This weekend I’ve had the privilege of attending the 8th annual Blogalicious Weekend, the premier multicultural women’s blogging conference co-founded by Stacey Ferguson, a.k.a. Justice Fergie.
Yesterday’s agenda kicked off with a special talk presented by Dove and its #SpeakBeautiful campaign, which seeks to change how we talk about beauty online.
The presentation began with words from Luvvie Ajayi of the wildly popular blog Awesomely Lovely and author of the New York Times Best Seller I’m Judging You.
Luvvie has garnered much of her popularity through social media, which has afforded her amazing opportunities including working on major brand campaigns, interviewing Oprah, meeting Kerry Washington and Shonda Rhimes and even working the red carpet at the Academy Awards. She’s also used her platform to bring awareness to social justice issues and to co-found the Red Pump Project, a nonprofit organization raising awareness about the impact of HIV/AIDS on women and girls.
But Luvvie recognizes that social media can be both a gift and curse.
Dove research has found that 82% of women feel beauty standards set by social media are unrealistic and shows that 8 out of 10 women encounter negativity on social media and 72% of girls experience beauty critiques at least once a week. So what can we do about this? It’s time to #SpeakBeautiful.
One way we can do this, Luvvie says, is by sharing more realistic images of our own lives on social media. Be willing to show both “the glory and the grime,” she says. This is why while Luvvie may share with us pictures of her working the red carpet and meeting big name celebrities she also shows pictures of herself being completely exhausted by all the traveling she has to do.
Set a good example for the girls in your life by making sure you don’t get caught in the comparison trap. While it’s fine to be inspired by the images other women post on social media, don’t compare yourself to them. Don’t beat yourself up for not having Kim Kardashian’s body or Beyonce’s life or even your favorite blogger’s wardrobe.
Remember you are enough. This was a message repeated throughout Luvvie’s talk. You are enough!
In a world where social media reigns supreme we must know who we really are, Luvvie says. You need to identify your core values. (Luvvie says hers are honesty, integrity, justice, and shea butter!) And you need to be clear on what drives you. Luvvie is driven by freedom — freedom for herself and freedom for others. What drives you?
Knowing these things will not only help you determine what content you will share on social media, but will also help you keep the proper perspective.
After her talk, Luvvie then led a panel discussion with makeup artist Dre Brown, Claudia Krusch of the Latina beauty blog Trendy Latina and Marie Denee of the top-notch plus-size style blog The Curvy Fashionista.
During this discussion we were reminded of the importance of being aware of how we talk about beauty and our bodies offline, too. Compliment other women and girls every chance you get. Dre urges us to “Sprinkle that magic,” and says “You don’t have to subtract from someone else to add to yourself.”
Also make sure you don’t say negative things about your body in front of girls, especially those who look up to you. Dre even spoke about the importance of having a healthy relationship with makeup, which should always feel like a choice and not something you must to wear to feel beautiful.
Again the message “You are enough” came up. Marie Denee admits that this is something she has to remind herself of daily and recommends that we all do the same.
You are enough.