BAME influencers think you should #DiversifyYourFeed, and we agree
The question of 'now what are you going to do?' has been swirling the internet, after Blackout Tuesday saw a swathe of personal and public acknowledgements of solidarity with the anti-racism movement.
While some have dismissed this week's social posting on the issue as too little, too late, others are encouraging the newly and vocally aware to create meaningful, lasting change in their own lives, by un-learning the racism taught to them and pledging to be actively anti-racist in their decision-making - be that in the way they hire people at work, through to the tough conversations they have with their children. Plus, endeavouring to find other ways of amplifying Black voices and being a firm and consistent ally to the BAME (Black, Asian and minority ethnic) people in their lives.
The more widely impactful things that white people can do to demonstrate allyship in the fight for racial equality include: emailing MPs to urge government to suspend the sale of tear gas, rubber pellets and riot shields to the US, insisting your workplace issue a statement of intent about how they're handling Diversity and Inclusion within its hiring and promotional practises and taking part (as safely as possible, considering the current health crisis) in marches calling for change.
Other, more personal steps in the right direction include widening your reading list to include historically educational tomes or books by Black authors, buying from Black-owned brands and making sure your social media feeds are not simply an echo chamber of similarly opinioned people from the same cultural and ethnic background as you.
Some BAME writers and content-creators on Instagram are calling this last point an effort to 'diversify your feed'.
Nikki Ogunnaike, GQ's Deputy Fashion Director, addressed her Instagram followers with a list of things to do and included: 'Insta-pals, diversify your feed and follow more black people, because the more followers black creators have, the easier it is for them to raise their profile and make more money!'
Similarly, Zeena Shah, an Art Director and Stylist, has launched the hashtag #DiversifyYourFeed, while Nicole Ocran, a fashion blogger wrote in a recent post: 'Thank you for joining if you’re here to diversify your feed. I can’t stress how important this is as the algorithm is inherently racist.'
'BAME fashion influencers face the same disadvantage that BAME across all industries face, in that their white equivalents are treated with more value, more opportunities and ultimately, more respect, ' Social Media expert Unsah Malik explains to ELLE UK.
'While it is up to every fashion brand and influencer agency to hold themselves accountable and have those overdue discussions internally about how they can be more inclusive, I encourage general social media users to support BAME influencers in ways which will help them grow further and reach a larger audience.
'This includes: sharing your favourite posts by BAME influencers (more shares equals a higher impression rate and reach), commenting and liking to contribute to a higher engagement rate, recommending your favourite influencers when you see any requests for content creators across any social platforms or other digital spaces, buying recommended products via affiliate links or products the influencers have created themselves, and, most importantly, overtly questioning brands when it is apparent they continue to favour white influencers over BAME influencers.'
So, to help you on your way, here are 40 BAME fashion content-creators to follow, like and otherwise engage with
Please be aware that while the people who run these accounts may engage with discussion around racism, they are not functioning solely to educate you. Treat these content-creators with respect, and use other educational resources when needed.