Is “Silence” The Word Among Black Beauty Bloggers?

Should Black Beauty Bloggers Speak Out

Luvvie Ajayi, digital strategist and humor blogger at Awesomely Luvvie sent out a series of tweets last night about black beauty bloggers being silent in light of recent events. The recent events I’m referring to are the shootings at Emanuel AME Church in South Carolina and the series of black church burnings that have followed that terrible act. I’m going to paraphrase Ajayi as best I can.

My interpretation of the tweets is with great power comes great responsibility(shoutout to Uncle Ben). If black beauty bloggers have a platform then they should use that platform to speak up and not just because it personally affects them, but because their readers are affected too. Even if someone disagrees with this premise it’s not a terrible on its face and yet it doesn’t sit right with me.

Luvvie Ajayi Calls Out Black Beauty Bloggers

What didn’t sit right with me was the vagueness of it. If you check Luvvie’s mentions many bloggers responded to her tweets in agreement so that obviously meant they weren’t being called to the carpet for their silence. But for those that didn’t respond, I’m left with this feeling of who is she talking about? I don’t like that feeling because it’s accusatory. I’m checking facebook fan pages and twitter timelines to see if this black beauty blogger or that black beauty blogger is acknowledging what’s been happening in recent weeks or if it’s business as usual. I’m judging myself because I’ve echoed this sentiment before and now I’m not sure where I stand on this.

I see multiple sides to the issue. The obvious one is responsibility as stated before. There’s the idea that silence is approval at worst and indifference at best. There’s the idea that just because I or you don’t see posts doesn’t mean it’s being ignored by individual bloggers. There’s the possibility that some don’t want to muddy the waters with their POV because they’re deferring to folks who know more or at least perceived that way. There’s also the idea that there are many ways to show support be it tweets, donations, or blog posts. How I like to do things may not be how you like to do it, you know?

Here’s the main thing for me. For the last few years when a racially charged issue has popped off the black beauty bloggers I follow are aware and speaking on it, so calling out black beauty bloggers as a whole for ignoring what’s happening is misleading. Black beauty bloggers are speaking up consistently, the question may be are folks paying attention to them. And if they’re not, why?

So I’m going to put it to you, beauty bloggers and readers alike. Is speaking up for/against an issue a requirement, consequences be damned? If your faves are being quiet on issues, like racism, are you giving them the sideeye? No matter where you stand and let me know what you think in the comments.

11 thoughts on “Is “Silence” The Word Among Black Beauty Bloggers?

  1. I definitely think it’s great when people choose to speak up and be vocal about their beliefs and current events. However, that’s not for everyone and so many factors go into deciding to speak out. It’s not fair to accuse/judge/shame those who choose not to. As someone who prides herself on being outspoken I think Luvvie should’ve been more responsible with her words and “calling out” a very specific community of bloggers.

    1. It feels like she threw some meat to hungry lions and then sat back to watch them fight. There are readers who have a problem with their fave bloggers being quiet and that’s valid but to call out everyone when you know you’re talking about a select few is wack.

  2. I think this is an important question. I don’t think it’s fair to tell someone what they should or should not do with their platform. We can’t respond to every single incident that happens to us – that’s just life. Everyone does things in different ways. My fear is that if someone is not using their platforms to speak out and they’re doing so in the name of self preservation, who are we to judge them?

    1. It doesn’t seem fair to me either and these types of requirements can push people into doing it as performance just so no one calls them out.

  3. I think that during times like this is easy to speak out of anger and be misunderstood so sometimes it’s better to say nothing at all. I respect those who choose to bring the topic to light and the reasons people have for not doing so. With big brother always watching any tweet, comment, or post could paint the author in a light they did not intend. I prefer to air on the side of caution since I would like to work for the federal government.

    I’m glad you brought this up for people to voice their views.

    1. That’s valid. I don’t want anyone to think they have to risk what they love to prove to me they care. There’s all kinds of reasons someone may hang back and still care about the issue.

  4. I side eye bbloggers that speak on everything else (especially animal rights) and not race. However all bbloggers I keep up with speak/spoke on it in some way. You don’t have to speak on it all day everyday. I think Luvvie’s comments/tweets were vague as hell and inaccurate. You can’t just call out one genre, that you don’t even keep up with, as being silent.

    1. Right. It’s too bad she didn’t just call out who she had in mind instead of throwing the whole niche under the bus.

  5. great post and I agree with you as well as all the comments thus far. You never know why someone is remaining “seemingly” silent. There are people who move in silence every day who are great humanitarians who do not want to call attention to the contributions they make, they just want to make them. Void of the kudos and glory so to speak. I think people are forgetting that…

  6. I think the issue is that not everyone speaks in the same way and onnthe same platform. I also think it’s incredibly duplicitous to throw shade, when it’s just as easy to be the catalyst for the very thing you wish to see change. I see it as a trend in the black beauty and natural hair blogger world… those in your same circle, and cut down those who aren’t. It’s gotta stop. We’ve got to stop pointing fingers at each other, having internet fights, and working together.

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