Please pardon my French, but 2020, man…what in the fuckity fuck fuck. (I gave much poignant thought as to how to start this post and, well, that sentence is frighteningly accurate at summarizing my feelings.)
Oh, and this too…
I love that I share this space with so many like-minded individuals in terms of green beauty and social justice. Yes, I might be a green beauty blogger, but the phrase “engaged citizen” that has displayed on my Instagram bio for quite some time wasn’t placed there as an afterthought. I take my role as a member of society very seriously.
A big turning point for me personally was in 2016 when the Black Lives Matter Movement was really gaining steam on social media. The phrase “Black lives matter” was first used in 2013 following the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin…I remember my outrage building over this period of time as so many senseless Black deaths occurred with no justice. The grotesque racial disparities in this country were becoming hard to ignore, even through my clouded lens of white privilege. (I do realize this awareness came way too late for me. I wish I would have opened my damn eyes sooner.)
Thus began my foray into using my platform to speak up about injustices happening around me, whether it be gun violence, gender inequality, or racial bias. In January 2017, I attended the Women’s March in DC, which was my first protest of such a huge magnitude, and it fanned the flames inside me even brighter. Since then I’ve continued to educate myself and make my voice heard on a myriad of social justice issues – online, at home, and in my community.
Am I telling you this in a slightly veiled attempt to pat my own back?
Hell no. Quite the opposite, in fact.
I’m telling you this because over the past few weeks, I’ve done a deep dive into how things are done around here. Like many of you, I’ve been reading and listening and watching, and I now realize that despite my efforts over the past several years, my business model here at Whoorl deserves a paltry C- in terms of fostering inclusivity in terms of beauty blogging. #massivesadtrombone
Well, that’s gonna change. I am learning so much and pretty confident I’m just at the tip of the iceberg.
So here’s what you can expect moving forward.
A lot of the same. Beauty, skincare, cosmetics, personal reviews, videos, etc. All in all, this is what I do. I’m a White woman reviewing makeup and skincare who collaborates with many beauty brands – those reviews come from my lens and I understand that’s why most of you visit here.
However, brands I will work with going forward must foster inclusivity in terms of providing a wide spectrum of shade ranges, employing people of color in their advertising campaigns and social media, as well as within their brand/organization. Have you all seen the #pulluporshutup campaign circulating Instagram? It’s pretty great. (And I see you, Kosas and Clove + Hallow.)
I will be highlighting the content of both Black content-creators and Black-owned beauty brands in blog posts, Odds and Ends links, and social media posts. (I’ve started a Black Lives Matter Highlight on my Instagram profile which contains the information that has been the most transformative for me.)
Last but certainly not least, I will be putting my money where my mouth is, donating $300 to a different Black-focused organization each month over the next year. I will let you know which organization each month. (This month’s donation goes to Black Girls Code.)
image credit: calirock
My personal take? This is a marathon, not a sprint.
There have been times over the past few weeks when it’s felt like the White Influencer Olympics (How! Many! POC! Links! Can! We! Post! Today!) and please know that I’m not criticizing how anyone is approaching this. (Well, except for the silence and/or the “all lives matter” bullshit. I am TOTALLY judging those peeps.) In a nutshell, I don’t view this as a one-month-and-done deal – this is an ongoing process and must continue to be if we want tangible progress.
The above image says it all – a revolution has many lanes, just keep your foot on the gas.
AleJune 8, 2020 at 4:44 pm
Thank you. I am now where you were in 2016. Things are going to change. They have to.
No more complacency. Onward!
whoorlJune 8, 2020 at 4:47 pm
Yes!! Solidarity, my friend.
tracey carmichaelJune 8, 2020 at 4:46 pm
I have been a fan since the verrryyyyy early days of the blog and I’m an even bigger fan now after reading this post. Thank you for using your voice for good. For really examining your content and for adjusting and moving forward.
And thank you for bringing Black Girls Code to my attention. They have my next donation.
whoorlJune 8, 2020 at 4:48 pm
Excellent! Thanks for your kind comment. We are all in this together.
JenJune 8, 2020 at 10:47 pm
My path is SO parallel to yours, including the recent re-evaluation and C- grade. I really appreciate this post, and your candidness as always. I’ve been a bit disappointed in some people who seem to have treated this as a sprint (White Influencer Olympics, ha!) and appear relieved to ‘return to normal’ today. No thanks. I’m only sticking with people with a marathon mentality like yours. Let’s keep this going, interweaving a perspective of equity into our lives even more than before. You being an engaged citizen is part of what drew me into your IG feed originally, and it’s a big part of what keeps me sticking around. Appreciate your voice!
whoorlJune 9, 2020 at 11:17 am
Thank you so much, Jen! Happy to be on this journey with you.
JeanneJune 8, 2020 at 10:51 pm
It’s so wonderful to read this today. You’re right. We can no longer be quiet to be polite for any from of social injustice. I love how we are moving forward as a country. You’re doing good things Sarah!!!
whoorlJune 9, 2020 at 11:18 am
Thank you, Jeanne!
CindyJune 10, 2020 at 5:48 pm
Yes. Foot on the gas. Thank you for your post!