DIBs newsletter 002: Representation Matters, a creator spotlight

May 13, 2024
Emmy Liederman
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Representation Matters: A creator spotlight

Lack of diversity in advertising is an ongoing issue. Though there has been progress made in recent years, there still are ads created that come off as blatant oversight or just outright offensive.

We spoke to creators and they agreed. 

They told us the lack of representation in advertising leaves them wondering if any of their favorite products are even meant for them. This is a big reason why creators from diverse backgrounds feel empowered when they have opportunities to represent their communities in ad campaigns.

We reached out to the creators in our network who’ve worked with household name brands and asked them why representation matters in advertising.

Here’s what they had to say.

andylalwani: Everlywell - Sexual health 2020

Andy Lalwani: “As a gay, Indian man, it can be hard to find myself in media or find people similar to myself to get education from. It's important for people to see themselves represented or else they may feel like products, lifestyles, or even everyday life routines don't match their identity. End of the day, representation matters. I am trying to pave a path for other gay, Indian men.”

Chic_dev: World Woman Foundation - World Woman hour

Qianwen Chen: “My personal stories are not personal anymore. They might inspire someone and encourage them to accept who they are and stand for themselves. We need to support each other as a community and as global citizens. I want to empower women around me. It [the World Woman Foundation campaign] was also an opportunity for my followers and I to learn more about the foundation. It gave us the resource to learn amazing stories from female mentors.”

limitlessbwl: Sephora Diwali 2020

Ilekkiya Suppiah: “Taking part in the Sephora Diwali campaign holds so much meaning to me. It was an amazing experience to be able to work with Sephora to showcase a holiday that I, and so many others grew up celebrating at home all of our lives. As a South Asian, I had never experienced or witnessed a campaign, let alone a national campaign, of this stature celebrating my culture. This campaign made me feel so close to home, especially in a time where I wasn't able to celebrate with all of my loved ones. 

The world is very different from what it was when I was a young girl. When I was little there was absolutely no one that looked like me in the media, and because of that it really did make me feel insecure and not good enough. Which was why I started my page in the first place. But now, in 2020 there are so many young girls and women that are out there showing what they've got and killing it! 

Having representation in big campaigns like this show the rest of the country or even world that we are here. That we deserve to be seen. That we have something to contribute too. Which is why it is so important to continue to have campaigns like this that showcase cultures and educate others.”

Lifeonabanjo: BPTN - BFUTR 2020

Laolu Onabanjo: “Being a young, Black content creator in major campaigns is extremely important because it exposes other Black creators to a career and an experience that has been saturated with non-Black content creators for a long time. That moment when I can use my journey to inspire someone else to experience the various possibilities beyond their immediate surroundings fuels and inspires me to be a Creator.”

glowbyabbi: Sephora - Diwali 2020

Abbi brabaharan: “Being represented in a big campaign such as this one is important because it works towards breaking these barriers that many women of colour continue to face till this day. I always wished for more diversity and inclusivity in the makeup industry as every culture has something unique and beautiful to offer. I hope that through big campaigns such as this one, dominant beauty ideals are broken and that the world can see, there really is beauty in every culture. 

My Inspiration behind this content came from my mother. Growing up, my mother would dedicate a lot of her time educating us about our culture and traditions. For Diwali or any other cultural festivity, my mother always thought it was important to wear bright coloured clothing, a bindi and flowers in our hair. Through this look, I was able to do exactly that as well as put together a bright and glowy makeup look to compliment my attire.” 

Theautismcafe: All Star Nutrition - Bio-Heal (for Children with ASD)

Eileen Lamb: “It’s always special to work with a brand that is genuinely part of our life and that I think is high-quality. I get inspiration from our daily life when creating content and I always strive to feature products in an organic way that truly represents how we use the brand in our life. Being represented in a national campaign such as All Star Nutrition makes me feel connected to other families and I hope families can relate to us and find my content helpful.”

These are just a few of the many stories shared about why representation matters and what it means to creators. 

We’d like to thank Andy, Qianwen, Ilekkiya, Laolu, Abbi, and Eileen for sharing their stories and always creating beautiful content.

Representation matters and creators will continue to keep your timeline diverse and as colourful as ever!

Stay well and healthy.

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