As much as people hate on Instagram and Influencers, something wonderful has been created that was not as readily available before: diversity. In the past we had practically no say in what media and advertisements we were fed. We loved browsing through magazines and as much as we loved the spreads of models we almost always lacked two things: real people and diversity. Instagram gives us the freedom to follow people we relate to. Still popular fashion brands are filled with feeds without any diversity.
The beauty of diversity is it means so many things. On my Instagram feed I am able to follow curly girls, Latinas, comic book fanatics, girls of all shapes and sizes, and more. When we follow influencers we most often choose the ones that we relate to.
Unfortunately, it seems many fashion and travel brands are still behind and this still has negative consequences. As much as we get to choose the influencers we follow we still love to follow our favorite brands and travel accounts, accounts that have huge followings and therefor also the ability to influence the definition of beauty.
As an “influencer” (hate the name, but I’ve found that’s the easiest way to explain what I do), I often browse through brands’ social media to see if there are collaboration opportunities. Unfortunately, I have been shocked to see feeds that consist of ONLY tall Caucasian females with the exact same hair! I am not talking about a few feeds here and there. Yes. They are beautiful. No. They are not the standard of beauty.
And I have to scratch my head at this. When I look at these feeds I am under the impression that I am not valued. As a buyer, I feel less inclined to purchase from a store that where I cannot see anybody like me wearing the clothing. As an influencer, I do not even want to reach out to these brands because I already know that a collaboration is a no. Additionally, this tells me that if I fit that definition of beauty I would make more money, get more reposts, and be more successful. As a light skinned Latina I could curl my hair like they did, lose a few pounds on my thighs, and get extensions. But then I would lose part of what makes me unique and relatable.
I have to wonder how in a time of diversity this still happens. I am happy that major brands have moved towards diversity, but smaller brands with followings in the 100s of thousands are still lagging behind and I am not sure how to fix that issue.