I’m not one for giving a disclaimer for my opinions, but I do want to note: I’m not claiming anyone is anything. I’m simply explaining what I’ve seen as a blogger myself.
When I was younger, I collected magazines and catalogs—Delias, Alloy, Teen, All About You, Young and Modern (or YM)—all of them. I studied all the pages, took the quizzes, read the articles, then ripped out the pages of the outfits I wanted to recreate.
I never thought anything of it really, until one day I realized a lot of these models looked the same. They were White, mainly with blonde hair and super skinny.
I didn’t know anything about Photoshop at the time, or exactly how the industry worked, but I do remember thinking, “I’m going to make a magazine that has all races and sizes.” I was 12.
Fast forward to today, I don’t see a lot of progress and it has a trickle-down effect on the blogging world. I’m not blaming bloggers necessarily because I really don’t think it’s a passing thought for some. For me, it’s different. I keep it in mind when I decide what photos I’m going to post on my blog. Why? Because whoever stumbles across my blog, I want them to see them. I don’t want them to be me at 12 looking for someone that looks like them. Even at 28, it’s still hard to find that diversity that we should already be at.
Here’s where I, the blogger/artist, come in: When I look for stock photos, I try to find diversity. I look for Black, Hispanic, Asian, Middle Eastern people doing the same everyday things because, crazy concept, we do the same everyday things. The lack of diversity in stock images is a huge challenge I face daily (but am planning to fix it).
In pinning, I will pin people of not only different races, different sizes. There’s nothing wrong with being slim. There’s nothing wrong with being curvy/plus size. We’re all real people with real shapes. I want that reflected as well. These pins will also reflect on my blog.
I remember creating graphics for a campaign and I “dared” to be different/rebellious by placing a biracial girl at the front and center of the ad. It was a subtle way of trying to change it up, but nonetheless, I did it. Result? Not even a passing thought.
I’m not sitting here saying let’s all be color blind. In fact, I hate that phrase. See me as being Black. See her as Asian. It’s a wonderful and beautiful thing.
I know I’ve mainly stuck with race in speaking about diversity, but I feel the same way about body image too. Fat is not negative. Skinny is not the only way. Both are real body types and should be represented.
For me, I’d like to see bloggers fully jump out of the pages of what the standard is. We have such a huge influence on our audience and we can start the movement to get more diversity in the media.
How do you think bloggers can encourage more diversity? What do you feel is missing that you’d like to see included?
Until next time, C