up I saw brands like Louis Vuillton, Gucci, Channel, Prada and Burberry. These brands often represented the “I’ve made it” status. BMW, Mercedes, Porsche, Lamborghini, cars that echoed the same statement. Now, grant it, this is just what some people prefer, and that’s your business, but how did we become so obsessed with wanting people to know we made it?
How many black people have faced discrimination wearing Gucci? Wearing Prada? Driving a Mercedes? Driving a Range? Did the person see you and think, “Oh they’re wearing Gucci, they’re different, I’ll let them slide”. Absolutely not, and why is that? Because it doesn’t matter how many status symbols you’re wearing, or what kind of car you’re driving, you’re still black.
I believe the issue here is deeper than what we see on the surface. Why have we been silent for so long? Why have we been so comfortable with being treated less than? Receiving less pay. No visibility. Doing work for free in an effort to prove our worth. None of this is new. None of this was ever a secret. It’s been blatantly obvious for a very long time.
I am all for calling people out. I am all for having the conversation about creating space for black people, and how we can do that together. I also believe that while doing the work in that space, we should also be having the conversation about creating our own space. Carving out our very own part of a ever growing industry. We too are leaders. We too are innovators. We’ve seen it done. Many are doing it. Instead of begging for a seat at their table, let’s create our own.
Let’s talk. What are your thoughts on this issue?
Until next time...🦋