Luvvie, a well known blogger with a strong social media presence, ranted last night about beauty bloggers and their voice (or lack thereof) concerning black issues. Dylan Roof killed 9 people in a church and got the lowest bond I’ve ever seen in my life. Black churches are being burned to the ground. Since last week, seven churches have been burned. And let’s not forget all the black men and women that are being killed by the hands of the police. Luvvie feels that some bloggers are not doing their due diligence by talking about these issues, whether it be lending a hashtag on social media or speaking their truth on their blogs. Shanta from Bury Me In Red Lipstick gave a well-written response, but I feel like I have to share my two cents as well.
First of all, I can say without a shadow of a doubt she is not talking about me. I took an initiative after the murder of Michael Brown to use my Twitter platform to speak on the injustice of his murder, and the murder of other black men and women. I know my lane and I comfortably stay in it. I follow many intellectual, magical black women, like Mikki Kendall of Hood Feminism that articulate their words and thoughts better than I ever could. Instead of stepping on toes and trying to move into their space, why can’t I embrace it and simply retweet the articles she writes? I am still down for the cause and I will support in any way I can, but I think simply amplifying the messages of others is helpful enough for me.
I created Glitter.Gloss.Garbage to be a safe space for women, black women in particular, but I welcome my space to anyone that cares to read. I wanted to actively write about beauty and any other lifestyle topics that come to my mind, but I never intended for my blog to be a social issue hotspot. Guess what? That’s ok.
As a black beauty blogger that has been in this space for 5 years, I can acknowledge how hard it is to get the support of brands for something as simple as press samples, and something as complex as a sponsorship. So if you, as a beauty blogger, choose not to make an already difficult task like getting brands to notice your existence any harder, I don’t blame you. It is a bold task to call beauty bloggers to the carpet about social issues, but in the event that a blogger forgoes her niche to speak on these issues, are you going to elevate her platform? Will you support her blog financially? Be careful making demands of people when you do not have the resources or motivation or obligation to support them if they fail in the pursuit of justice.
Next, let’s call a spade a spade. Every black beauty blogger, or black blogger of any niche does not have the mental capacity to speak on social issues. Some of you pulled this card with celebrities. You demanded that they speak on the death of Michael Brown, Tamir Rice and others. You got responses that you did not want to hear, and in turn, you shaded the shit out of them. Some bloggers are young, setting up laptops and cameras in the basements of their parents’ homes. Some have no clue about what’s going on in the world. Get the mic out of their face. From a personal stance, I’m simply not interested in what everyone has to say. As a mother of five black babies, I do have things to say. If you are a single, college student, I don’t expect you to feel the way I do, and that’s ok.
And then there’s the topic of speaking your mind on social media and being harassed. Do you know how many times I have been teased, bullied, attacked and ridiculed online for speaking my mind on topics such as gay rights, rape culture and black rights? Does it really matter to you? Everyone is not mentally up to that brand of abuse. Just because you are, or I am, does not mean the next woman IS.
To Luvvie, and anyone that agrees with her, your rant was very harsh, summing black beauty and fashion bloggers up as superficial beings that swatch lipsticks and brag about being paid. A large portion of us are out here, taking action to social injustices as we see fit. From a personal stance, it is irresponsible to call out beauty bloggers because of what you don’t see. Many of us have donated financially to the families of affected victims, attended protests, prayed silently and amplified the words from those that matter to us. And let’s face it, everyone is not fit to stand on the forefront of the movement.