You guys, we need to take a minute and have a really real conversation before we jump into this awesome interview that will be the first of many with plus bloggers who are women of colour.
We need to just sit ourselves down with a steaming cup of tea and come to terms with the fact that there is a genuine diversity problem when it comes to the plus size blogging, fashion and beauty community. When you say the words plus size or use the phrase body positivity, most of the names that will come to your mind will probably be those of white, able bodied women. Now, this isn’t a problem – the problem is when they are the only people you think of.
When the body acceptance movement is so diverse and so vast, we need to make sure that the voices we are hearing and the faces and bodies we are seeing belong to a diverse group of people. We cannot only highlight the people who fit into institutionalised western ideals of beauty and acceptance.
So the WoC Spotlight series is going to be an opportunity for us to really celebrate how wonderfully different we all are. Besides that’s the whole point right? We are meant to be a community of tolerant people who fiercely champion the the acceptance of all!
Now that being said, lets get to know Zeynab. A London based beauty blogger, this incredible woman is giving us all we need and should know about beauty. The aesthetic is to live for and all of the beauty tips are being put into practice in my life with immediate effect. Let’s get to know her some more and hear about what its REALLY like being a plus WoC in the blogging community!
Tell me a little bit about yourself! What’s your background and when did you start blogging?
Hi, my name is Zeynab. I currently blog for my own beauty and lifestyle blog. I started blogging to share my love of all things beauty, after falling head over heels for the blogging community. I wanted to share my personal experience and perspective when it came to beauty. When I was starting out, I feel like there wasn’t anyone that was like me. I am a brown girl with hijab and there wasn’t someone that I could identify with, so I chose to create that person.
What is it like for you as a British plus woman of colour and blogger?
When many people think of bloggers, the names that instantly come to mind are not women of colour or plus sized. Especially within beauty blogging, sometimes I go to events I stick out like a sore thumb because I am so different. That is a good thing but also very uncomfortable for me. I feel so out of place and often question my place in the blogging community.
Who are your favourite British plus WOC?
I don’t have one favourite, I am that type of person that finds it so hard to just choose one. But at the moment, I am really into Grace Victory’s content. I love what she is about and the message is sending out. I love that she is opening a conversation about diversity in the blogging world, because let’s face it: it’s not diverse and it’s upsetting because the blogging community is for many people a different realm from the real world. However, it’s become this big corporation and it’s taken away from the realness and reliability of blogging. That’s why it’s important to start the conversations, and not be apologetic as people of colour that are plus size, and talk about these topics.
I feel like the plus size community is so supportive and inclusive, just to remain like that.
What are the important topics we should know that British plus WOC are dealing with?
It’s difficult because you are dealing with fat shaming and then of top of that, racist prejudices. It’s hard when society makes you feel like you are not good enough because you don’t look a certain way, you are not a certain size, and you don’t have a light enough complexion. What’s even more sad, is that a lot of times me and you are affected by these ideals and we try so hard to change ourselves to fit these unrealistic ideals. You waste so much time and your life trying to get people to accept you, it’s not worth it. I am no means at point where I don’t care but I am working towards it. I will tell you for free it’s a lot less stressful and you just feel so much happier.
What are your hopes for the plus community and for WOC in the plus community?
I want plus and WOC to be given the same opportunities as any other individual. I want them to continue to make big waves and be unapologetic in everything they do.
How do you deal with insensitivity within the community?
I don’t have a huge following, so that means that I have a small supportive community following me. The odd remarks I do get, I try the hardest to ignore them. These remarks are a reflection of the person leaving them and nothing to do with you as person and I am not going to let that affect me.
How do you deal with targeted discrimination and racism, hate speech and prejudice within and outside of the community?
It’s hard. But I try to be open and unafraid to bring up these topics on the platforms that I do have. It’s about keeping the conversation going and educating people.
In your dream world what opportunities would you like to see plus WOC bloggers having?
I want to do big things. Big campaigns, brand ambassadors everything!
What tips can you give other plus WOC? What helps and encourages you?
Just ignore everyone else and do you.
For more from the wonderful Zeynab, be sure to head on over to her blog and check out her Instagram and Twitter too!