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.
Where is the diversity in the nominations?! Curve? People of colour? Just makes me feel sad y’know 😞
— Sam Bugeja🌺Beautifie (@Sam_Bugeja) August 2, 2017
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.