This post is in partnership with truth® and Her Campus Media
As an African-American woman raised in the south, I’ve been the victim of profiling countless times. Whether it was being followed around in boutiques for wearing sweatpants to go shopping or being reprimanded for my hair at school, I’m not a stranger to how harmful these microaggressions and profiling instances are. With that in mind, I’m partnering with my fellow blogger Hannah Goldstein and truth’s #StopProfiling campaign.
As many of you know, I haven’t always had a life centered around style and the latest trends. In fact, I have a degree in Exercise Science (the more you know *insert rainbow emoji here* haha). I think it’s a powerful thing when medicine comes together with education. As the daughter of two healthcare professionals, I was taught the basic ABC’s of healthy lifestyle choices. I remember learning about the importance of good hygiene, daily exercise, and a balanced diet. However, it was shocking to learn that the African-American community had to be twice as vigilant. With issues ranging from socioeconomic backgrounds, genes, and environment, African-Americans are the highest demographic for poor cardiac health in the US. Even at 9 years old, I knew that the discrepancy between communities was odd.
As I got older, I realized that it wasn’t just an issue with racial minorities, but low-income neighborhoods, LGBTQ communities and those with mental illness have been affected too. Profiling doesn’t just have to be refusing service to someone in a restaurant or crossing the street to avoid a black man on the street. At the root of racism and discrimination are social attacks on how these communities live. It’s no coincidence that there are 10x more tobacco ads in black neighborhoods.
The #STOPPROFILING campaign shines a light on how the tobacco industry deliberately singles out these demographics that already face adversity and inequality every single day. One reason I started blogging in the first place, wasn’t just because I loved fashion. My goal is to inspire other young women (especially in my community) to be proud of themselves and encourage them to be the best that they can be. Representation in media (whether through your favorite bloggers on Instagram or ad campaigns from large brands) matters. I know it can seem overwhelming in the beginning, but every tweet and message towards these companies make a difference.
Join me, Hannah, and truth by calling out tobacco industry profiling as it happens by tagging @truthorange and #STOPPROFILING. Let’s move towards a future where profiling doesn’t exist. Enlist at thetruth.com to get more involved in local actions nationwide.