Fifty Shades of VSCO M5 beige

Jan 9

our little geta-ouai ✨ @theouai #revolvearoundtheworld

A post shared by REVOLVE (@revolve) on Jan 7, 2018 at 6:09am PST

Last night we saw that a well-known brand, @Revolve, has once again gone under fire for being extremely non-inclusive. This post shows top influencers on a trip sponsored by Revolve. If by now you don’t see the problem in this post, you are part of the problem. There is no diversity being shown here. A brand like Revolve, which has 2m+ followers should be using their reach to promote inclusion, acceptance, and equality of all shapes, colors, and sizes. But nah, here we go again with the 50 shades of beige influencers. ‘Cause now everyone’s feed has to be yellow and everyone is promoting a fruit or vegetable. [insert avocado and sweet potato emoji here]

Now before you get all social media defense attorney on me, I am in no way shape or form saying that these women don’t work hard to be where they are. At some point, I’m sure they certainly had to struggle between which sponsored luxury bag photo to post first. Most fucking certainly they were conflicted about which island they should go get their sponsored box braids done. And the thing that grinds my gears the most as a person of color, is that these same women pictured above claim to stand in solidarity with my people but continue to work with the brands that deliberately exclude my kind.

That. Is. Not. How. Solidarity. Works. BB. Girls.

‘Cause here’s what you don’t get to do. You don’t get to use our music for instagram captions. Go swim in our oceans, appropriate our culture and then decide that we don’t get to participate in anything. I don’t know if someone told y’all that we only do curly haired brands and things with obvious names like ‘Dark and Lovely’ but they lied to you. We spend our Gucci, Chanel, all-inclusive resort, adventure vacation, 2018 out the dealership car, masters and doctorate degree coins JUST. LIKE. Y’ALL.

We work hard! We have to work twice if not three times as hard to prove that our fro’s and our melanin deserve the same opportunities as your straight edge, medium length, blondish brown hair, cat eye glasses havin’ ass does too. Only to have brands like Revolve dismiss us because we don’t fit their look. Revolve literally means to “treat as the most important point or element.” They’ve made it incredibly clear who they’re beauty standards are revolving around. The thin, blonde, brunette, whites and Asians. Oh, forgive me. And the 3 Hispanics that look white AF.

But here is where we come in as people of color. We stop supporting the brands that don’t support us. Stop giving your coins to the brands that go out of their way to make sure that you cannot picture yourself using their products. Stop trying to be down with the people that are consistently trying to keep us down. Stop following and supporting the people who only support us when it’s trending or when they get called out for it. You know why our people don’t grow? Because we’re sowing all of our seeds in the wrong soil. Invest in your people.

One of my favorite bloggers has always been @songofstyle. After seeing her response to @onacurve ‘s insta story mention, I immediately unfollowed her.

Girl. GIRL. WHAT PART OF THE INTERNET DO YOU RESIDE IN? There are so many poppin’ ass women of color on the internet who are known as fuck. But when you know the same 23 clones, we don’t blame you for not knowing. See responses like this are unacceptable. Yes, she may have meant well, but it’s 2018. If you’re now just putting together that people of color don’t get the same opportunities as the ‘whites’ then I’m gonna need to know exactly what bunker you’ve been trapped in for the past couple centuries.

Aimee and influencers like her are hard working women. I’m sure of that. But do you know the work that influencers of color have to do just to get paid a fraction of what they beiges get paid? I cannot tell you how many times I’ve photographed the same campaign for different influencers just to find out they’re all making different amounts of money. And that’s partially our fault. I’ll say it until I’m blue in the face. KNOW YOUR WORTH, THEN ADD TAX. Stop accepting free product when you know good and well VSCO M5 got paid for the same campaign. Stop working for exposure. Stop selling yourself short. Quit accepting the crumbs that fall off of the table they’re feasting at while discussing their next voyage,  which surprisingly doesn’t include us.

Begin to ask questions like “What is your budget?” And then give responses like “Yes, I’d love to work with you. Here are my rates.” When one of us wins, you continue to bridge the gap in this bullshit industry. Listen to this, I had a friend who worked for a huge corporation. You probably have a few of their products in your home. She shared with me how Latin and African American women would respond to their collaborations with extremely low rates. White and Asian women would respond with almost 300% of a higher asking rate, and they would get it.

Don’t wait for someone to invite you to sit at their table. Build your own! You can buy the $200 swimsuit. You still won’t be invited to their private beaches. You can spend $500 on their skincare line. They still don’t care. If you take the time to do the research, Hispanics and Blacks in America have a crazy buying power. Invest in your own people. Follow your own people. Celebrate your people. I said it on instagram and I’ll say it again; We don’t need them to validate our magic. We just need a few of those clones to take a seat because it’s our time to shine. And for those who can’t seem to find ‘known’ influencers of color. I leave you with this list of some of my favorites.

@kellyaugustineb

@shesofly

@cocoabutterdiaries

@daynabolden

@natymichele

@bwatuwant

@janibellrosanne

@blakevond

@thegavyntaylor

@monroesteele

@cocobassey

@allthingsada

@darling_tee

@nytrendymoms

@plsdotell

@lovefola

@nuyorkdreamer

@kyrzayda_

@asiyami_gold

@torontoshay

@awedbymoni

SHOULD I GO ON? That’s like .3% of the women of color that I love on the gram. Listen. People are talking about this and it’s a good thing. But don’t let this be a thing that people talk about for a week and then it dies. Fuck Revolving around a social norm that only celebrates one specific standard of beauty. Let’s start a social Revolution that is intentionally inclusive.

If you don’t go hard for my people, I’m not going hard for you. End of story. Our ancestors did way too much for us to take less than we deserve in ANY and EVERY area of life. Stand up for injustices like these. Use your platforms to speak your truth. Don’t listen to those that say “it’s always been like this and it always will be.” Those are the people you don’t need in your corner. They want to build their kingdom using our ideas, our talents (because let’s not forget.. their staff is “diverse”) our work and our dreams? That’s cool, we’ll have our music, our food, our slang, and the rest of our shit back now ’cause we’re off to build an empire.

Bye

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  1. Monroe Steele

    January 9th, 2018 at 3:11 am

    Whew! This is a word. A book. A GOSPEL! And thank you for igniting the flames on this with your IG post! I really adore you and how you really take a stand for everything you believe in passionately and with vigor! You’re amazing! Thank you for including me on your list as well.
    xx
    Monroe

  2. andrinique

    January 9th, 2018 at 3:12 am

    Couldn’t have said it better 🙌🏽

  3. Alexandra G.

    January 9th, 2018 at 3:36 am

    You are amazing! Thank you for speaking the truth! 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

  4. Joel moore

    January 9th, 2018 at 3:44 am

    YES!!!! Preach BB!! This is accurate af and just experienced this 1 week ago. Love you for posting xx
    http://Www.moorehisstyle.com

  5. Michelle McLaughlin

    January 9th, 2018 at 3:53 am

    Why are you so amazing!!! You always say what I’m thinking!

  6. Diana R

    January 9th, 2018 at 3:59 am

    This post needs to go viral! You write with such passion. I felt the power of your words. As latinas and women of color, we need to unite more than ever and demand the respect and equality that we deserve! ❤️

  7. Joanne Gonzalez

    January 9th, 2018 at 4:15 am

    You are amazing and everyone needs to read this!

  8. Aurore S

    January 9th, 2018 at 4:16 am

    Speaking the truth.

  9. Jasmine B.

    January 9th, 2018 at 4:23 am

    YESSSS to all of this!!!!!

  10. Lyasia Janel

    January 9th, 2018 at 4:25 am

    The way that this spoke to my soul 🙌🏽 Very well said!!

  11. Rickettesimone

    January 9th, 2018 at 4:32 am

    Great perspective because what you shared is the raw truth. I would like to add, should revole think differently, that our demand for inclusion is in no way a “cry to be picked to play with the cool kids like some corny game of HS volleyball”. While revolve has every ignant right to highlight who they please, WOC have every right to take our magical dollars elsewhere 👉🏽. I’m addition, we need a long term game plan. Image if POC content creators financially came together to create our own opportunities. Our own ecommerce fashion houses. Our own media outlets. Our own influencer agencies. This is true power, money moves and legacy, legacy, legacy! Put our money where our mouth is collectively.

  12. Anonymous

    January 9th, 2018 at 4:34 am

    Not to mention, Revolve pays their employees shit with no raises (but throws parties for influencers & has large expensive events with drugs)

  13. Jeniese

    January 9th, 2018 at 4:38 am

    Amen, Amen, Amen!!! Such an amazing word!!!!

  14. Ari

    January 9th, 2018 at 4:41 am

    GIRL. This post is a WORD. Thank you for writing this. Thank you for the reminder to not support anyone who doesn’t see my people and other people of color as equals and as worthy. I tend to think this way but I needed back on the forefront of my mind. I’ve followed Aimee for years but that message was shortsighted and just downright idiotic. It is clear where her beliefs and loyalties lie: to line her pockets. And yes you are so damn right, all these girls appropriate out music and culture for use as a backdrop for their lives, while not giving a true shit about any of us. Yet they’re gonna scream Oprah’s name to save us all from the turd in the White House. Let a Black woman save the world, like Barack Obama had to save us from Dubya. I digress. That post made me also unfollow Aimee. Done with her.
    Like everyone else said, this post NEEDS to go viral. Let’s do this! Reclaiming our culture starts now and we’re going to keep this alive! There’s no limit to the wonders we can accomplish.

  15. MJ

    January 9th, 2018 at 4:48 am

    Preach on!🙌🏾

  16. Monica Castro

    January 9th, 2018 at 5:04 am

    A-fucking-mazing! This article gave me actual chills. You speak with so much passion and I FELT it sister. Thank you for this article. Everyone needs to read this.

  17. Zamira

    January 9th, 2018 at 5:18 am

    This was a great post! ThNk you for sharing- my biggest pet peeve is lack of representation. And I can see where people will try to comment- like oh they didn’t mean to- but that’s not ok, sorry no more passes- especially as so many people want them and our children are watching! Growing up I did not see enough people on tv, magazines or even Spanish TV that looked like me.I also wanted to add that I struggle finding more “mature” ladies on instagram ( that is also missing). As a 40 year old Latina with a 13 year old I try to find other ladies who may struggle with finding items that look good on their amazing body that gave birth to amazing kids but are neither skinny, nor round but with 3 bellies, top, bottom and right beneath my cesarean cut 🙂 or how to wear make up so We don’t look so tired at 40! Etc. Etc. Thank you for sharing because we need to hold people more accountable!

  18. Natalia

    January 9th, 2018 at 5:26 am

    Great article! But let me correct you in culture as wel! They aren’t hispanic! They are Latinas idk where the other two are from (if they’re from Brazil they aren’t hispanic) but I know one is for sure Brazilian. You never see darker Hispanics in any feeds either To top it of more you never see any Central American Hispanics being represented. Yet they go to our countries islands, beaches, cities and wear the braids, Frida to “represent” support, the Aztec tattoos, the pom poms, off the shoulder Mexican tops and expect that that brings us “comfort” that somehow they are representing their support for the hispanic world. Smh! The sad part is that groups like that who visit foreign countries literally validate the lighter skin tones from that country to treat the darker resident worse. All of mexico, Central America, South America have this bad issue of treating the dark folks like trash, they don’t act in any shows if they do they are the maids (hello ring a bell the same here in the USA we Hispanics are only good for being maids) the light colored folks in those countries literally live the good life. They want to live like the “guerros” you never see a light colored child drop out of school to sell candy it’s the dark little 6 year old that does that! It’s such a sick cycle! The worst ones are the white Christians who made Jesus white. 🙄 2018 is the year that all this stops. So our kids, grandkids, great grandkids won’t have to know how it feels to be treated unequally cause of your color and sex.

  19. Chaun

    January 9th, 2018 at 8:37 am

    Love all of this.

  20. Monica Awe-Etuk

    January 9th, 2018 at 1:14 pm

    Girl, you nailed this! Revolve and other brands need to do better. Considering the amount of money people of color spend, it is appalling that they continue to exclude and low-ball us. The one thing I can say is that it is super important to know your worth. I continuously preach this to up-and-coming bloggers, and establish bloggers. Know your worth, and price yourself accordingly. The more we price ourselves accordingly across the board, the more we will be offered. Oh and thanks for including me in your list of favorite bloggers 😃😘!

  21. Maria-city laundry

    January 9th, 2018 at 1:35 pm

    Great post girl. Someone is saying it and saying it right! Fuck revolve for not responding to the issue, just shows how much they actually care. As influencers we can do our part by not supporting brands who don’t support us. Period.
    -Maria

  22. Rose

    January 9th, 2018 at 3:00 pm

    I 👏🏾 Said 👏🏾 What 👏🏾 I 👏🏾 Said 👏🏾. Thank you Denisse for always standing up for what’s right regardless of what the popular opinion may be. And thank you for sharing the info, it is very insightful for up and coming influencers like myself. Keep being a unicorn, love you babes 💋

  23. K. G.

    January 9th, 2018 at 3:16 pm

    I’m half Filipina and half white. While I do appreciate the fact that there a respectable amount of Asian representation in the photograph, I do feel like it’s important to consider that standards of beauty come in all shapes and of course, ethnicities. Not only is there a gross lack of black beauty being represented here, but the body imagery being represented is also an issue. Huge brands like Revolve should create an online presence to empower women, not make them excluded from a cool kids club unless they get a gym membership and survive off of avocado toast.

  24. thugnanny

    January 9th, 2018 at 8:59 pm

    I completely agree! Thank you for speaking out on this!

  25. Vanessa Mota

    January 9th, 2018 at 4:35 pm

    Girl. Girl. Girrrrrl!!!! I can’t even begin to express how amazing this post is. You are! This definitely needs to be spoken more.

  26. Rose Garcia

    January 9th, 2018 at 5:13 pm

    Wow. This NEEDS to be read by anyone who calls themselves a creative and then by everyone else right after. If there’s anyway to feel after having read this it’s powerful. Keep motivating girl ✊🏽

  27. thugnanny

    January 9th, 2018 at 8:59 pm

    Thanks for reading!!

  28. Jamilia

    January 9th, 2018 at 6:01 pm

    Amen! Preach on it! 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾

  29. Ismaris Challenger

    January 9th, 2018 at 7:33 pm

    AMAZING! Lets create OUR OWN WORLD!!

  30. Karis Elle

    January 9th, 2018 at 8:12 pm

    Lawd! This preached! Girl.

  31. Maryery

    January 9th, 2018 at 8:51 pm

    Wow 🙌🏻👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼💯

  32. jennifer

    January 9th, 2018 at 8:55 pm

    You do realize the girls you listed do not have nearly as many followers as the girls featured? It’s a business, you work with the people who have the most influence regardless of color.

  33. thugnanny

    January 9th, 2018 at 8:59 pm

    Be that as it may, some of these women do have a large following and still don’t get recognition. Not just from revolve but other brands who work with influencers that match the number of followers of the women I listed. Still unjustifiable no matter how you look at it.

  34. K. G.

    January 10th, 2018 at 4:09 am

    And can you really blame those accounts? I looked at the ones the author suggested and they wear designer clothes, feature the expensive handbags, the pretty shoes, and even visit exotic travel destinations. They are following the same rules/guidelines to have a successful Instagram/lifestyle blog and Instagram doesn’t even suggest them to me when I click on the Search feed. I’m only given the same type of individual seen in the Revolve group photo. I have nothing against that type of individual, but it’s annoying seeing the same faces everytime I search for new accounts to follow. Why did I have to read an article to finally be exposed to these Instagram accounts? That’s a problem and Instagram needs to work on how they give recognition to these women of colour. It can’t always be Asians and Caucasians.

  35. Tarlubella

    January 9th, 2018 at 9:07 pm

    Yes.You.Did! Love it Denisse with two s’s!!

  36. jennifer

    January 9th, 2018 at 9:07 pm

    I’m not saying they do not have a large following, but you’re comparing girls who have 100k followers to girls who have over a million. It’s unfortunate this is the case, but it’s a simple matter of data and analytics.

  37. Karen

    January 12th, 2018 at 3:14 am

    How many people are actually engaging on those accounts with over a million followers?

  38. Kim

    January 9th, 2018 at 10:39 pm

    “If you don’t go hard for my people, I’m not going hard for you”Yesssssssss🙌🏾👑

  39. Kyree’s Kreations

    January 9th, 2018 at 11:53 pm

    Well said! 💕

  40. Johanna

    January 10th, 2018 at 12:43 am

    I am elated by this blog post. I’m so proud you spoke up. Us latinas just like the black community get shafted in every sense of the word. I could not agree with you more. I’m just becoming a blogger myself. I want to make sure I start correctly , and implement diversity in my postings. I would love to pick your brain. Well said.
    Johanna
    Wearifashion4you.com

  41. Patrice

    January 10th, 2018 at 1:03 am

    Well I knew you had mad skills in photography!No idea you also read minds…
    I’m blessed to have come across this post and I thank you for letting them know if they STILL don’t understand the problem behind their advertising choices then they ARE the problem!
    #AsIKindlyMakeUseOfMyUnfollowButton
    Signed,
    New Fan!

  42. Monique

    January 10th, 2018 at 1:25 am

    I definitely agree! Another big part of us underselling ourselves is that we don’t know what to charge and sure as hell would never know what others are judging. No one is sharing this info and when you ask, the most advice you get is to go check social blue book. I share new campaigns with my blogging squad and even let them know how much I got paid. This one small step lets someone know if they were underpaid, overcharged, and are selling themselves short.

  43. Stephanie Perez

    January 10th, 2018 at 2:06 am

    I’m loving all this tea! Lol I worked with a few bloggers before as their makeup artists, some pay and some don’t even want to pay me. One famous blogger even messaged me and offered to just tag me on her picture as payment. I personally don’t work for free and respectfully declined her offer. Especially when I see her first class travels and her big collection of Chanel on social media!

  44. Shavonda

    January 10th, 2018 at 2:56 am

    Yessssssss!!!! Literally couldn’t stop shaking my head at this. Now I’m not in the beauty and fashion space, but rather the interiors, home, and lifestyle space and it’s THE SAME SHIT in my little Influencer world as well. I stirred the pot today. And imma keep stirring.

  45. Star Lengas

    January 10th, 2018 at 3:07 am

    AFREAKINGMeN! So, unimpressed with the continued lack of diversity and reluctance to have this conversation when it comes to inclusion/diverse female bodies. Honestly, its quite discouraging and only heightens this belief — that in order to win you have to be thin, light, with silky baby hairs. I see it from these brands and even amongst the POC-centered brands, with their choice of influencers/bloggers, who toe the line of ambiguity, big hair, curvy-ish, and dare I say tall? LOL I just don’t see myself in the majority of these spaces… and it is beyond tiring. Thanks for this post!

  46. Kim

    January 10th, 2018 at 3:18 am

    Thank you so much for posting this. I was definitely sad to read Aimee’s response to this; as someone who has spoken many times on not feeling included in the fashion industry, being made fun of as a kid because of how she looked then to not stand up and support fellow minorities is a shame. Also she says there aren’t that many “known influencers who are POC.” She’s hung with Shiona Turini formerly of Cosmo and CR Book MANY times; I’m pretty sure she could point you in the right direction. Finally, to the people that say “well the girls on the trip have 1M followers; it’s a business,” they’re right, it is. However it shouldn’t be all about numbers but engagement. If the eyeballs don’t translate to clicks or buys then who cares? Brands should be looking at that. Sorry for the long reply but really thank you for this…as a blogger of color and not in the 30 and under age range, brands need to do better, and we need to be better not supporting them.

  47. Anonymous

    January 10th, 2018 at 4:21 am

    Great post!1) I find that the beauty companies do a better job of being inclusive. I’ve seen Jackieaina, Makeupshayla etc., on many lavish trips including Bora Bora, Anguilla, Saint Tropez etc. The influencers in attendance are all races, sizes, and gender.
    2) Someone mentioned that the influencers pictured above have millions of followers. Not true. Revolve has invited influencers on trips with 100K & 200K followers including @racquelnatasha and @littleblackboots. Tell me why can’t @sunitav or @asiyami_gold or @simplycyn do a revolve trip?
    3) Revolve has done a good job with Asian representation as most of American media ignore Asians. However, I believe this is because the founder of Revolve is Asian (@mmente) and the marketing group etc.- @cococuenco @raissagerona. Which brings me to someone else’s point that POC need to create our own opportunities, marketing companies, brands, sponsors etc. Who owns flat tummy tea and fashionnova? Why aren’t those companies sponsoring influencer trips?
    3) Revolve has invited a few melanin (ated?) girls on their influencer trips including @golden_barbie @foreverflawyss @mylifeaseva but it has been few and far between. However there are plenty of black girls that are “mainstream” that have million of followers that they can use including @ttlyteala , @jackieaina (she recently did beauty demo at their social club).
    4) Don’t write off @songofstyle, she actually tries. Aimee was the only mainstream influencer (and her sister @songdani) that I saw taking a stand for the Black Lives Matter movement. I couldn’t find another American influencer with a million (+/-) followers that actually made a post after any of the shootings. She responded to Valerie’s comment! Show me another influencer who actually cares to understand and have the conversation??? Also look up her work with Charity Water in Ethiopia and again show me another influencer of her magnitude that’s doing that type of work? Everyone makes mistakes and I’ll continue to follow her.

  48. Chichi

    January 10th, 2018 at 4:50 am

    This was a READ like no other🙌🏾

  49. MEL SAN VICENTE

    January 10th, 2018 at 7:24 am

    Damn, girl. If ever I wanted to reach into the computer and hug someone… it is now. You SNAPPED SO FUCKING hard and I’m linking this on my IG profile STAT.
    THANK YOU FOR SHARING.

  50. Typical BlaQueen

    January 10th, 2018 at 1:57 pm

    As a newly budding influencer/creative, I’m so relieved and happy to know that the decisions I’ve made with knowing and enforcing my worth wasn’t me doing too much. It’s scary out here when you’re just starting out but pages & ppl like you give me motivation, hope & confirmation that this black gold is not cheap! Thank you for this post and the list of amazing creatives!

  51. Sasha

    January 10th, 2018 at 3:11 pm

    I believe I just fell in love with you. Your words are just amazing and you really kept it 10000% – we have to stick together as Afro-Latina’s because they’ve been tryna wipe us out since the come up but they don’t know we just getting started baby !!!

  52. Dana

    January 10th, 2018 at 3:42 pm

    😮 Always looking to learn. #LessonTaughtAlso sent this to my daughter because being aware is important.

  53. Renae Antoinette

    January 10th, 2018 at 6:08 pm

    Baby when I tell you you gave a word!! You just PREACHES honey!! The time is NOW and a new day is indeed on the horizon!! 🖤🖤

  54. Saraya

    January 10th, 2018 at 6:15 pm

    👏🏿👏🏿👏🏿👏🏿👏🏿

  55. Laytee Samida

    January 10th, 2018 at 6:26 pm

    I agree with every word and emotion you wrote and thanks for the influencer recommendations. 🙂 Personally, when I see brands do these sponsored trips and don’t include any women with melanin or with only one token with 1+ million followers, I assume they don’t want my money. Therefore, they won’t get it.
    Loved this!

  56. Carla

    January 10th, 2018 at 8:38 pm

    👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 Thank you for your voice and sharing it with the world. Amazing piece!

  57. Nayonde

    January 11th, 2018 at 11:54 am

    Major WORD! Right hereee! Don’t down play yourself! As for being pissed at those same women who claim to support but go ahead to work with them. It’s pointless! Cause they getting paid they’ll never understand the struggle POC face.

  58. What is going on in the world? - Fanci Fantastic

    January 19th, 2018 at 12:00 am

    […] ad featuring a black boy wearing a top that said “Coolest monkey in the jungle.” Revolve hosted the annual #revolvearoundtheworld trip, which AGAIN didn’t feature any women of color […]

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