If you don’t know what’s going on right now and what has been going on for hundreds of years. You must be either living under a rock or just intentionally oblivious to the oppression, struggle, and the increasingly alarming rate that my people are being killed by the hands of law enforcement.
Last week, we lost another black man to police brutality, #GeorgeFloyd. Following the incident riots and peaceful protesting has broken out all over the world making this the largest civil rights movement in history.
Fashion and beauty brands have responded with their solidarity of #blacklivesmatter. But I can’t help but wonder if they are really in solidarity or if they just simply are hopping “on-trend” just like they do with everything else. That’s what they’re good at right?
Well, guys, #blacklivesmatter isn’t a trending topic. It’s a movement. It should be a lifestyle. It’s baffling to me that we still have to beg and demand the respect and consideration of African American lives in AmeriKKKa—but, here we are.
So to avoid the #trending aspect of all this, and hopefully cut the bullshit with these brands—because one black square post, simply stating that you are in “solidarity” with us isn’t enough for me.
London fashion stylist and influencer, Erica Matthews shared on her social media five ways the fashion industry can support black creatives—and now, we’re sharing it with you. Stay educated.
When creating campaigns, assigning, and hiring content creators and curators, please please please don’t just hire one black person for the job. We can spot a brand that lacks diversity a million miles away. “Stop blatantly lying and saying you’re not doing any collaborations at this time, the event is full, there are no samples left, etc. We talk, we share our experiences, and we know when we are being lied to. Say it as it is and give feedback, otherwise, you look bad,” says Erica .
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LEARN ABOUT US
Learn about our skin, our hair, and our culture. There are hairstylists in the industry that don’t know how to care for and style black hair. There are photographers who don’t know how to shoot or retouch black skin and hair. Learn about our undertones and learn how to match our makeup accurately. If you want to be the best at your job, you need to learn how to accommodate anyone that comes into your creative space.
Many brands collaborate, gift, and sponsor black women for content but their social activity and pages don’t reflect their outreach and brand placement. I’m just going to say it, you look bad when you have a hundred white women on your page but then it’s one or two black women that pop up on your feed. Really? Do you really think we don’t notice?
DON’T JUDGE US // LABEL US
If you don’t want smoke from a black woman, be sure not to judge and stereotype her. We as black women, tend to “walk on eggshells” when it comes to just being ourselves. We often hide our true feelings and emotions in an attempt to avoid being labeled the aggressive “angry black woman”. “We are intelligent, hardworking, professional, prompt, and versatile women with larger than life personalities. Don’t assume we are running on ‘CP’ time (Colored people’s time is an American expression referring to a negative stereotype of African Americans as frequently being late). Don’t assume that we get violent when we voice our feelings in an assertive manner. “Beyond things being ‘business (as usual)’, look at how regressive this behavior is for feminism. Imagine what we experience weekly or daily? Women of color are taught to be strong, but we are humans with feelings. Please make a change and become real feminists by being adequately inclusive,” says Matthews.
this article was originally a social media post by London Stylist, Fashion & Beauty Influencer, Erica Matthews, and was edited by Tori Bouldin.
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Tori B. is the founder of The Stylette and Head Stylist of The Stylette Experience Co. Born and raised in Baltimore, MD the mom of 2 juggles building an empire and raising her 5 year old son and 2 year old daughter. She attended Stevenson University for Fashion Design and LIM for Fashion Merchandising and Marketing. Tori has been a style writer for WOE Magazine and has worked for companies like Kohls, H&M and Nordstrom. She believes that when you look good, you feel good, and ultimately perform better in every area of your life.