Guess what’s the latest trend – inclusivity and calling out racism. Now you’d think this would be one of the best trends out there, but unfortunately with the good there is bad.
I’m not entirely sure when this started happening, but in the past 3 years, discussions of race and inclusivity has become the standard. In movies we’re starting to criticise the lack of minorities, and when minorities do appear, we discuss how they’re portrayed and whether it’s in a positive or a negative light. Film makers are actually putting in the effort to include a diverse cast and are being held to standards that did not exist 10 years ago.
Annie would never have been cast as a young black girl 10 years ago, and honestly that is so important. I remember when I first watched the film and it hit me that growing up I never saw young girls in films who had my skin tone or hair texture, and now that my sisters can be exposed to that kind of representation, they can feel included in the wider world. Representation is always important, and those who say its not, are the ones being represented!
This has also affected the beauty world, with brands being criticised when they exclude darker skinned people in their adverts and their shade ranges. This is good because brands are being forced to include us, and take into account that there is money in inclusion – the release of Fenty beauty also proved this, since they’re widely successful and really it’s just because the brand has a keen focus on inclusivity.
Where there is good though, there is the bad. The bad tends to be trends hopping on diversity as a trend and because of that they’ll release a foundation with 60 shade ranges, but then ignore our varying undertones (grey is not an undertone). There are also brands that are photoshopping their products to make it look like they’ve used darker skinned models – when in reality they’ve used a light skin person and just darkened their skin.
This form of digital blackface is not only insulting, but some brands forget that black people have light palms – Yes you read that right.
By trying to look inclusive, they’ve forgotten our basic biology – or maybe they’ve honestly never seen a black person in their life, but we don’t have dark palms. You can tell that brands are desperate to be seen as cool and hip and racially inclusive, but they’re not actually using darker models and engaging with their ethnic audience.
We also have influencers with histories of being racist hopping on the band wagon and calling out brands – when in reality a lot of it comes from a place of trying to be relevant. You can tell when someone actually cares about the share range and in a lot of their cases, they just don’t.
So let’s put this all into a fun list, and add some extras since if we said every point, it would become an essay.
- Positive conversations surrounding race is now the norm.
- Movies/Tv now have pressure to be racially inclusive, and this helps audiences finally see themselves in the protagonists they’re routing for.
- We can now expect makeup brands to cater to our foundation shade.
- It’s easier to call out people in your day to day life for racism because most people now have a basic knowledge on what’s right and what’s wrong.
- Big companies are now expected to at least pretend to give a shit about diversity.
- A lot of the companies, influencers and brands hopping on the bandwagon really don’t care about us.
- Brands will now intentionally do racist shit, i.e Guccis Gollywog design, in order to cause an outcry and bring attention to their brands. This then follows a chance for them to redeem themselves and they use this cycle to exploit the hurt racism causes.
- The general complaints from people who aren’t aware that representation doesn’t hurt – every guy complaining about women leading films, every white person who complains about black/asian people being cast in films.
- The debates being more open means that as people of colour you’re expected to answer for everyone more, and that’s tiring.