"Big brands are willing to profit from black women without standing up for them." - #iStandWithMunroe
I used to be scared to use my blog to stand up for what I believe in when it comes to companies and brands because I'm not yet an ‘established’ blogger and I feared that it may stop brands from wanting to work with me if they thought my mouth was too big. If I said I'm not worried about how this post will be received I'd be lying but I'd rather be hated for being myself than be loved for pretending to be someone I'm not so I'm guna keep it 100, whether you & the brands like it or not.
L'Oréal started a new diversity campaign based on a new foundation line which included women of colour and a transgendered woman of colour who's name is Munroe Bergdorf. They were seen to be breaking the social norm and people were all for it.
The aim for this campaign is evidently to show the world that L'Oréal as a brand includes everyone from all walks of life and Munroe was excited to be a part of it which was shown when she tweeted "because we are ALL worth it" along with the other campaigners.
Shortly after announcing this Monroe wrote a comment on Facebook and started talking about racism, as far as I’m aware it had nothing to do with the company however L'Oréal learned of this and cancelled her contract with them.
What Monroe explained wasn’t wrong, in fact it was completely factual yet L'Oréal said that Munroes comments were "at odds with what they believe in." Munroe explained in an interview that racism is structural and systemic, we're not all equal and we're not all treated equally. She went on to say that it's all well and good saying you're not racist but what do you do to dismantle racism? If you do nothing then you're actually co-signing racism, which means you agree so you're racist too.
It seems to me that L'Oréal did this because they didn't want to be seen to have somebody speaking out against racism and rocking the boat, they didn't want people to think they're co-signing Munroe's statements so they disassociated themselves with her.
Instead of standing with her, attempting to try and understand her stance, why she said what she did and what someone like her goes through being a person of colour they fired her. If they really, truly cared about diversity they wouldn't have done that but to them, having her in their campaign is just another box ticked for them to be seen as inclusive of ALL people. Cheryl Cole is also included in their campaign and as some of you may or may not know, she was charged with hitting a woman of colour in a nightclub bathroom some few years ago when she took some items without paying for them and the toilet assistant tried to stop her, she was heard using racial slurs, yet L'Oréal have chosen to keep her on board which itself is an example of what Munroe was talking about, white privilidge.
They've now shown that they don't actually care about what POC are faced with daily, their only concern is protecting their image, yet they will still widen their range of products so that they’re inclusive of POC, in order for them to generate profit from them but would prefer if the campaigners kept their mouths shut about social injustice whilst representing the company.
The reason for this post is to explain to you that most brands will act similarly, pretending to be interested in diversity and they are but only to an extent and if it's beneficial for them.
If you're a WOC you know how difficult it is to find a foundation that glides onto your face and matches, without having to make a concoction of three different shades. When a company advertises new darker shades and seems like they're going above and beyond to make foundation shopping easier for you, it wins you over and makes you feel like there's finally hope but please make it your business to research the companies your using and what they stand for because unbeknownst to many, L’Oreal also have a skin whitening cream, you’re probably wondering what that has to do with anything but this also proves that they feed into and profit from our communities colourism issue which is extremely deep rooted and perpetuates self hate. They’ve made it evident that they don’t care for POC or their struggles,
Today I just wanted to let it be known that iStandWithMunroe and every other POC that has been treated unfairly whilst standing up for their rights or speaking out about injustice. I personally believe everybody involved in the campaign should speak out against L'Oreal but I think people will be scared to lose their jobs if i'm honest. If you're reading this i'd urge you to do what you can to stop things like this happening. Even if you're not a POC, if we stand together we can tackle this.
Thanks for reading,