It has been an interesting few months for fashion influencers and bloggers. Before coronavirus was declared a global pandemic, Americans were still globe-trotting, spring-breakers were posting photos on the beach in Miami, and fashion influencers were sharing their outfits with no backlash. Things quickly changed when colleges closed, flight prices dropped, and masks became the latest fashion accessory. Online, social media users were recoiling from #OOTD posts and Lookbook videos on YouTube. People were losing jobs and fearing for their health. No one was looking towards fashion bloggers for solace.
As everyone realized quarantine was going to last for months, they began to scour the internet for content. For many, it was fashion influencers who filled that gap. They took people’s minds off the pandemic by showing off new looks and their apartment decor. However, the public would soon find themselves being upset with bloggers and influencers again in the midst of the murder of George Floyd. Instead of outfit photos, social media users urged influencers with large platforms to post content in support of Black Lives Matter.
As a Black woman, escaping the reality of what’s going on in this country is impossible.
The public wanted allyship and accountability and for the most part, they got that. Influencers knew to take a step back and share what people wanted to see, but now that it has been a couple of weeks since the protests first started, things online are slowly going back to “normal”. Outfit posts are flooding timelines, people are sharing beaches pictures as states re-open, and the BLM posts are interspersed with this regular content.
It has been a hard balance to strike. Mainly because BLM is not a trend, and in some weird way, posting “normal” photos while also sharing content about Breonna Taylor and Elijah McClain reinforces this. The information about injustices in this country will not stop coming and neither will the outfit of the day photos. I have had mixed feelings about all of it.
The new notion that someone not posting about issues online equates to them not caring about the problems we’re facing, is leaving room for multiple gray areas. Influencers and bloggers who have large platforms have a wider reach, hence followers do expect them to post about the racial injustices in this country. It makes sense. I found that with the most recent bout of online activism, there was a sense of forced posting that could lead to influencers and bloggers sharing content they don’t actually care about. To me, I’d rather someone not post about an issue that they don’t care about rather than being in the area of fake allyship. But I digress. That’s a larger conversation in and of itself and one I’m still grappling with.
As a Black woman, escaping the reality of what’s going on in this country is impossible, but I have found watching YouTube videos and scrolling through outfit photos has served as a mini-escape. Among the calls for change online and the painful videos of Black men and women being unjustly mistreated, I find a brief respite between home decor and floral dresses.
Gaining peace of mind in the midst of two pandemics is difficult, especially when one has been going on for centuries. Whatever way you are finding joy during this time, revel in it, and if you’re like me, follow some new fashion bloggers and look at their photos. It feels good while it lasts.