Hello hello hello friends…Happy Thursday! Today’s post is one Im really happy about sharing, and one that is quite different from the normal topic of discussion here on the blog. But I feel its also one of the most important posts Ive ever written.
Yesterday a post went live on Domino that sent a flood of DM’s and emails my way and I couldn’t be more proud about it. Recently I went off on a bit of a rant on in my IG stories regarding the issue of diversity, colorism, exclusivity, and inclusivity. This came on the heels of Revolve being called out by blogger Valerie Eguavoen (@onacurve) in regards to thier lack of inclusivity of influencers of color in their campaigns, trips, press promotions, etc. Not only did she call out Revolve, but the fashion industry as a whole. And not only as it pertains to a lack of diversity in terms of race, but also the lack of inclusion when it comes to plus size fashion bloggers and influencers.
The IG streets LIT UP at the knowledge of someone having the courage and audacity to take on big names such as Aimee Song and Revolve, and it resulted in a long overdue dialogue. One of my favorites was a post was by the incredibly talented Denisse of @thugnanny with her perspective and her response to Valerie’s call to action. In true Denisse fashion (no pun intended) she dished it out straight and didnt hold back. So where do I come in?
After reading so many comments and seeing so many posts I decided to take to my followers and share my own two cents on the subject…as it pertains to the home/interior/design & lifestyle space. I shared that while the recent conversations were primarily about the fashion and beauty space, there is also a very distinct lack of diversity and inclusion on this side of the tracks as well.
Lets go back a month to my recent trip with Domino to NYC for the Domino Design Blog Awards. As I was preparing for that trip thr editors asked all of the award winners one question: “What is your design wish for 2018?” We were unaware at the time that our answers would be displayed for all to see during the awards event, and I was definitley shocked to see it when I walked through the door. They had created a really cool stickey note installation on the walls and included our responses amongst them. Here is mine:
When I was asked the question I knew immediately what my answer would be, as it was something that had been heavy on my heart for a very long time. Like years.
Ive mentioned over on IG that 2017 was bit of a weird year for me when it came to the blog. I struggled with whether I wanted to continue blogging, or if I wanted to hang up the preverbial hat. I felt disconnected in many ways from the design blog community and I was just about ready to stop. I was feeling completely OVER seeing the same. damn. thing. CONSTANTLY.
The same rooms on repeat, the same style, the same aesthetic, the same look in magazines, and features, etc. The sameness was stifling. And then I had an aha moment. I dug deep and discovered my “WHY”, and for me the bottom line is REPRESENTATION MATTERS. I recently heard someone say that “when you don’t see yourself, you dont attain to do it”, and boy is that powerful. I realized I was getting messages on a daily basis of people saying things like “im so happy I found someone who looks like me/whose style is like mine/whose family looks like mine/who is lgbt, etc. here doing this”. And in that moment I understood just how important it was that I continue to show up. That I continue to share our life and my love of moody spaces, and small spaces, and my love for my wife, and my love for really great products that bring value to my life. That I continue to share and inspire, and encourage.
Just as Valerie pointed out about the fashion and beauty space having a visibly obvious lack of diversity and inclusion, such is the same for the design and interiors blogger/content creator space. So many of us had been having these conversations silently among ourselves and in our tight circles and in our facebook groups, but no one was addressing them on a larger sale. So I went there. And Domino took notice.
Now that was certainly not my intention and I was very shocked, but it was definitely a happy surprise. There are so many amazing and talented creatives in this space who are incredibly inspiring, producing great original content, sharing fresh ideas and fresh perspectives, and they arent getting the same exposure, partnership opportunities, reposts, shares, etc. Most of the time their content doesnt even get SEEN. Its frustating and deflating. I shared in my stories that It’s about what is celebrated on a larger scale, and what is not. When what you see being shared and praised and reposted and pushed out by brands and companies and media is the same look, aesthetic, and people, it tells a very clear story and sends a very clear message. And to me, that message is that if its not THIS specific look then its not going to get the time of day, or if that look is being put out by someone that doesnt look a specific way then its not going to get the time of day. It’s also sending a message to our readers, followers, and audience that their homes and spaces NEED to be designed/styled/and curated to have a certain look in order for it to be deemed beautiful and anything outside of that is wrong. And I feel like that’s a pretty dangerous message to send.
After little rant (you can check it out on my IG in the “Real Talk” highlights under my profile) I received tons of messages from people, both bloggers and not, sharing how they’ve felt the same way or have had the same conversations but never said anything. I thought this message from one reader stood out to me in partiuclar because I loved her perspective on the issue
The resulting conversations Ive had about racism, colorism, awareness, & inclusion have been amazing and powerful. And the one thing I want you to know is that, for me, the Domino article was never about me “exclusively shouting out all the black people”. It was and IS about the celebration of diversity of style, aesthetic, and point of view. Its about the inclusion of creatives of all backgrounds being recognized on a platform as large and as influential within the community as Domino.
I hope you all will take a moment to read the article and possibly discover someone who inspires you whom you would’ve never otherwise known. I know that the topics of race, and diversity, and appropriation, and inlcusion are really difficult for some people to engage in, ESPECIALLY with our current political climate, BUT I truly feel like they matter. They make a difference. They bring about awareness, and help to dispell ignorance. Thank you so much Domino for playing a big role.
Whew that was a long one guys. But these things needed to be said.
Until next time friends…