Welcome to another week of highlighting the stories and achievements of BIPOC women. Aka, a space for you to feel joy, inspiration and empowerment!
Also, Think In Color is happening next week and I can’t wait. Will I see you there?
Let's get glowing
Think In Color!
There’s a seat for you at the Think In Color table! If you’re interested in starting or scaling a business, the Think In Color virtual summit on 27 July is the place to be.
The summit is hosted by XayLi Barclay and led by women of colour (WOC) entrepreneurs from around the world. They’re all experts in course creation, community building and digital product strategy. You’ll be in a safe space to learn, grow and connect with some awesome WOC (and allies).
I’ll be attending - will I see you at the (virtual) table next to me?
News, News, News! 📰
Polar Preet is back at it ⛷️ Preet Chandi will be the first woman to complete a solo and unsupported journey across the entire continent of Antarctica. Impressive, right?! ICYMI, Preet was the first woman of colour to complete a solo, unaided trip to the South Pole. So, she knows how to kick goals. A final bit of inspo for you, straight from the snow queen herself: “… no matter where we are from, no matter what we look like, we can achieve anything we want.”
See also: Pauline-Jean Luyten is the first woman of Tongan and Pasifika descent to be appointed to the New Zealand Rugby Board. And: Women’s football is on the rise in England. But the diversity? Not so much.
Constance Wu returns! 💜 She’s opening up about her mental health. Constance stepped away from the public eye for 3 years after facing backlash for a (pretty non-controversial) tweet. That backlash caused her mental health to suffer. Her key takeaway as a woman of colour public figure? Representation matters. But we need to be able to bring our whole selves to the table.
See also: Averie Bishop, the first Asian American Miss Texas, is highlighting that it’s ok to say no when you know something will not benefit your mental health. The lawyer to be is also using her platform to show why diversity and inclusion is important 👏🏾
Extra Nuggets 👀
- Celebrate. Commemorate. Educate. 🌏 South Asian Heritage Month (UK) is here! Check out the full calendar of events.
- “Beauty looked liked Margot Robbie.”🪞 Ella McLeod on her journey to finding beauty in her blackness.
- Squad, Squad, Squad! 👊🏾 ICYMI, AOC et al. (aka “the Squad”) attended and were arrested at an abortion rights protest at the U.S. Capitol this week.
- Sona Jobarteh is breaking tradition 💫 She’s the first ever female virtuoso player of the kora (a 12-stringed harp dating back to the 18th Century). Tune in - her work is mesmerising.
What we’re loving this week:
Read - Wylah: The Koorie Warrior. Yes, it’s a kids/tweens book, but it’s nice to tap into your inner child once in a while! The story of Wylah is inspired by First Nations history and grounded in culture - an informative and fun read whether you’re based in Australia, or beyond 🪃
Beauty - Niyam Wellness fortifying hair oil. I’ve been using this for the past year and have seen the strength of my hair go from zero to one hundred. It smells beautiful too 🌸
Recipe - Chef Priyanka’s Lemon Pink Peppercorn Fusilli. It’s simple, fresh, flavoursome and vegan friendly! I’m in Italy at the moment so very obsessed with spicing up my pasta recipes 🍝
Fallon Gregory: Making The Influencer Industry Better For BIPOC Creators
Image: via Fallon Gregory
If you’ve been around here for a while, then you’ll know Fallon Gregory. We had the pleasure of chatting with her last year about her career journey as an influencer.
Fallon is a proud Bardi-Kija woman from the Kimberley, and is based in Perth, Western Australia. She’s a busy mum of two and the founder of InfluenceBlak: a resource to help emerging, young First Nations (Blak) creators navigate the social media space.
We caught up with her to learn more about InfluenceBlak and what Fallon hopes to achieve with the resource.
How and when did the idea for InfluenceBlak come about?
InfluenceBlak was born about a year ago from the lack of information and accessibility for Black fellas that wanted to venture into the influencing space.
I was one of the first Indigenous influencers in this industry. And I had no information or resources about how to pursue modelling or influencing and take that as a career - especially using a tool like Instagram.
Once I became established, I had an influx of young and emerging Indigenous creators and influencers entering the industry coming to me with questions. A lot of them were asking things that I think everyone should be aware of before entering the industry - like what rates to charge for a job or whether to accept a gifted product as payment for content.
So, instead of having all the questions and answers in my DMs (which I don’t mind receiving, I love that one on one interaction!), I decided to create a resource! This helps emerging creators and influencers to use the resource, take the information that they need or want and apply it to their endeavours.
What can young influencers and creators expect from InfluenceBlak? What do you want to achieve with it?
I see InfluenceBlak becoming the go-to resource for up and coming creators. A place where they can have all the information they need, and to have that information readily available. A place where young creators learn how to make themselves their brand - because that’s what you need to do with social media platforms like Instagram.
I want to make sure Blak creators know how to navigate social media spaces, and understand what’s required of them and also how to promote themselves, so they can succeed. We need to support more Blak creators to succeed!
There’s a lot more resources that I’m planning out, including talks with Blak creators. The industry, this career and social media is always changing and there’s never a shortage of topics to talk about. There’s more coming soon - so follow InfluenceBlak to keep an eye out!
What are your top tips for Blak creators and BIPOC women on how they can blaze their own trail?
I have three tips!
- Be authentic to yourself. When you’re authentically yourself - especially on social media - you’ll find that the people in your community are genuinely there for you. And you also connect with people that align with you. Through being authentic, your community will support and empower you, always.
- Genuinely interact with the people in your community - this applies to those in social media, but other industries too. If you can’t, simply communicating that you would love to help out don’t have the capacity to engage right now will go a long way. Those in your community will understand, as they know the journey you’re on.
People like to feel genuinely seen and heard. In my industry, one thing I like to do is use the question boxes on Instagram. It allows my followers to have their questions answered, and I’m not overwhelmed by lots of DMs. By answering one question, you’ve probably answered other people’s questions too - because a few people were likely to ask the same thing.
- Don’t take what people say to you personally, especially people online! This is especially important for Blak creatives, for First Nations creatives. I’m not saying that to invalidate your feelings. Because BIPOC can experience some very blatant and disguising racism. And it’s hard - that’s someone attacking your identity, your culture, your presence. Obviously you’ll be affected by that - and that’s only one part of it. People can attack your appearance, your sexual orientation, your disabilities. To have to deal with people attacking you is hard. You’ve got to find your coping mechanisms for that stuff, and protect your space.
I’ve had people try to tear me down. There were racists swarming my page at one stage because I was a succeeding Blak woman. Let’s face it, the last thing the world wants to see is a successful First Nations woman. I just don’t deal with it anymore - I still get racist comments. But if I don’t address it, my community comes together and has my back. They call it out because they know that it's wrong, and I don’t always have energy or space to address these kinds of comments.
So take what people say with a grain of salt, because if anything, they are threatened. Because they wouldn’t be trying to tear you down if you weren’t doing great things. They wouldn’t be trying to invalidate your lived experience. Just keep it moving (and block people if you need to protect your peace). That’s when you’re going to be able to flourish unapologetically in your space - because you don’t have garden worms affecting your flowers.
One Lioness To Another
"Never be limited by other people's limited imaginations. If you adopt their attitudes, then the possibility won't exist because you'll have already shut it out."
-Mae C. Jemison