Coding Switching and the Policing of the Black Beauty Blogger
Everyone code switches. Everyone! The way you talk with friends isn’t the same way you speak with your clients or coworkers and the way you speak with them isn’t the way you would speak to your pastor. The difference is when it comes to your platform, a platform you created for your audience no one should tell you when, what or how to be your authentic self yet here we are. I will forever and always be champion of living and being authentically you. Honestly, it’s already hard enough being a Black beauty blogger why not have fun and be genuine? There’s an audience out there for everyone. But it seems like when it comes to us not perfectly fitting into a box that others feel we should be in we catch nothing but heat. Let’s take the word “beauty” out of beauty blogging for a second. Years ago could you imagine blogs like The Hood Witch that’s shown we love more than just astrology tweets or Quirky Brown Love that celebrates the Black Community while being multifaceted and open. We might not have even seen investigative blog posts such the one done by Blaq Vixen Beauty on Black Up cosmetics. It really is a breath of fresh air to see content creators discussing topics I find interesting and doing it in such a vulnerable way. No one tells Temptalia “girl don’t give that MAC lipstick an F-rating because it’ll damage your relationship with their press team”. If I can’t be honest about my opinions for my readers then who am I really doing this for?
If you create great content readers will come yet there’s still a belief that as a blogger, a Black blogger you’re obligated to be like other bloggers in hopes of building relationships with PR reps to get referrals for paid content jobs or even products later down the line, or that you should not go off-course from your regular routine or that you put your integrity on the line for these relationships. We’re expected be neutral, pristine, and non-disruptive (sounds familiar doesn’t it). There’s an audience for everyone and there’s still a lot of untapped topics so never feel that you have to follow the rule books when it comes to your niche. No one can tell you “there’s a time and place”. This is your time and you built the “place”. It’s your platform to do as you please. No one can tell you what to do in your space and your success will never be determined by PR relationships or lack of. Don’t allow outside influences deter you from fulfilling your passion or simply being you.