Last night we saw that a well-known brand, @Revolve, has once again gone under fire for being extremely non-inclusive. This post shows top influencers on a trip sponsored by Revolve. If by now you don’t see the problem in this post, you are part of the problem. There is no diversity being shown here. A brand like Revolve, which has 2m+ followers should be using their reach to promote inclusion, acceptance, and equality of all shapes, colors, and sizes. But nah, here we go again with the 50 shades of beige influencers. ‘Cause now everyone’s feed has to be yellow and everyone is promoting a fruit or vegetable. [insert avocado and sweet potato emoji here]
Now before you get all social media defense attorney on me, I am in no way shape or form saying that these women don’t work hard to be where they are. At some point, I’m sure they certainly had to struggle between which sponsored luxury bag photo to post first. Most fucking certainly they were conflicted about which island they should go get their sponsored box braids done. And the thing that grinds my gears the most as a person of color, is that these same women pictured above claim to stand in solidarity with my people but continue to work with the brands that deliberately exclude my kind.
That. Is. Not. How. Solidarity. Works. BB. Girls.
‘Cause here’s what you don’t get to do. You don’t get to use our music for instagram captions. Go swim in our oceans, appropriate our culture and then decide that we don’t get to participate in anything. I don’t know if someone told y’all that we only do curly haired brands and things with obvious names like ‘Dark and Lovely’ but they lied to you. We spend our Gucci, Chanel, all-inclusive resort, adventure vacation, 2018 out the dealership car, masters and doctorate degree coins JUST. LIKE. Y’ALL.
We work hard! We have to work twice if not three times as hard to prove that our fro’s and our melanin deserve the same opportunities as your straight edge, medium length, blondish brown hair, cat eye glasses havin’ ass does too. Only to have brands like Revolve dismiss us because we don’t fit their look. Revolve literally means to “treat as the most important point or element.” They’ve made it incredibly clear who they’re beauty standards are revolving around. The thin, blonde, brunette, whites and Asians. Oh, forgive me. And the 3 Hispanics that look white AF.
But here is where we come in as people of color. We stop supporting the brands that don’t support us. Stop giving your coins to the brands that go out of their way to make sure that you cannot picture yourself using their products. Stop trying to be down with the people that are consistently trying to keep us down. Stop following and supporting the people who only support us when it’s trending or when they get called out for it. You know why our people don’t grow? Because we’re sowing all of our seeds in the wrong soil. Invest in your people.
Girl. GIRL. WHAT PART OF THE INTERNET DO YOU RESIDE IN? There are so many poppin’ ass women of color on the internet who are known as fuck. But when you know the same 23 clones, we don’t blame you for not knowing. See responses like this are unacceptable. Yes, she may have meant well, but it’s 2018. If you’re now just putting together that people of color don’t get the same opportunities as the ‘whites’ then I’m gonna need to know exactly what bunker you’ve been trapped in for the past couple centuries.
Aimee and influencers like her are hard working women. I’m sure of that. But do you know the work that influencers of color have to do just to get paid a fraction of what they beiges get paid? I cannot tell you how many times I’ve photographed the same campaign for different influencers just to find out they’re all making different amounts of money. And that’s partially our fault. I’ll say it until I’m blue in the face. KNOW YOUR WORTH, THEN ADD TAX. Stop accepting free product when you know good and well VSCO M5 got paid for the same campaign. Stop working for exposure. Stop selling yourself short. Quit accepting the crumbs that fall off of the table they’re feasting at while discussing their next voyage, which surprisingly doesn’t include us.
Begin to ask questions like “What is your budget?” And then give responses like “Yes, I’d love to work with you. Here are my rates.” When one of us wins, you continue to bridge the gap in this bullshit industry. Listen to this, I had a friend who worked for a huge corporation. You probably have a few of their products in your home. She shared with me how Latin and African American women would respond to their collaborations with extremely low rates. White and Asian women would respond with almost 300% of a higher asking rate, and they would get it.
Don’t wait for someone to invite you to sit at their table. Build your own! You can buy the $200 swimsuit. You still won’t be invited to their private beaches. You can spend $500 on their skincare line. They still don’t care. If you take the time to do the research, Hispanics and Blacks in America have a crazy buying power. Invest in your own people. Follow your own people. Celebrate your people. I said it on instagram and I’ll say it again; We don’t need them to validate our magic. We just need a few of those clones to take a seat because it’s our time to shine. And for those who can’t seem to find ‘known’ influencers of color. I leave you with this list of some of my favorites.
SHOULD I GO ON? That’s like .3% of the women of color that I love on the gram. Listen. People are talking about this and it’s a good thing. But don’t let this be a thing that people talk about for a week and then it dies. Fuck Revolving around a social norm that only celebrates one specific standard of beauty. Let’s start a social Revolution that is intentionally inclusive.
If you don’t go hard for my people, I’m not going hard for you. End of story. Our ancestors did way too much for us to take less than we deserve in ANY and EVERY area of life. Stand up for injustices like these. Use your platforms to speak your truth. Don’t listen to those that say “it’s always been like this and it always will be.” Those are the people you don’t need in your corner. They want to build their kingdom using our ideas, our talents (because let’s not forget.. their staff is “diverse”) our work and our dreams? That’s cool, we’ll have our music, our food, our slang, and the rest of our shit back now ’cause we’re off to build an empire.