Since it's black history month, I feel like it's important to shine a light on the portion of the industry that doesn't get a lot of love. This is the POC influencers. There are so many amazing artists that get no attention due to the fact that their race is different. They're shunned from the community in a host of different ways.
The FIRST way being through brand recognition. Brands will post looks done by people using their products. If you scroll down some brands pages, you see very little people of color. And when you do, they have fairer skin. This brings about some questions for thought. Do these brands not post people of a more diverse crowd because they feel they lack skill? Or is it that they won't get as many views and likes if there are a host of different looking people on their pages?
the SECOND thing is credit. Some of these artists are incredible. Their work is unreal, but they get no attention. Once we see a recreation of said look by a non-POC, then it blows up and becomes this iconic look... but it's been iconic. It's been amazing. There are very little within the community that are getting the credit they deserve. When people think of black youtubers/vloggers/bloggers, the same few are talked about. This doesn't mean that they don't deserve the attention, it means that there should be more! When one of my favorites, Jackie Aina, hit a million subscribers on Youtube, I was so happy and excited for her because she's amazing and deserves it. She then posted a tutorial following that and spoke on how there aren't a lot of others reaching that milestone that look like her. That being having darker skin.
This stood out to me a lot because it's true. A lot of people don't pay attention to it though. It's unfortunate because there's so much talent being missed out on simply because no one is looking because the people don't fit a certain standard of looks.
THIRDLY, there’s a big emphasis on upholding a certain standard. Having an image set for the brand is important for them, but it shouldn’t be to the point where artists are being ignored for not doing the same look or being a non-POC. How many smokey eye and nude lip tutorials do we really need? They’re great, I mean who doesn’t love a good smokey eye? Kim K slays my life whenever she wears it… but there are artists capable of so much more. Avant garde looks can be what inspires new artists. I know I’ve seen so many cool looks that are amazingly different and they inspired me to try to step out of my comfort zone and be a bit more creative.
FOURTH, having the same type of people on the social channels having their platform promoted makes those interested in getting involved have a harder time. The industry can be considered to be sold up, so it’s a lot harder for newer artists to get involved.
Social Media is a key part of influencing and things involved with the beauty industry. If there’s no way that an influencer is being promoted or pushed in the lime light, there’s a smaller chance that they’ll be able to reach as much of an audience as the non-POC who are promoted much easier. This is not to take away from the non-POC who are doing their thing. There are so many who are extremely talented, of which are some of my favorites. The purpose of this post is to shine a light on the part of the industry that has to work twice as hard to get just a bit of the recognition.
All images come from Google Images!