Monday, 7 August 2017

How To Encourage Diversity In The Blogging Community

How To Encourage Diversity In The Blogging Community mental illness health disabled trans black bloggers blogging Gracie WOC POC LGBT

Diversity. A Hot topic in the blogging community at the moment. And no, before you say I'm not just jumping on the bandwagon to get myself more views. That would be wrong. I'm passionate about inclusion and diversity not only in the blogging community but in all industries. I want to see more people from minority groups being recognised and brands, networks, etc. listening to what they have to say.

When I talk about diversity, I don't just mean accepting more people of colour (POC) I mean recognising every minority group out there. Which includes the mentally ill, LGBT+, Plus sized, disabled, those who are chronically ill, those with autism and learning difficulties as well as those from less well off or working class backgrounds, etc. If you are part of a minority, you have a right to have your voice heard. You have a right to work with brands and PR companies and NOT be turned down because you don't fit in with the stereotypical blogger image.

As a white, middle-class female I like to think I'm hot on recognising my own privilege. I have had a lovely upbringing, one that wasn't filled with drugs, abuse or violence. I've always had food in my cupboards and shoes on my feet. I recognise just how fortunate I am to have had this kind of upbringing. However, I also have had a childhood filled with trauma and have been extremely mentally unwell at times, as a result of that. 



By being a mental health blogger, I often feel my effort, and hard work that goes into my blog and my projects that I run on the side is over looked because I don't fit in with the stereotypical image of a blogger. My Instagram feed isn't full of rose gold, marble and shots from numerous holidays away each year. Instead, I post real, unfiltered pictures of me, living my life, as a young woman, living with multiple mental health problems trying to make a positive change in the world.  

I swear brands have these special goggles on, who are always on the hunt for the cist, heterosexual, white middle-class females, who pretend their life is perfect 24/7 and they have no issues in the world. I can't police what people post online. If you don't want to share everything, cool, you do you. But maybe think about the damage it does. After all, when 1,479 people aged 14-24 were asked to score popular apps on issues such as anxiety, depression, loneliness, bullying and body image, Instagram, didn't just so happen to be rated the worst. There is a reason behind it. (Source: BBC)

How To Encourage Diversity In The Blogging Community Gracie POC WOC LGBT mental illness disabled plus sized black

As someone who has been very mentally unwell, I recognise and feel the stigma a lot. Do many brands contact me, looking to work with me? No, not really. Whys that? Well you see, I'm not a polished, glossy blogger, who talks about lipsticks and clothes. I talk about REAL issues that REALLY need to be discussed. Some how that's not brandable apparently. Yet, 1 in 4 people struggle with a mental illness. 

Don't get me wrong, I love a good fashion post, and I'm all for makeup bloggers. Any form of blogging is hard work, I would never dispute that. However, the more people who ignore the underlying, pressing issue we have on our hands here, the more the problem escalates and becomes harder to deal with in the end. There are SO many ways, you can encourage diversity within the blogging community or any industry for that matter, here is how: 

CALL OUT BLOGGERS WHO AREN'T SUPPORTING DIVERSITY 

Don't be afraid to stand up and confront the big guys. Don't be scared about starting 'drama' Get yourself a backbone and stand up for what you believe in. At the end of the day, you're doing the right thing. Change doesn't happen if you don't say or do anything. Denying your right to share your opinion on Twitter because a few people might unfollow, would have the suffragettes turning in their graves. 

CALL OUT BRANDS WHO AREN'T SUPPORTING DIVERSITY 

Today, Boohoo launched their #AllGirls campaign which is the biggest load of BS going. An inclusive campaign that doesn't seem to support plus sized, trans or diabled girls. Classy... 
( PS: If you are a brand who supports diversity and want to get involved with me and the #IDbloggerawards do get in touch) 

BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE

I launched the idea of #IDbloggerawards celebrating the diversity and inclusion within the blogging community. Recognising there are mental health bloggers, disabled bloggers, LGBT bloggers, POC and plus sized bloggers who WORK AS HARD as lifestyle, beauty and fashion bloggers but are overlooked and not rewarded because of the topics they cover. 

How To Encourage Diversity In The Blogging Community POC WOC Mental illness LGBT Working class

SUPPORT BRANDS AND BLOGGERS WHO ENCOURAGE DIVERSITY 

As I plan the #IDbloggerawards, I am on the hunt for brands willing to support and sponsor this idea, who are on the same moral ground as me. Yet, it's proving difficult because yet again, no one is interested in diversity and supporting champions of change. They have their norms and values set in stone, and nothing will change them. GIVE ME STRENGTH! It's 2017, your success shouldn't be dependent on your gender, or size, or what colour your skin is. I thought we left that all behind, but apparently not. 

HAVING ONE TOKEN DIVERSE PERSON TO SUPPORT YOUR CAMPAIGN DOES NOT MAKE YOU INCLUSIVE.

You need to recognise ALL minorities. Banging the same black girl in your ad doesn't make you inclusive.  Everyone is different, everyone's bodies are different. You need to champion all minorities to be inclusive, you can't just pick and choose who you support. 

I feel like I've got my point across. Of course, everyone will have their own opinions on the matter, come at me with them, please. I'm standing up for my right to be including but also my friends. I have many disabled, LGBT, black and plus sized friends who are consistently ignored and forgotten about by brands and people too ignorant to realise their own privilege. 

I stand for myself and for everyone who feels like they are ignored or overlooked because of the minority group they belong to. Big thanks to Gracie and Beth for inspiring this post, with their own posts on the topic. You can read Gracie's here and Beth's here. 

Hit me up with your thoughts in the comments.

Thanks for reading, as always X

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13 comments

  1. I wish there were more posts like this one! I LOVED reading it, thank you so so so so much for speaking out!! x
    Lauraconteur ♥

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  2. Loved this post, Nicole! I definitely agree with you. It's so important to encourage diversity within the blogging community. Looking forward to your next post! x

    https://guiliannamarie.blogspot.com

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  3. Nice post! I think it is so important for diversity in blogging and with a blog awards it really shows that off. It is important to acknowledge everyone no matter their gender, colour, size and who they love.
    Róisín
    totallyro.blogspot.ie

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  4. Amazing post! Things like this can't be said enough! The awards sound like a great idea and I can't believe that they have never happened before. I wrote a post in response to the boohoo #allgirls campaign which is on my blog.
    Emily
    www.prettypolitical.co.uk

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  5. Loved this post and couldn't agree with you more! Diversity is so important, everyone deserves to be represented in the blogging community as well as other industries!

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  6. OMG THE ALLGIRLS CAMPAIGN DONT EVENT GET ME STARTED

    I love your awards idea. If there's anything I can do to help, please let me know. I'll share this about and try to attract brands, but if you need judges and stuff I can help with that too.

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  7. Couldn't agree more, boohoo's new campaign is ridiculous and they really should reevaluate what they're promoting and think again! Diversity within the blogging community is something that needs more awareness!

    Lucy | Forever September

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