Why people need to start supporting diversity

Before I address the title of this post, I want to state a few obvious facts. I am white, I have been extremely fortunate with the opportunities throughout my life and no, I’ve probably never been discriminated against because of the colour of my skin.

This evening, I saw the shortlist of the bloggers blog awards announced. Now I’m not taking away the hard work and dedication of the creator and all bloggers who were nominated, (well done to each and every one of them for smashing their goals). But for me, the nominations just highlighted that the issue of discrimination is real in the blogging world.


Call me naive but I thought of all places, the blogging industry would be the one place where diversity is shown. Or at least acknowledged.

For some reason, I’ve always been very aware of discrimination of others. Maybe it’s because I have been on the receiving end of hateful comments because of something I cannot control.

Or because I have always surrounded myself with a varying array of friends, from a multitude of different backgrounds.

But tonight, I felt compelled to write this post, to bring a little glimmer of light that undervalued diversity is still a thing. And it needs to stop.

And yes I am talking about both people of colour and people that are not represented in mainstream media.

Things need to change.

Kristabel said in a previous post; “‘Change is not only due but imperative, as beauty mirrors the current dialogue in society with attitudes to race.’  Although the world of blogging is a bit of a microcosm, every non-diverse list, every campaign featuring girls who look exactly the same has important, emotionally-charged repercussions.  It’s not quite the same as being told ‘My Dad says I can’t play with anyone darker than me’ as a child, but still gets added to the list nonetheless.”

And I couldn’t have put it better myself. It’s so important to open up the conversation and start speaking up when we see things. I really believe it can make such a difference.

Or if you don’t, please open your eyes to the issues and educate yourself.

Doing the right thing should never be a cost.

A good place to start is by listening actively to the lived experiences of minorities. Please don’t crawl under a rock and ignore the issue because it doesn’t affect you.

White people especially need to be more involved in addressing the problem. I really believe if we don’t, we are only maintaining the current issue. Ask questions and don’t be afraid to speak out about how you feel.

I also believe unconscious bias can play a huge part and that people don’t even realise that some minorities aren’t even accounted for. I believe it’s about listening to said minorities and trying to understand their opinions and struggle. Let’s work together to clap back on unconscious bias and underrepresentation.

Change is certainly not going to happen overnight. I just hope for the next blog awards, there is more representation (and for the right reasons, not just because people feel they have to).

This was a hard post to publish and I genuinely hope it does not offend anyone. Please comment below! I’m still learning to put my points across on issues like this, but I just feel so passionately about it.

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14 Comments

  1. Sharon
    03/08/2017 / 5:50 am

    Instead of jumping on the bandwagon I’d take a moment to actually look at the shortlisted bloggers, because there you will see representation from both curvy bloggers and PoC.

    Granted, as a women who is mixed race and curvy I would always like to see more diversity, but as you are no doubt aware the awards nominations are completely open, so who who does the fault really lie with here? I’d personally say it’s with the people who didn’t nominate their favourite bloggers (whatever their size, race or orientation); reacting the way some people have been when they have not been proactive in the first place helps no one.

    I’ll leave you with one final question; which diverse bloggers did you nominate?

    • 03/08/2017 / 8:40 am

      Hey Sharon, Thanks for taking the time to comment on my blog.

      First of all, I am not jumping on any bandwagon. I’m merely stating my opinion. Please direct me to the shortlisted bloggers who are either PoC or curvy? I fail to see many? Even the creator of said blog awards agreed that she would like to see more representation and would love support to move forwards, so it is certainly an issue.

      In my post I am not pointing the finger at anyone. I am merely expressing how I think we can ALL help to improve the situation, surely you should respect that. I’m not being negative or bringing anyone down, I am trying to build people up. In addition to this, I have not reacted in a negative way, at the top of my post (and my first tweet), I congratulate all the bloggers who are smashing their goals and were shortlisted. I’m merely stating that the lack of diversity is a problem.

      To answer your final question, I did nominate and they were for a mixture of people. I believe everyone is entitled to an opinion, so thanks for sharing yours.

      Thanks,
      Sam

      • Sharon
        03/08/2017 / 9:37 am

        Hi Sam,

        I’m sorry, I can’t deny that I see a bandwagon here but I do agree with your statement that people are entitled to an opinion and so I accept yours too.

        So a few of the blogs who’ve been shortlisted and who I alluded to in my first comment are Food and Baker, Fashionicide, Charlie Distracted, Angloyankophile and Fresh and Fearless (I believe there are more but those are who I remember off the top of my head).

        I 100% agree that there should be more diversity but I think it’s also important that we recognise what is already there; a lot of the people who are shouting loudest about what they feel is lacking are not talking about this at all. I am not referring to you with this statement, but rather to one of the tweets you’ve used in your post and many other tweets I’ve seen in the last 18 hours of a similar ilk.

        It’s great that you’ve nominated a diverse range of bloggers – it’s more proactivity of this type that will change the representation in awards like BBA and inevitably lead to more recognition of blogs of every type in the blogosphere in general.

        Thanks,
        Sharon

  2. 03/08/2017 / 6:59 am

    I enjoyed this post, you make some very important points as we all need to be represented. 🙂

    • 03/08/2017 / 8:47 am

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment!! I really do appreciate it xx

  3. 03/08/2017 / 7:53 am

    I totally agree that in general diversity needs to be more celebrated and explored but I don’t know if this applies to the bloggers blog awards shortlist. That was voted for by bloggers for bloggers, there is literally no fairer way to do it? Personally I didn’t nominate or vote for anyone based on their colour, it’s all about content and what we like to read. I think naturally as a white woman I probably gravitate more towards blogs of other white women because you go to what you relate to but this is totally subconscious and in fact I don’t only read the blogs of white women. I guess minority cultures whether that’s POC, people with a disability, different sexual orientations or the males in the blog world need to join forces and promote the awards throughout their communities a bit more but again I really don’t think anyone’s votes or nominations were discriminative, I find it really hard to believe that someone purposely voted for a blog because it was run by a white girl? It also seems to have been completely missed that there are actually POC on the shortlist. True it’s not as diverse as it could be but maybe the problem is that the awards aren’t reaching a wide enough audience? Sorry for the essay (not having a go at you here at all and not offended, just my opinion obviously) but I think it’s a strong statement to suggest that people are discriminating when I really don’t think that’s the case xx

    • 03/08/2017 / 8:53 am

      Hi Laura,

      Thanks for your comment girl! I appreciate you reading the post and providing a different opinion on the subject.

      Completely get that you gravitate towards people similar to you. But as I said in my post, there is a lot of unconscious bias that I think does play a part and not acknowledging these things are part of the problem.

      I also agree that we should join forces and ensure that individual communities are supported as much as others. I believe the awards are not reaching a wide enough audience and that is no-ones fault, it’s just something that I feel needs to change next year.

      One last thing, I did not suggest that anyone was discriminating, I’m merely suggesting how we can all help to move things forward. Apologies if you misunderstood my point!

      Thanks again for your amazing comment, I really appreciate your opinion.

      Sam xx

      • 03/08/2017 / 9:03 am

        Fingers crossed 🙂 It would be great to see more diversity coming to the forefront of blogging! We tend to surround ourselves in a bubble of what we know and breaking that mould is important. Personally I could definitely diversify what I am looking at, whilst it’s not strictly white females that I read, that is the majority (again probably subconsciously because we have a lot in common.) xx

  4. Candy
    03/08/2017 / 8:51 am

    What a load of shit. There are so many categories that are open to any niche. They’re all open to any gender, sexuality, body size or race.

    If your blog is good enough, you get nominated.

    Simple as.

    • 03/08/2017 / 9:01 am

      Hi “Candy”,

      Calling my opinion “a load of shit” is not the right way to validate your different opinion.

      I never said that the awards weren’t open to all? I’m merely commenting on how we can start to discuss issues around diversity and promote change. Why have you got to be so negative? Sure, provide your opinion but you don’t need to be so rude and forceful. Everyone is entitled to different opinions.

      Sam
      xx

  5. Debbie
    03/08/2017 / 9:20 am

    Sam your such an intelligent young woman and have made many great points which show the compassionate and caring person you are. You have strong values and stand up for what you believe in.
    Felt very proud reading your blog !
    Certainly far from a lot of shit!!!
    Well done gorgeous girl xxx

    • 03/08/2017 / 9:21 am

      Awwwww thanks so much Debbie – I can’t believe you commented on my blog!!
      Glad you agree and understand my points.
      xxxxxxxxx

  6. Annie
    09/08/2017 / 10:56 am

    As always, Beautifie addresses current issues with modesty and humility. More blog posts like this and conversations of this ilk get people thinking about minority groups and to challenge bias in whatever shape or form it confronts us.

    Please continue to engage in these conversations Sam, it is one step in the right direction. I sometimes feel similarly to what you stated at the start of your post; as a white English woman, race or nationality has probably never compromised my opportunities. But I don’t believe that means I can’t join in the debate, challenge prejudice and hopefully contribute to a more inclusive and diverse future.

    Thank you for this post! Keep them coming!

    • 09/08/2017 / 10:58 am

      This has just made my day.
      Thank you so much for your comment Annie, you little babe you.
      xxx

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