Season 4 – Episode 10: Diversity In The Industry

Updated: Jan 18

Ok, let’s be honest. THERE IS NO DIVERSITY in the fashion industry. I know that’s kinda a shit start to a new article but its simply the truth. It has been something that was weighing on my heart for the past few months but once this drama unfolded along with this.  I felt that the time to talk about it was long overdue. For the past few years, I have been wanting to see more people like me, Person Of Color, Plus size, Tattooed etc. Just overall different. It hasn’t happened yet. I have seen them only through social media and not through actual ad campaigns unless for a specific brand.

I know its starting to progress yadda, yadda, But I can’t help to think that if we didn’t have to reach out to these brands and companies there obviously wouldn’t be any change what so ever.

Evey Time I am on social media I see the same cookie cutter shit, blond or brunette hair. blue or hazel eyes with an hourglass figure that just so happens to have on a Fashionnova outfit with their Chanel boy bag. They also have the skin color of fair to Asian on the ethnicity spectrum.

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Ok, I realize that this could be coming off slightly angry and I might be feeding into the bitter and angry black women stereotype. However, I am angry because I never see any diversity when I log on social media I have to search it through a hashtag or search my favorite POC new posts to get inspiration and get up to date on their feed. I am bitter because POC don’t get the same opportunities that our Caucasian or even Asian affiliates get… free trips, free birkin bags, free products etc. I am also PISSED because these companies only want to add just ONE person of color in their campaign just so they can fill their quota of the month.

Understand that it’s not all about the free trips or birkin bags or even free products it’s about the principle of everything. Brands should really start to understand that POC spends the most money on Luxury Goods, it is statically proven and a known fact. We spend so much money because we like to look good too sis.

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I completely understand the fashion industry is soo cutthroat. However, we are paving the way for new generations. If we want to survive this post trump election world, this social media world, this depression and anxiety world we now live in, we need to take it back old school and do the classic “Monkey See, Monkey Doo,” we have to start leading by example.

I also understand some folks want to keep their head down and mind their business and  just stay in their lane. But where does that leave you in the industry? where did you make your mark? What are you most proud of? Those are questions that we need to ask ourselves and start working to find those answers. We need to start acting like we are in 2018 and not the 1900’s

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By now I’m sure you are thinking … Teri you are very vocal about this but do you even have a solution?

Why yes glen coco I do… but hear me out first. I hate the words hard work. Everyone is quick to scream “work harder”. “push yourself” “you’re not doing it hard enough” someone tried that already here and it backed fired.

When you work harder you exhaust yourself quicker it’s like digging a ditch to get to the gold before anyone else but you cant get to it first because you dug so fast the first 20 minutes you are worn out and cant continue.

The truth is people of color work just as a hard as anyone else and has to do that plus more just to get the same benefits as our affliates that is not a person of color.

I would never discredit anyone’s feelings or opinions to anything. In this case, I say let’s bottle our feelings and let our art be released through what we feel. I say let’s work together! Let’s make the best art we’ve ever created, Let’s create the best blog post anyone has ever read, let’s take our own community trips, Let’s do our own giveaways. Let’s learn what they learn, Let’s do what they do and Let’s do it better. We can do that by working smarter not harder. (Yes I know there is some hard work to this and I’m preaching to the high heavens about the words “work harder.”

The best advantage we have is our brain..(our mind) let’s use this to be four steps ahead and create our own path

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Let’s focus on the end goal and help each other get to that goal. Let’s use our brains.

When we do this it will show those brands and companies what they are missing and at that point, we would have already bypassed what they would have been trying to offer us 10x that because we paved our own way.

Until Next Time

XOXO

Teri Michele

Jeans – Forever 21 Similar Here / Top – Neighborhood Store Similiar Here / Boots – Amazon Similar Here / Earrings – Forever 21 Here / Belt – My Sisters Similiar Here

Photos by: Zeraya

#diversity #fashion #politics

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