Despite the algorithm woes and constant prompts for me to promote my posts (why is the percentage always 85%, huh?), I actually have Instagram to thank for helping me find other black content creators. Pre 2012, I was forced to rely on word of mouth, unsuccessful Google searches and lists put together by magazines. Each time I found someone with a skin-tone closer to mine in the blogosphere, I had to do a little happy dance. It made me feel less alone. Now things are a little easier. I’ve inadvertently trained my Explore page to show me a diverse range of women (though it has its moments) and I’ve lost many hours browsing the suggested feature.
The idea for this post came about after a few people tweeted asking me for more bloggers of colour and it made me wonder. Are certain platforms, lists and articles making it harder for us to ‘diversify’ our feeds? A quick scroll on the Bloglovin fashion section would have you believe that no one darker than NC42 exists. If you look at the Forbes Top Influencer list (which is global), only 7 entries out of 80 are black. Perhaps you follow some ‘inspirational’ feeds such as @insta_fashion_world or @majorstreetstyle, so your Explore page shows more of the same creating a visual echo chamber. This article from Adweek throws up some interesting points. It refers to Allure magazine creating content that isn’t based on existing data and states that ‘Algorithms tend to limit your point of view and wind up telling you what your preferences are, instead of the other way around.’
There’s a massive conversation that needs to be had around why people aren’t discovering the breadth of content creators out there. In honour of Black History Month, I thought I’d share 30 feeds that I’m currently liking and saving (some of these ladies have blogs too, if you prefer to pin). Of course this is by no means a definitive list and I’ll be including more discoveries in my newsletter-style posts. Happy scrolling!
@the_miji_mojo – Marie’s handle contains a Powerpuff girls reference and she uses fashion to discover the different sides of her personality. Basically she’s a girl after my own heart.
@olivia_gold – Olivia is passionate about increasing diversity within the world of marketing and aims to educate the next generation through her posts. She’s also fond of bold colours and feminine flounces.
@slipintostyle – Ellie’s Caribbean upbringing influences her colourful style and she mixes high street and designer artfully.
@creativekipi – Art director Marjorie Lacombe has made me add countless places to my travel wishlist and never fails to amaze me with her compositions.
@abisolaalaka – Stylist Abisola puts a new spin on items you may already have in your wardrobe (camo jacket I’m looking at you) and I’ll always be jealous that she got the sold out Zara basket bag.
@ada_oguntodu – I’m living vicariously through Ada’s playful style and inventive shoot locations (plus she manages make her self-timer look effortless).
@afiaandjay – Jasmine juggles a career in corporate law with working on her blog until 2am. Her feed is mostly monochrome with pops of Glossier pink.
@fashionenth – Please share your headwrap skills with me Eunice! I’m excited to see what her blog redesign has in store.
@tashi_skervinclarke – Tashi’s posts almost make me want to join in with her half marathons and she’s honest about the early starts and ‘Leg Day’ fails. She’s also part of a major Reebok campaign.
@manigazer – If you need styling tips for denim, then this is the feed to head to. Iman makes me want to up my photography game (plus she’s pretty open about her Harry Potter obsession).
@findingpaola – I need more sunflowers in my life! They’re are a constant theme on Paola’s feed and each photo is a bit of a visual treat.
@remiafolabi – I’ve always loved Remi’s style of photography and her ability to turn anywhere into a shoot location.
@thestylethesaurus – If you’re ever stuck on what colours to put together, then Martha’s feed provides endless inspo. She often uses Manchester as her backdrop and possesses posing skills that Tyra would be proud of.
@claire_most – Follow Claire’s day-to-day life in Paris and marvel at all the rich tones.
@freddieharrel – Freddie’s feed is a mixture of motherhood (her son Hugo has the cutest smile), eclectic outfits and snippets of what it’s like to run a hair business.
@spiritedpursuit – Lee Litumbe’s adventures will give you a major dose of wanderlust, plus there’s a particular focus on showcasing the beautiful landscapes and diversity within Africa.
@elsyandtheblog – Even though my GCSE French is failing me when it comes to Elsy’s captions, I can still appreciate all the tailored outfits and Parisian backdrops. Remind me to try on a check blazer asap.
@joymumfs – Singer and songwriter Joy shares the odd music demo as well as outfits, pretty coffees and London streets.
@shopedelano – I have Shope to thank for inspiring me to add colour to my locks last year and I hope she returns from her Instagram break soon! Her YouTube videos are thought-provoking and she’s a much needed voice in the blogosphere.
@cocobassey – Atlanta-based Coco also juggles blogging with a full-time job and lived in Canada, Czech Republic, Nigeria, Germany before settling in the U.S. Expect a polished mix of fashion, lifestyle and travel.
@serrabellum – Yemisi is probably one of the most glamorous fashion graduates I’ve ever seen and showcases her travels to Nigeria and Paris.
@asiyami_gold – It’s no surprise that Asiyami runs her own creative agency, just look at her grid! She’s worked with Gap, J Crew and Pandora.
@inmysundaybest – I have Sade to thank for introducing me to some of these accounts and hers is pretty charming too. She’s created her own unique style of Insta-Stories and captures everyday life beautifully.
@uzypaws – Uzy studies pharmaceutical science and uses her Instagram as a creative outlet that never fails to inspire.
@musesuniform – OK you can probably tell I’m obsessed with Parisian bloggers and Nelly is no exception. She pulls off vintage and plays with proportion in ways I could only dream of.
@melissaswardrobe – Stylist Melissa keeps it real and probably has the most down-to-earth Stories out there (got to love her observation of the fan playing Afrobeats).