by Jacquelyn Cornier
Growing up my mother would say “enough is enough” in response to people, situations and emotions that disturbed her inner peace. Women from all around the world have been saying just that and we’re engraving that in 2018 #enoughisenough. In creating The Girls Room, I am echoing what I heard my mother say growing up to reclaim my own opportunities and space where I could place value, collaborate and celebrate all types of women regardless of their race, color, job occupation, social status and whatever else society puts against us. Black, Hispanic and other women of color like me are often overlooked for opportunities for which we are more than qualified. We’ve all gotten those emails after applying for something we had more than enough education and experience to do: “Thank you for applying but we’ve decided to move forward with other candidates.” Three months ago I decided that enough was enough, and thus The Girls Room was born.
The Girls Room is a digital space inclusive to all women to vent in anonymous submissions, gain daily advice, get inspired from our contributing writers’ stories and watch interviews (known as Girl Talk) with social Influencers. This platform is coming to fruition at the time women are developing a larger movement of shaking the table, speaking up and saying #MeToo and no more to abuse. Earlier this month the #TimesUp movement owned the night of the Golden Globes. Oprah said it best herself: “I want all the girls watching here now to know that a new day is on the horizon!” she said. Social media buzzed after the Golden Globes with inspirational quotes and videos of people like Natalie Portman who used any chance she had to mention the inequalities women face. ’"And here are the all-male nominees” she said as she introduced the nominees for Best Director.But not too long after the Golden Globes, we saw a different kind of social buzz—women everywhere called out Revolve for their lack of diversity on their recent Influencer trip promoting the brand using the tag #RevolveAroundtheWorld. Slim women with not much diversity in terms of skin tone posed in photos on beautiful beaches and fancy restaurants in Revolve clothing. These thin and pale women were the chosen ones to represent one of the largest and most prominent brands in the social media sphere.
Women of color have had it with not being chosen or given seats at the table, and calling out Revolve with #RevolvesoWhite was just the most recent evidence of that. It is particularly unnerving that the brand has no desire to change; Revolve posted a group of their influencers with the seemingly intentionally tone deaf caption “99 problems but this lineup ain’t one #revolvearoundtheworld.” One of the bloggers on the trip, Aimee Song, even expressed that there was not a prolific amount of bloggers of color to choose from, Refinery29 said. Several women influencers used their platform to share their thoughts about the ordeal.@farahpink wrote, “Were all the influencers of color unavailable? Do better please.”But, this isn’t just about Revolve, they just demonstrated the newest example of exclusion that happens in virtually every industry—fashion, and more recently social media influencing, just makes it more obvious to the eye. More importantly, this is also about what women are doing to create their own spaces to thrive and influence culture, dissolving the myth that big brands can bully us and exclude us and we all just have to sit by and take it. In response to this climate, a new Instagram account and hashtag #youbelongnow reminded women to stay woke. You Belong Now is a movement that celebrates creators who are consistently overlooked because of their appearance. The mission is to disrupt all of the societal norms we have set on ourselves and others and the goal is to raise awareness. Founder Valerie Eguavoen, a black, plus-size women blogger and social justice advocate decided to dedicate the first 100 posts to black women content creators. “This is about challenging a deep rooted system of racism and colorism..” wrote Eguavoen on Instagram. On the growing account, you will find diverse people and glimpses of their goals, advice and stories of being content creators in various industries.
In the spirit of belonging now and the mission of The Girls Room, I want to share some social influencers you would be crazy not to pay attention to. We have to support our own talent and show that the world actually does not revolve around excluding diverse types of women. Here are some social influencers that Revolve and any other brand should be aware of in 2018:@Valerie Eguavoen @ravieb @ethereal.1 @aaliyahjay @brooklynpetite@chloévéro @blakevond @hayet.rida @candicevanwye @fromtheheelsup @dymetaylor @everystylishgirl @farahpink @alissaashley @colormecourtney @sammyjoalonso @jennywontyoucomemyway If you can name some Hispanic, Black and female influencers of color say “I” (and I write this envisioning someone shouting “Say it louder for the people in the back”). Comment your faves below so we can add them to our watch list!