Inclusivity is a word that carries great significance, but what does it really mean? Inclusivity is the practice of providing equal access and opportunity to those who might otherwise be excluded or marginalized. Social media influencers are now using their platform to call out brands and companies for not being inclusive and continuing a critical conversation. There are many topics within inclusivity that social media influencers cover, but here are just a few of them:
Social Media Influencers Shine Light on Fashion Sizing
What society often fails to recognize is that bodies come in all shapes and sizes and that no body is better than another. Popular social media influencers on platforms such as TikTok and Instagram have been calling out the fashion industry for inconsistent and lack of inclusion in clothing sizes. Remi Bader, a well-known influencer, gained her fame on TikTok by creating videos, called “realistic hauls”, that compare how clothing looks on the models versus on her. The point of her partly comedic videos is to show that the fashion brands we know and love are still failing to include plus-size models in ads and offering bigger sizes. She also touches on how clothing sizes for women are very misleading; you can be a 2 at one store and an 8 at another. Not only does Bader call out the brands that fail to meet the inclusivity standard, she also praises the brands that get it right. Brands such as Aerie and Good American succeed in using models of all sizes in campaigns. Aerie has even included women with disabilities in their modeling, an aspect that is often overlooked. Seeing people of similar sizes and looks creates a sense of belonging and confidence. Knowledge is power, and with Bader in the TikTok space, individuals are able to make more informed decisions on clothing and promote body positivity. It is important for social media influencers to continue to talk about sizing within the fashion industry, especially on TikTok where a young, impressionable audience spends so much time.
Shades of Beauty
If you were to walk into a beauty store (or drugstore) and find a foundation you were interested in, do you think they would have your shade? Unfortunately, not everyone can say yes. Even in the year 2023, brands still struggle to succeed when it comes to offering an inclusive shade range. Social media influencer @golloria is a prime example of an influencer that gives authentic reviews on makeup brands. Once a new makeup product is unveiled, she immediately purchases the darkest shade to see if it works on her skin tone. The most shocking part of her content is how many brands fail to include dark enough shades. Not only does she expose the brands that do not have inclusive shade ranges, but she also highlights the brands that do. Furthermore, the brands she reviews are at all different price points.
Additionally, Golloria posts videos in which she speaks about why it is important to have inclusivity in beauty and in general.. Her account is focused on educating her followers and even inspires other social media influencers to make similar content. Whether this is an issue that you have experience with or not, it is important to be educated on issues around inclusivity. Makeup brands such as Fenty Beauty and L’Oreal never fail to provide the shade ranges that we desire.
Not only has Fenty Beauty found success in its inclusive shade, but Rihanna’s representation of the brand due to the recent Super Bowl halftime performance also had a significant impact. According to Forbes, Fenty Beauty saw a $5.6 million increase in sales after a short clip of her using a Fenty Beauty product during her performance. Fans of Rihanna took to social media and discussed how they were inspired by her return to the stage to buy her latest products, causing her inclusive products to trend.
The Power of Social Media Influencers
Social media influencer Jackie Aina has found great success with a 3.45 million subscriber count on YouTube through her inclusive makeup and skincare videos. Aina dives into the beauty world as a black woman and continues to use her platform to promote inclusivity. Overall, there is still much work to be done with inclusivity, however, social media influencers are certainly igniting these important conversations. Being educated on topics around inclusivity such as sizing, shade range, accessibility, and more can prepare you for important conversations.
Freelance contribution especially written for Find Your Influence by Olivia Sullivan.