There are different perspectives regarding how people deal with companies online. Some individuals only visit their favorite brand’s websites and buy products there with the occasional email notification. Others follow on social media and engage with whoever runs the brand’s page. And then there are those that work with brands on producing content to help market their products to future customers.
I began as the first type of person but have now morphed into a combo of the second and third type. I’m not an influencer, but I do create content for Sheek as a portfolio to show my ability to style, photograph, and share my looks. I do choose to tag certain brands and there are a few reasons for that.
- I tag BIPOC brands because they have so many more challenges than white owned brands and this can help them grow their audience. The larger their audience, the better their business will be and the chance to fund endeavours like size expansion are much more feasible.
- I tag some white woman owned brands because I have found many great quality and well fitting pieces from them. Several are leading the way in size inclusivity in this slow fashion space as well which is much appreciated.
- I find it helpful when I’m looking at a new brand to see items on different body types & skintones. There are only so many models per collection, so seeing fit notes and reviews from the community can really help me make an informed decision. I hope that when I show up in their tagged section, I can help others contemplating a purchase as well.
- It saves me from having to answer “where is that _____ from?” I’d much rather spend time commenting on the pros and cons of a more expensive item that a person may be considering.
I don’t begrudge people who choose not to tag any brands at all. Aja and Dr. Kiona shared the truth about how people of color aren’t seen as “valuable” by brands and not offered fair compensation for their work and free publicity if a brand is tagged for their large following to see.
I also don’t trust when an influencer posts about something they were #gifted. Seeing only positive views and the phrase “I’m seriously considering purchasing another color because this is THAT GOOD.”
Please. Spare me the fluff.
I’ve seen those same items for sale a couple months later with no explanation about changing their mind so I’d rather put my trust in people like myself. People who buy their own items and don’t have a PR relationship to protect so they can be completely honest.
Though I still tag brands for the reasons above, I don’t tag everyone. I don’t tag fast fashion or unethical brands because I don’t want to promote them. And who knows, perhaps I’ll stop tagging completely one day. But for the time being, I hope that I am able to show some representation of the item on a mid-size, medium skintone, petite body.
Until next time, stay Sheek!