Because Someone Has to Say It: Black Beauty Bloggers And Social Issues

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.

bye

More about Aprill

Aprill Coleman is an award-winning beauty, lifestyle and wellness blogger and freelance writer based in Jackson, Mississippi.

6 thoughts on “Because Someone Has to Say It: Black Beauty Bloggers And Social Issues

  1. Mary

    This is my first time visiting your blog and I liked this piece. I will write a post about this giving my perspective on the matter tomorrow but with the string of tweets Luvvie posted, I interpreted it as people being obsessed with their brand and their brand only (given that she mentioned brand obsession in her tweets quite a bit), not their mental health or self-care. That’s why I agreed with her because I do realize that there are bloggers (not just beauty bloggers) who have the capacity to take on social issues, deal with trolls, etc. but care more about their “image” than they do about addressing injustice because it makes their brand “look bad.” Here, I’m talking about it from a purely superficial basis, not a self-preservation basis. THAT is what irks me. And from the looks of it, Luvvie was mentioning that people put up one tweet/retweet, just the hashtag, or one IG picture, not make their blog a social issue hotspot.

    But as with anything, I prefer people do things with their heart or not at all. I don’t want people to be forced, only challenged. And from the looks of a couple tweets, I know there is one travel blogger who is going to incorporate ways to address these issues because of Luvvie’s tweets. And there are others who may rise to the challenge who aren’t saying it. Like you said, her rant didn’t apply to you. And I would argue that her rant also doesn’t apply to bloggers who opt out of posting even one thing because of their fight for self-preservation, mental health, and self-care. Those are things I actually advocate and have written pieces on and tweeted about. Luvvie, to my knowledge, has not and I believe that’s where she should have been more vocal in her rant. There are beauty bloggers who are superficial. There are beauty bloggers who aren’t. That goes for every niche, really; people can be in blogging for superficial motives and no one really knows those motives except those who own those blogs.

    I looked back to see which tweets I retweeted by her and realized that anyone relating to black beauty bloggers weren’t retweeted by me. Then I wondered why she was targeting black beauty bloggers and she said that they had the most reach. I can see how if every black beauty blogger put up the hashtag once and went about their brand the way they usually do, that would be significant. But then, considering the high followership of many black beauty bloggers, I can see how that can quickly turn into troll central and, like I said before (and you said in your post), not everyone has the mental health capacity to deal with such.

    As I mentioned, I will write more about this on my blog tomorrow but I really appreciate this post as it brings up great points. Thanks for writing and for keeping the conversation going! 🙂

    Reply

  2. Kenesha Williams

    Hi, thanks for your perspective on this, I also wrote a blog post on this issue and quoted your post., I hope you don’t mind. I enjoyed reading your perspective. http://www.creativecolorcollective.com/2015/07/blogging-black-activism-is-it-your-lane/

    Reply

    1. GlitteryGlossy

      Hi Kenesha,

      Thank you so much for sharing!

      Reply

  3. ValiantlyVarnished

    Applause my friend. Well said.

    Reply

    1. GlitteryGlossy

      Thank you!

      Reply

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