28.10.15

In My Skin || Black Girl Magic

I've seen this hashtag #BlackGirlMagic banded around and if I'm honest I don't get it. At the same time though, I haven't fully done much research into it because on the surface it doesn't interest me. I've never been one to pull the race card, nor the sex card, nor the age card; that's just not me. So even I was surprised that I had the reaction / thoughts / feelings about what I am going to share today.

To put it into a little more context before I share the background story, I went to a course over the weekend and this one thing really resonated with me. We were talking about "agreements" and how not speaking up is taken as an agreement in a given situation even though you might not. Sitting back, and not taking a stand says "I agree with what you are doing". It made me think back to this situation.

In August, as per usual, I was scrolling through Instagram and came across a friends photo of her birthday gifts including a new TRIANGL Bikini. Now I'd seen them around and had been meaning to check them out but with no holidays imminent I'd yet to delve deeper to find out about them. I took this opportunity to click through to their Instagram and had a good ol' scroll.

I scrolled, and scrolled. And scrolled. And scrolled some more. I noticed how beautifully curated their Instagram was; Each row was either two shots of people in their product : to one scenery or one person / product shot : to two scenery shots. Enough to evoke you to book a holiday immediately and purchase as many of these bikinis as you could afford.

Photo Credit: https://instagram.com/triangl/

Then I realised that something just didn't sit comfortably with me; everyone on the feed looked the same. None of them looked like me. It felt like a disconnect for me from the brand and instantly made me feel apprehensive. What's so strange is that I've never felt this way before! At that point in time, I thought I'd just shoot them an email and see what they said:


And if I'm honest, I never expected a response. But I got one. And it was one that if I had have expected a reply, it wouldn't be this:


Hmmmmm. So I had a read and I thought, oh, okay! Like, firstly, they are THE luckiest brand in the world to have a customer base that looks like that everyday! Or is it the bikini that makes them look like this?! Right now as I write this, I'm thinking well I haven't bought one as I'm in two minds after looking at Instagram so maybe every other girl in the world who doesn't see themselves in these images are also put off??? ...at this point now, I'm pondering their reply when I get another email:

Well, THAT told me! lol Everything has been solved. Maybe on their part?! They did their job; they responded in whatever timescales they are supposed to. And part of me went, fine, case closed. They forgot about it, I forgot about it.

A month later, I saw said friend and it popped into my mind so I shared what had gone on with her. We went onto their IG to take a little look and look what we found, just a couple weeks after I emailed them:

Photo Credit: https://instagram.com/triangl/

I mean, none of us can miss this beautiful young woman, can we?! Does this make it all okay?!

I vented my frustration via a post on my personal FB page because I just needed to share it. And that was that. Until I went on this weekend course and realised that me not responding to that email, and me not sharing this was me sitting in silent agreement. It was me telling them, and all other brands that it's okay to not feature different types of women. It's okay for them to make us feel inadequate and make us wish we had "her body".

And actually, I realised that I am so not okay with this. And I'm so not okay with sitting here in silence. I started blogging to give myself a voice and I almost didn't use it! The truth be told, I didn't want go "there". I wanted to just talk about all the glossy stuff rather than share my true and deepest feelings.

I'm not saying anyone is wrong or right for choosing a certain type of woman to represent their brand.   I'm just saying that I stand for diversity. I want to see myself in the women chosen, I wanna relate to them and know that they feel what I feel. At the end of the day, I want for everyone what I want for myself, to feel inspired, motivated and empowered.

Let's BE those! 

Elle :) 

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10 comments:

  1. FANTASTIC post Elle! It's not about just sharing the gloss, but also sharing the truth.

    Thank you for publishing this. I'm surprised by their response in the email. By publishing this, you've told them that it's not ok. Your last paragraph sums it all up.

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    1. Thanks for reading Helen! ...As you've been privy to the conversations on FB we now realise that the response is in fact a copy and paste job! It's saddening really!

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  2. Such a great post Elle! And I'm super proud of you for writing it, and challenging their feed with your email in the first place. You've made a real difference in the way they considered their marketing... even if only for one image, but long may it continue! xx

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    1. Thanks Georgina! ...Onwards and upwards :) xoxo

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  3. Great post Elle.
    I completely understand what you mean when you say you want to be able to relate - it's human nature! Especially in 2015 it still feels like we're living in some kind of parallel universe when it comes to the odd few brands that have no concept in marketing. Well done in making a stand Hun :)
    Charlotte x

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    1. Thanks Charlotte! ...I decided that I'm happy to take a stand for something I believe in whether the world agrees or not! It really is odd that we still have this going on...the only thing that changes is time and how the situation is disguised! xoxo

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  4. Love this post Elle, Unfortunately will still live in a society where colour and the size of person is still an issue. It's very sad. Big up for making a stand. xx

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  5. Really great post Elle. You are right that if this is how it makes you feel, it is not OK to keep silent.

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