Why The Fashion Blogging Industry Lacks Diversity and What We Can Do About It

Black fashion blogger Tomi Obebe talks about the diversity problem in blogging and what we can do to fix it.Does the world need more black fashion bloggers or just better representation with brands? I'm talking about all of this and more on the blog!This bell-sleeve sweater from Nordstrom is super cute and only $39! Can you say #sweaterweather? Shop the look on the blog! | GoodTomiCha Southern Fashion and Lifestyle Blogger Black girl blogger, black fashion blogger, brown girl blogger, nordstrom, bell sleeve, fall style, I'm talking about diversity in the beauty world and why we need to lift up black fashion bloggers. It's time we hold brands accountable! | GoodTomiCha Southern Fashion and Lifestyle BloggerFall style has never looked so good. Shop this bell sleeve sweater on the blog! | GoodTomiCha Southern Fashion and Lifestyle Blogger
Sweater (only $39! It also comes in burnt orange and blue) | Jeans: Gap | Purse: Red Dress Boutique | Boots: Ugg | Necklace: Moon and Lola 

When I started my blog in 2015, I wanted to be one of the first black fashion bloggers. Crazy, right? I was really naive enough to think that there wasn’t a lot of us out there. As I began searching through hashtags like #blackgirlswhoblog and #browngirlbloggers and finding inspiration on Pinterest, it became abundantly clear that I wasn’t alone. If there were so many of us, why wasn’t I seeing black fashion bloggers on my feed?

HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN?

One of the main ways to make money as a fashion blogger is through collaborations. Different affiliate networks or retailers will reach out if they believe your audience will love their products. While some of this has to do with the brand you’ve created for yourself, it can also be from exposure from blogging websites. When those websites fail to highlight women of different backgrounds, you’ll begin to see the same faces over and over (seriously, the amount of Gucci belts and LV bags on my timeline is almost laughable). The brands then choose the same group and work with them on campaigns and the harmful cycle continues.

FASHION AND BEAUTY ARE NOT ONE SIZE FITS ALL:

It seems that only recently has the fashion industry decided to implement more diversity. From runway shows to magazine covers, I always do a little dance when I see even the tiniest bit of Black Girl Magic represented. If you dress a certain way, you’re seen as “too white” or “too black”. What do those terms even mean? This can lead to a lot of young, black women believing they need to fit into a specific mold in order to be on trend.

Beauty standards for black women have also always encouraged us to fit into a Eurocentric culture. After being teased for having braids as a kid, I begged my mom to let me get a perm to straighten my hair. Unfortunately, that led to severe hair damage which of course made the teasing even worse.Not only is highlighting diversity the right thing to do, it’s also good business! Rihanna’s launch of Fenty Beauty grossed over $72 million in one month simply because makeup lovers were excited to finally see a shade created with them in mind.

WHAT CAN WE DO:

Next time you see a woman of color posted in a campaign or posting their content, share it! The more eyes that see that we’re here, the more people will pay attention. If you see a brand reposting a black fashion blogger, leave a like or comment so they know that people we want more diversity. Finally, to all of my fellow bloggers, let’s make sure to encourage one another! “Community over competition” is a beautiful thing. It’s my goal to encourage women of all backgrounds to be proud of their style and who they are, but I specifically want to use this platform to lift up other women of color. I think it’s time we hold brands accountable for showcasing all of the beautiful women out there. We come in all shapes, sizes, and colors and we deserve to be represented in the fashion and beauty space.

It’s great that we’re moving forward, but we still have a long way to go.

10 BLACK FASHION BLOGGERS YOU SHOULD BE FOLLOWING:

These ladies are killing the game and I’m inspired by their work every day! Check out their amazing blogs and the hashtag #ltkWOC.

 Alicia Tenise

Courtney Quinn // Color Me Courtney

Cynthia // Simply Cyn

Monica Awe-Etuk // AwedbyMoni

 Nicole Green // What Nicole Wore

Candice Nikeia

Mattie James

Stella Uzo // Jadore Fashion

Kristine // Trendy Curvy

Jenn Ibe // Cranberry Tantrums

*BONUS: Follow ya girl, GoodTomiCha if you enjoyed this post!

Do you have any favorite black fashion bloggers you follow? Or maybe you have an idea of how to create a more diverse fashion industry? Sound off in the comments below!

xx

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31 Responses to Why The Fashion Blogging Industry Lacks Diversity and What We Can Do About It

  1. Roketa says:

    This is all so true and yet another reason I want to start incorporating fashion into my post. It is something I shied away from in the beginning because it was all I seemed to see on my feed, but also because I gained 25 pounds last year that I still have yet to lose. Over time, I’ve learned to love the skin I’m in, while also working to be where I want to be rather than hiding myself. We’re already inundated with images of stick thin women who are a complexion far lighter than many women who are also on Instagram and by shielding myself away, it’s doing a huge disservice to other women of color wondering why there are no images of women with their complexion, of their size, scrolling across their feed. Being a woman of color from Maine, dressing and talking “white” are things I’m all too familiar with hearing, but comments such as that are completely absurd. Unfortunately, if it’s not something that is seen mainstream, than it’s like a unicorn trying to pretend to be a horse … like dressing “preppy” means you’re trying to fit in with a crowd of people you aren’t rather than it simply meaning you like monograms, pearls, and plaid shirts under puffer vest.
    Roketa recently posted…Highlands Food and Wine 2017 Recap: The Main EventMy Profile

  2. Absolutely love this outfit and you look gorgeous

  3. Molly says:

    I love the spirit of unity and support all women can offer each other here in the blog world! Keep up the good work!

  4. Julia says:

    Such an inspirational and written post! I’ve been reading/writing fashion blogs for years and I notice the exact same trend. Or let me put it this way, most of the diverse blogs just come and go, only to stay active for a little while until they gave up due to (perhaps) the little recognition they got from the media.

    Julia || Closet de Jules || Recent Post – Over the Knee Boots for Fall

  5. Julia says:

    Such a well written post! I’ve been reading/writing fashion blogs for years and I notice the exact same trend. Or let me put it this way, most of the diverse blogs just come and go, only to stay active for a little while until they gave up due to (perhaps) the little recognition they got from the media. Your post is very inspirational!

    Julia || Closet de Jules || Recent Post – Over the Knee Boots for Fall

  6. Jenna Colgrove says:

    what a great round up!

  7. Jenna Colgrove says:

    this purple is gorgeous! you look fab!

  8. Anna English says:

    GREAT post girl, and well written!

  9. I really enjoyed this blog post, and I love checking out Patricia Bright’s Instagram feed because she always has such dope outfits.

    I’ve been dabbling into fashion blogging as well as other topics on my blog, but I’m biracial so I don’t know if I count as part of the WOC bloggers. My mom is black and my dad is white!

    -xo, Makaela
    http://www.uniquelymickie.com

    • Of course it counts girl! There are plenty of women out there who identify as biracial who would love to see themselves represented too! Patricia Bright is amazing, but I focused on mostly US-based influencers and non-youtubers this time.

  10. Kileen says:

    This is an amazing post, and needs to be talked about!! Love your thoughts, I totally agree! & love this sweater, the sleeves are SO cute!

    Kileen
    cute & little

  11. Azanique says:

    Girl, I love everything about this! It is so important and crucial, especially today, to advocate for diversity in the blogging world.

    -xo, Azanique | https://www.lotsofsass.com

  12. Slow clap for this! Excited to check out the ladies on your list that I’m not familiar with; we definitely have to continue to build each other up.

  13. Angelle says:

    You are stunning. I love that you shared your heart. I agree that the industry as a whole needs more diversity. I follow quite a few of the ladies that you mentioned. MY blogger bestie is Ruthie Ridley. You should check her out.

    xoxo,
    Angelle
    http://www.dashingdarlin.com

  14. Ashley DTKAustin says:

    I love this post and you are 100% correct! There definitely needs to be more diversity in this industry. Thankfully, there has been more diversity than before but still think so many of these large accounts and/or brands need to step it up!

  15. Kacie says:

    Loved this post Tomi! As a newbie (black girl) blogger, it’s definitely been a bit of a challenge finding other successful black girl bloggers to follow. I’m a huge Mattie James fan though and she has been a huge inspiration! Love your blog and I’ve actually been following you for a while. Keep it up love!

    Xo, Kacie
    http://www.theprettylittlehustler.com

  16. GORGEOUS color on you! Love the bell sleeves too.
    Xo Mindy amixofmin.com

  17. Tomi, first of all you are stunning! Second of all I love that you’re talking about diversity in today’s world, we wouldn’t think it’s a big deal but there’s definitely a lack of diversity in the fashion industry so kuddos for starting your blog and YASSS for sharing your favorite black girl bloggers! Lastly, that purple sweater looks seriously amazing on ya!!!!
    Beijos,
    Karina

  18. Shelby Back says:

    I loved reading this! And this purple sweater look seriously so pretty on you!

    xo!
    Shelby
    http://www.glitterandgingham.com

  19. Lacey says:

    Girl I so agree! As a white female, I see that there is a huge issue with features and sometimes opportunities for all minorities. It’s so sad that everyone isn’t represented. I see the same thing with body types too. We come in all sizes and colors and I hope that brands start to realize that making sometimes attainable would actually drive sales. A key point for this would be Aerie!

    xx,

    Lacey
    The Glitter Gospel

  20. Nicole N says:

    I LOVE everything about this and you are absolutely right. I only started following style blogs a couple years after college when a friend of mine started her own (and she has great style). But earlier this year I’ve realized I need more #blackgirlswhoblog to follow so that I can have a better connection to what inspires me. I love clothes and shoes and everything about fashion but I also love and appreciate diversity so I’m extremely happy to read this post.
    Thanks girl!

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