Fashion and Diversity?!?! Thanks Social Media!

By: KeAndra Hill

 

It’s no secret the power social media holds in society. No longer are we a product of the ‘Trickle Down Effect’, but now as consumers, we are able to have a much stronger influence on industries and create our own effects.

One of the most prominent and persistent movements that never seems to cease is the fight for equality in society. Believe it or not, the fight for equality in the fashion and beauty industry (and entertainment industry) has been a huge issue. The improvement of equality in these industries has been moving slow for years, but now there may be a tool to speed the process; social media.

chromat-spring-2016

Social media has created the perfect platforms for people to make statements and support movements. Consider moguls of the industry such as Shala Monroque, Edward Enninful, Tamu Macpherson, June Ambrose, and many others. Social media only began as an outlet for them, but has now evolved into something much larger and much more powerful. These people of color have had the courage to make huge impacts in their industries that have historically and typically had an unpleasant relationship with people of color. These people have not only made statements about their art, but have also gone beyond that and made statements about their cultures and about what exactly makes them who they are. Great people have been using their social media platforms to really change the perceptions of the industries and the western cultures’ ‘Ideal Beauty’ standards. The awareness of these people have allowed for their platforms to share and hopefully evoke understandings of their individual cultures.

Showcases of people of color in these industries not only educates, but also inspires. Young men and women can now see people of their resemblance being represented as strong, powerful and beautiful with more ease. This is very empowering for others and builds a confidence and builds identities in cultures that at some point may have faltered in such.

fashion-model-diversity

I personally appreciate the new ways social media platforms have been used to enlighten and empowering others. I also appreciate the courage of powerful, creative people using their platforms to really make a difference.

 

Citations:

Carlos, M. R. (2011, November 20). The Styles of Black Folk: How Race, Memory, and Social Media Is Changing Fashion. Retrieved February 12, 2017, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marjon-rebecca-carlos/black-style-fashion-shala-monroque_b_966258.html

Suhrawardi, R. (2016, May 23). Diversity in Fashion: Are Millennials and Social Media the Answer To Changing Beauty Ideals? Retrieved February 12, 2017, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/rebeccasuhrawardi/2016/05/23/diversity-in-fashion-are-millennials-and-social-media-the-answer-to-changing-beauty-ideals/#771fa37d4aae

Diversity in the Media

By: Sierra Ramos

Diversity is something that tends to lack in the media. “About 40 percent of the United States identifies as nonwhite and women make up more than half of the population, yet popular media outlets largely remain homogenous,” according to DiversityInc. Absent diverse viewpoints from the media can also have damaging effects on some people. However, one of my favorite television shows that does show much diversity is “How to Get Away with Murder,” which is a popular drama T.V. series on the network channel ABC. It is basically about a female lawyer who teaches law classes at a law school where she has a group of students who help her out with her dramatic criminal cases.

The reason why I love this show is not only for its drama and suspense, but because the main character is an African American woman. So, not only is the star of the show a female, but she is also a minority. Her name in the show is Annalise Keating, who is very strong, smart and independent. I love how this show used a woman as a brave and brilliant criminal defense attorney because many shows and movies depict lawyers as being male because it is stereotypical to think that men are the ones who are supposed to have high-paying careers. Another thing that makes this show different is that Annalise is a dark black woman. I say “dark” because I remember that in one of my classes, a couple of black students said that “light” skinned black people were depicted as better looking and more attractive because being a “light-skinned” is closer to looking white. Me being a pale Hispanic female, I did not know this kind of thinking existed in the black community because it is sad to think that way. As for the show, Annalise is shown quite often taking off her wig and embracing her natural hair, which is very short and curly. One of Annalise’s assistants is also a Caucasian female, which makes the show even more diverse. There is also a Hispanic female main character who sometimes speaks Spanish on the show. She is one of Annalise’s closest students.

Other than race and gender, the sexuality in this show varies greatly. There are straight relationships between a man and woman and there are also lesbian relationships, as well as gay relationships. One of the men in the gay relationship is Asian, which is also diverse and uncommon in T.V. shows because he is Asian and he is gay.

This show is amazing for its content and its diverseness among race, gender and sexuality, which I think is very important in today’s society because it does not discriminate anybody and it seems more accepting. I hope more movies, T.V. shows and the media as a whole will be more diverse in the future.

Diversity Logo
Source: Google Images

 

Social Media Fuels the Beauty Revolution

By Phyllis Lynch

Beauty brands are marketed through various channels to grasp consumers. Social media is an online network that has taken the promotion of these brands by storm. Both major and smaller brands benefit from the ability to develop an online presence without a costly marketing budget.  Platforms like YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat frequently introduce consumers to an array of beauty products.

nickeilgenesisyoutube
Nickel Genesis; YouTube Beauty Vlogger

The cosmetic industry’s target market is coincidently the largest demographic of social media users. This has enabled brands to be in continuous contact with their projected audience. Millennials, born between 1980 and 2000, are the frontrunners for utilizing the latest methods in digital retailing. Neustar surveyed 1,020 purchasers to determine different shopping preferences between Millennials and Baby Boomers. The study also shows that 54% of Millennials consider their mobile device the most important shopping research tool, followed by 31% for desktop, 8% for television and 7% for print.

Often times consumers seek out reviews of beauty products before deciding whether to purchase them, this is where implementing the world’s second largest search engine and social media platform, YouTube, is essential. YouTube is known as the go-to for beauty tips, tricks and tutorials; it is has made learning about makeup more inclusive. Brands are able to gain exposure by offering beauty gurus and influencers incentives in exchange for product reviews. According to a 2015 report conducted by Pixability, there are 45.3 billion total beauty video views on YouTube. Fifty-five percent of those views come from mobile devices, which closely correlates to the percentage of Millennials that mainly use their mobile device as a retail research tool.

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Colourpop Cosmetics’ Ultra Matte Lip swatches

Social media has influenced and encouraged diversity by giving women with darker complexions an outlet to showcase and promote their beauty. These women have been notoriously ignored by the cosmetic industry. Major companies have been criticized for featuring one to only a few deep shades, while offering a range of fair-toned shades. It’s not like the demand for deep toned makeup products is nonexistent, with African American spending $7.5 billion on cosmetic products annually.

Some companies have noted the complaints and made strides to incorporate product diversity, which has earned them rave reviews. Examples of this are L’Oréal Paris’ latest campaign and Colourpop Cosmetics, which grew in popularity because it uploads makeup swatches on different skin tones. Online networking gives women of color a platform to voice frustrations, as well as share beauty tips that would otherwise be inaccessible due to a lack of mainstream diversity.

 

References:

Burstein, Daniel, and Liva LaMontagne, Dr. “Ecommerce Chart: Online Shopping Behaviors of Millennials versus Baby Boomers.” MarketingSherpa. N.p., 28 July 2015. Web. 11 Sept. 2016. https://www.marketingsherpa.com/article/chart/online-shopping-behaviors-based-on-age

Nouril, Perdita. “L’Oréal Paris’ Latest Campaign Breaks down Racial Barriers in Beauty.” The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group, 30 Aug. 2016. Web. 11 Sept. 2016. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/beauty/skin/loral-paris-latest-campaign-breaks-down-racial-barriers-in-beaut/

Pixability, Inc. “Beauty on YouTube 2015.” Beauty on YouTube 2015 Report. N.p., 2015. Web. 11 Sept. 2016. http://www.pixability.com/industry-studies/new-beauty/

Smith, Stephanie D. “Essence Panel Explores Beauty Purchasing.” WWD. N.p., 18 May 2009. Web. 11 Sept. 2016. http://wwd.com/beauty-industry-news/color-cosmetics/essence-panel-explores-beauty-purchasing-2139829/

More Than Just a Pair of Goggles

By: Maritza Vega

Going down a roller coaster can now happen at the comfort of your home. With Oculus virtual reality goggles, video games and even the porn industry have adopted them to bring a virtual experience. Although the world of virtual reality is still being explored, researchers have found a way to use the goggles to address and educate over social issues.

The director of Stanford University Virtual Human Interaction Lab, Jeremy Bailenson, believes that virtual reality was made to address issues like sexual discrimination and racism. With the several of “diversity-training scenarios, which aim to engender empathy” Bailenson hopes that by putting users in “unfamiliar and unsettling realms” they would be able to understand and learn about discrimination (Cava, 1). For example one of Bailenson’s simulations show the user as an African-American female who is being harassed by a white character. When the user tries to protect themselves, the user can instantly see their simulated arm feature black skin.

diversity training

Source: USA Today (Elise Ogle, Stanford University)

The diversity training simulations have attracted organizations such as the National Football Team to adopting them into their agenda. Originally the NFL had looked into VR to “train athletes through virtual reality simulations” to increase performance, but instead “became interested in extending…to diversity awareness.” (“NFL to Tackle ‘racism’ and ‘sexism’ by Using Virtual Reality Training Where Staff Are Harassed by a White Man.”, 1). Last summer the NFL met with Interaction Lab to talk about the different ways VR could be used as a teaching tool for coaches and athletes. With the NFL having a “history in dealing with problems like domestic violence and racism” NFL’s vice president of football operations Troy Vincent, hopes that by adopting VR later this year they will be able to use it as a teaching tool to tackle social issues inside the organization (Clark, 1).

This isn’t the first time that football has heard of VR simulation. Many college football teams have used Strivr tech, a VR coaching company, which focuses on teaching athletes to run through drills instead of actually watching video footage.

Although NFL and other corporations find interest in using simulations as a tool in the workplace, some researchers do not agree with the results. Harvard concludes that sometimes diversity training can be ineffective dude to the users feeling “singled out for implicit criticism” (Cava, 1). Harvard University sociology professor, Frank Dobbin, mentions that although users are exposed to 30 minutes of diversity training and appear to have change in their attitude they are not considered permanent changes.

Researchers like Baileson though, are staying optimistic. He believes that in order to understand how VR can be beneficial is to observe another of his empathy experiments where group members perform “tasks sorting colored blocks while being effectively rendered colorblind” and then spend time searching for help groups online. (Cava, 1). His goal is to make the users essential walk in someone’s shoes and experience that particular perspective. Baileson is aware that putting on VR goggles will not instantly solve racism, but he is optimistic it’s a step forward.

 

Sources:

Cava, Marco Della. “Virtual Reality Tested by NFL as Tool to Confront Racism, Sexism.” USA Today. Gannett, 10 Apr. 2016. Web. 17 Apr. 2016.

 

Clark, Bryan. “NFL Taps into the Power of VR as Tool to Combat Racism, Sexism.” The Next Web RSS. Insider, 10 Apr. 2016. Web. 17 Apr. 2016.

 

“NFL to Tackle ‘racism’ and ‘sexism’ by Using Virtual Reality Training Where Staff Are Harassed by a White Man.” The Rebel. REBEL STAFF, 13 Apr. 2016. Web. 17 Apr. 2016.

 

#OscarsSoWhite Social Media War

By Livia Trevino

oscar nominees Photo from NY Times

For a second year in a row, every nominee in the Oscar’s Best Acting category (male and female) is white. Last year, there was certainly a heated debate about what could have caused this lack of diversity, but this year, it seems like an all-out war has started… and on social media.

Actress Jada Pinkett-Smith tried to cause a revolution within Hollywood by calling on people, through a video posted on Facebook, to boycott the Oscars by not attending the awards show and not watching the broadcast. The video currently has 298,631 likes, 245,630 shares and has been viewed 12,858,021 times and counting.

This video sparked much debate from people in Hollywood to everyday people with WiFi and a Twitter account. The hashtag #OscarSoWhite has provided a forum for discussion about diversity since last year, when the hashtag was made in response to another group all-white nominees.

Since the nominations were announced on January 14 the hashtag has still been active with people’s varying opinions. This issue has become so prevalent that it is beginning to take over topic of discussion off of social media.

When asked about the hashtag, Academy Award-winning director Joel Coen (half of the Coen Brothers) told The Daily Beast, “[That’s] assigning way too much importance to the awards.”

Coen may be right because there are other hashtags behind other issues that may be of more relevance, but the point is this discussion is something that has to happen. The awards may not actually mean anything, but the conversations that it has sparked do. One thing to remember is that Twitter has been the driving force for many movements this past year, the Oscars is just one of them.

 

References:

Yamato, J. (2016, February 4). The Coen Brothers: ‘The Oscars Are Not That Important’. The Daily Beast. Retrieved from http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/02/04/the-coen-brothers-the-oscars-are-not-that-important.html?source=socialflow&via=twitter_page&account=thedailybeast&medium=twitter

 

Jada Pinkett-Smith. (2016, January 18). We must stand in our power. [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/jada/videos/10153983404106320/

 

Picture- Hollywood Needs to Fix Itself. (2016). Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2016/01/15/and-the-oscar-goes-to-a-white-person/hollywood-needs-to-fix-itself

 

 

 

 

Social Media: Uncut

By Denisha McKnight (@Denisha_Mck)

Bodies of victims at the Turkey peace rally, Oct. 10. Source: independent.co.uk
Bodies of victims at the Turkey peace rally, Oct. 10. Source: independent.co.uk

Over the weekend, Oct. 10, Turkey banned social media and media reporting of the Ankara terror attacks at a peace rally. The Turkish government has called for a “social media blackout”, where Twitter and Facebook will be blocked in this region.

This isn’t the first time Turkey has asked for a social media blackout. Turkey has, in the past, made numerous requests for Twitter censorship more than any other nation in the world.

Turkish government’s reasoning behind blocking social media was to prevent the leaking of graphic bombing photos, but this blockade did more than this. A social media blockade doesn’t protect citizens from violence exposure; it only hurts them.

Social media plays a watch dog role. Social media isn’t just a fun networking system. It also brings awareness to important issues such as terrorist attacks and government issues.

Source: http://news.rice.edu/
Source: http://news.rice.edu/

Social media blocking is blinding. Most people, 30%, get their news information from social media, so a complete social media blackout would leave many people in the dark. People would be less aware of issues that are going on around the world as well as what is going on in their proximities.

Referring back to the Ankara terror attacks, the blocking of social media and media reporting during this event has many negatives associated with it. The blockade disregarded the victims and the victims’ families, and the lack of media coverage was unfair to people all over the world because it withheld information from everyone.

Third-world countries are the biggest culprits for constant social media censorship in the news such as China’s recent action to censor social media messages and the Ankara terror attacks. Social media is a free space, and people from different countries should be able to have access to it.

The more other countries censor social media, the more people within these countries will be unaware of what is going on in the world. People have to know what areas are being affected by certain events, what the government is doing about certain issues, and what is going on in other countries, despite whatever risks are present on social media.

Social media censorship is not the answer. All sources of information should be free in all areas, so people won’t be left in the dark.

#IStandWithAhmed

If ever the power of social media was in question, it’s not anymore. Unless people in the DFW area (or in the world for that matter) have been hiding under a rock lately, you probably know what the hashtag #IStandWithAhmed means, whether you stand with him or don’t.

For the people that don’t know, the hashtag is referring to 14-year-old Ahmed Mohammed of Irving, TX.  He is a young boy with dreams of being an engineer who created a clock out of a pencil case.  However, when he showed his teacher the clock he made, the police were called and soon after he was arrested.  The school and the police seemed to think that he had really created a bomb.

Below is a photo of Ahmed and the clock he made.

http://cdn3.eaglerising.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/ahmed-mohamed-clock-bomb.jpg
http://cdn3.eaglerising.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/ahmed-mohamed-clock-bomb.jpg

It didn’t take long after he was arrested for the story to go viral on social media.  The primary website used for debate about the situation was Twitter, and there was even a hashtag started on Twitter (#IStandWithAhmed) that everyone used to speak about Ahmed.  I estimate that about 80% of people on Twitter were upset that Ahmed had been arrested, and used the hashtag to speak about racism that they believe is still alive in our country.

The hashtag became hugely noticed on Twitter, and it wasn’t long until President Obama himself chimed in on the matter.

https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/files/Screen%20Shot%202015-09-16%20at%207.14.03%20PM.png
https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/files/Screen%20Shot%202015-09-16%20at%207.14.03%20PM.png

Aside from just the President, a ton of other people, celebrities, and public figures chimed in in support of Ahmed and the clock he made.  Ever since that day, Ahmed has been on several talk shows and met with many influential people in the world.  None of this could’ve really happened for him had it not been for Twitter, and social media in general.  I don’t know that Obama would have even known about it had it not been for the hashtag started on Twitter and the huge blow up on social media sites.  Ahmed has had a life changing experience, and both bad and good things have happened.  Wherever you stand on the issue at hand, it is undeniable that social media played an enormous part in this situation.

Hannah Wyatt