Written by: Talia Hubble
To my Instagram-loving Twitter-using blogger friends and followers,
It’s all too easy to take a stance of political indifference when actively pursuing a career, or side hustle, like blogging. I get that, I really do. I find bloggers and influencers often avoid discussing politics for fear that it will change their followers' perceptions of them. You are, after all, not a celebrity—you don’t have fans, but followers. You’re a person who has carefully built a sphere of influence by sharing your likes and interests. You’re a thoughtful curator, but your following is tangible, lose-able, gone in seconds if you become boring, basic, or say the wrong thing. Out of fear of losing your influence all together, you chose to steer clear of topics that may hinder your image. But what you may be failing to consider is the privilege and responsibility that accompany your influence. Your followers place trust in your opinions and choosing to only share your thoughts regarding the hottest new hair trend (albeit enjoyable) is a wasted opportunity on its own. Although your online personas are meticulously made to attract followers, honesty with regards to topics outside the dressing room are sometimes necessary.
"Your followers place trust in your opinions. Choosing to only share new hair trends is a wasted opportunity."
To me, Charlottesville was catastrophic and heartbreaking. And it's not the first time a recent tragedy has left me questioning my priorities. It felt awkward not addressing a white supremacist rally while simultaneously deciding how to post a makeup tutorial. The kind of self-reflecting that made me acutely aware of my place in the world and pushed me to share my opinion.
It felt awkward not addressing a white supremacist rally while simultaneously deciding how to post a makeup tutorial.
I get that blogs are like havens, I have one myself. I love clothes and glitter and makeup and art and traveling as much as the next girl, but the world is a crazy place right now and choosing indifference is a privilege. There are a hell of a lot of people that would kill to have a platform to share their voice. I’m not saying you need to speak up on behalf of every hot social issue or every horrible thing that happens (let’s be honest, there’s a lot going on), but if something hits home and makes your heart hurt, speak up. Who knows, you may light the fire in a young girl living in remote Kansas who’s entirely unaware of the recent mudslides in Sierra Leon. I’m not taking shots at Kansas, it’s my home state, but you’d be surprised how geography impacts exposure. Point being, sharing your voice may ignite the fire in someone else who may not otherwise be exposed to calls for positive change.
I pride myself on being authentic and authentically, real-life me wants you to know where I stand. I’m Jewish and to keep my mouth shut at a time when Neo-Nazi’s are openly congregating is more than apathetic, it’s irresponsible. It's harmful. If you've gotten this far, I respect you for being open-minded enough to read this. I hope you respect me, at the very least, for being honest. I implore you to speak up and speak out when something strikes home. Your followers are invested in your opinions, not turned off by them. Use your platform to start a conversation and create positive change.
I look forward to it,
Need some ~inspo~? Here are some peeps in the public eye who aren’t shy to share their voice and stand to lose brand dollars:
@cleowade - poet, speaker
@sonyaesman - blogger, youtuber, feminist
@jooleeloren - illustrator
@iamclayofficial - singer and outspoken activist
@ariannawrotethis - editor-in-chief, create & cultivate
Are there bloggers and influencers you love who are sharing their opinions in ways that matter? Tag them in the comments below.