Finding Inspiration: Diverse Voices

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This past week I read two articles on the street style photography coming out of New York Fashion Week that managed to articulate exactly how I'd been feeling watching the week unfold on social media.

The first was from The Cut and was titled, "Street Style is Killing Itself Focusing on Thin White Women." It clarified a lot for me including the fact that diverse people are in fact present at these events - they're just purposely being excluded from the media coming out of them. Influencers have become ubiquitous at these events, but for the most part the ones who are paid attention to are the thin, white women with followings numbering in the hundreds of thousands at least. The second article was from Fashionista and was titled, "I'm Tired of Not Seeing Myself Represented in Street Style Photos" and really highlighted the harm done when even successful people in the industry, and just generally stylish people, are ignored simply because of their race or size. Between the articles and the conversations I had on Instagram after sharing them, one thing became abundantly clear - street style used to be something to garner inspiration from, to discover new people and new styles, and now it's more of an exclusive parade of the same similar looking 15 women over and over again. Frankly, it's not only disheartening to see in 2018, it's goddamn boring.

The most important thing that I think came out of my conversations with people is how trends and influencers become so uber popular that everyone and everything just starts to look the same. The answer to combatting that? Well, the general consensus seemed to be that the best we can do is support those who are bringing something different and interesting to the table. Like their content, comment on their posts, absorb and learn from their perspectives, and most of all stay true to yourself. Support is an incredibly powerful tool for boosting the voices you most want to hear. With that in mind, I decided to do a bit of a roundup of the unique voices I've been paying a lot of attention to lately. In no particular order:

  • Alyssa of @alyssa_mayumi: Alyssa is an incredibly talented model and writer who makes a point to explore her heritage and today's social context. Her Instagram stories are always beyond educational and communicated in such an honest and relatable way. I pretty much learn something new or find something to think about almost every day from her.
  • Sharmili of @sharmtoaster and sharmtoaster.com: Sharmili is an incredible beauty blogger who really stands out from the pack. She is always the first one I see calling out brands on questionable behavior and lack of diversity in color ranges. It's honestly mostly because of her that I take a lot more into consideration when it comes to beauty these days. Hers is an opinion that I consider absolutely trustworthy.
  • Cat of @cookiecat.herine and restitchstance.com: Cat has completely opened my eyes when it comes to sustainable style and social justice. I've learned so much from her when in comes to conscious shopping and keeping the bigger picture in mind. Her support of woman owned brands and her ability to keep in mind accessibility give her articles such depth and impact. If you care about the environment, social justice, and style, hers is a voice I highly recommend listening to.
  • More people to follow in general (I would have written a bit about each of them, but then this post would be five years long): @sofieuh, @asiyami_gold, @nnekaj, @camveronica, @mynamesdiana, @gabbymbeki, @subrinaheyink, @stephivelez, @thebrokeminimalist, @shahdbatal, @aasian, @ghenetactually, @theslumflower, @NerdAboutTown, @GraceFVictory 

Any great voices you've been loving lately? Let me know in the comments! I'd love to discover more!

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