To all of the brands out there that stereotype, lack diversity or feel the need to put people in box – this is for you.
Spoiler alert: I’m mixed. Yes, that means in addition to acknowledging the lighter side of my family, I also embrace my “blackness”. Imagine my surprise when I was told through the grapevine that a brand I work with claimed that I was not “black enough” for a campaign. This stunned me. This frustrated me. This angered me. But most importantly, this empowered me.
So what did I decide to do? Make a video.
I won’t spoil all of the fun but here’s the deal: stereotyping and judging someone based on their skin color (or maybe the lack thereof)…that’s racism in one of it’s many forms. In the scope of things, not getting picked for a campaign may be small potatoes but it’s the thought process that fueled that decision that really struck a nerve. With everything that has been going on, especially over the past few weeks, it’s crucial that we all use our voices to start the dialogue. It might feel nearly impossible to start to make any resemblance of change but I promise you this: speaking up, educating, not being afraid to admit when you’re wrong – those are all things that will get us one step closer.
I am not angry at the person that said this. I feel bad for them. I feel bad for anyone with this mentality. But outside of that, I am excited. Excited to use my voice and (tiny) influence for good. Excited to hopefully open the eyes of someone who was closed off before. Excited to challenge this way of thinking in any level I can.
So here it goes. Watch the video. Share if you feel inclined to help start the conversation with your peers. Leave honest feedback. Do #allthethings because doing nothing gets you the only results you can expect. Nothing.