We can all agree that 2016 was a bit of a general dumpster fire, however one positive thing that happened for me was discovering a somewhat hidden community of incredible black female creators, bloggers, influencers and artists online.
I’ll be honest; it’s very difficult being one of the few black plus size bloggers within a community that is predominantly white and who holds the opinions, perspectives and imagery of white women in high regard or as the ‘default’. As ‘inclusionary’ as the community wants to believe it is, it isn’t. A few months ago, I began to feel very excluded because although it was no fault of the ladies within the community, as a black person, I felt that I could not relate to them, from a cultural point of view. I rarely saw articles or images of women that looked like me – only tokens. It was then that I realised that I wasn’t alone. Scores of bloggers and influencers online from different fields: beauty, lifestyle and straight sized fashion felt exactly the same way.
As a minority we are often told to work hard and that one day it’ll pay off. It’s a fact that we have to work twice as hard to gain half as much of the success purely because of the colour of our skin. Over the past few years I have seen a plethora of black UK bloggers with great quality content just fizzle out because they felt that they could not compete within the community and it’s such a shame.
No matter how hard we work, trying to make your name known within a predominantly white space is always going to be a difficult task. It’s difficult to even bring the subject up because we feel that by talking about our inequality, it’ll make the white members of the community feel uncomfortable, so we stay quiet. But this needs to change.
The past year I have followed a group of amazing, strong, inspiring, creative, intelligent women who have taught me how to use my voice as a black influencer in the UK. It’s about knowing my worth as a blogger and being an inspiration to girls who look like me. It’s about carving a space for myself within the community. As black influencers, we should never have to censor ourselves to make the dominant race feel ‘comfortable’; if there’s an issue, we should be able to discuss it without people taking offence. If you’re an avid Twitter user, you’ve probably heard the term ‘Black Girl Magic’ thrown about a few times – Black Girl Magic is about celebrating black women, our power, our voices, our beauty and our accomplishments.
There are many black UK influencers and creatives online who are absolutely amazing and who deserve to be celebrated for the work they do within their various fields. Below are just some of my favourites; feel free to have a look and give them a follow! I want this year to be the year that we stop being seen as the ‘tokens’; we matter too.
Chidera/ Slumflower – Public speaker, Visual artist and blogger
Chloe Pierre – Style & Lifestyle blogger
Danielle Dash – Writer, director, producer and blogger.
Kristabel Plummer – Style & Lifestyle Blogger
Chanel Ambrose – Plus Size Style Blogger
Isha – Plus Size Blogger
Melanin Millenials – UK Based Podcast
Lucia – Plus Sized Blogger
LaaLaa (Dolce Vanity) – Beauty blogger
Natalie (Discoveries of Self)– Beauty Blogger
Christiana Mbakwe – Journalist & Writer
Yinka (Vex in the City) – Beauty & Lifestyle Blogger
Melissa (Mel’s Wardrobe) – Style & Lifestyle Blogger
Keziah – Beauty and Lifestyle blogger
Annie – Beauty blogger