In the past, it’s always been trendy to include a person of color in marketing or promotional materials, and more often than not, the person of color was not Black, or a darker hue on said person of color’s race, which is leads to a common mistake in marketing, colorism.
Comma spliced sentence, colorism and undercurrent racism aside, here is how I, include BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) in my work. And if you’re wondering what makes me qualified to answer this question – aside from being black and having to play nice forever – it’s been my mission at charissestyles.com to avoid colorism and hire or book BIPOC for campaigns, commercial and all digital and print media.
Here’s the secret, the sauce, the answer to getting it right: Just Do It.
That’s it! All you have to do is intentionally select a BIPOC to your creative team and talent, and yes, that also means someone who’s skin color is darker than peanut butter. I could go into another history lesson about colorism and how it affects individual psyche and biases, but Google is still free in 2020. Just know, in 2020, when people don’t see themselves reflected in your social media, pamphlets, commercials, marketing, employees, executives - they are more than likely not going to support your business.
Plus, if you still don’t believe, just look into the BIPOC and specifically Black-buying power. You are missing out because you have not acknowledged or included us. As someone who has booked jobs for Coca-Cola, been on a few magazine covers and booked talent for other campaigns and features, you must reflect equitable and ethical business practices with inclusivity and diversity - not by pandering, tone-deafness and most certainly performative activism.
Venture out into communities that do not look like yours. Talk to your BIPOC friends. Hire an agency with a diverse portfolio of talent. Insist your social media managers and public relation firms source BIPOC talent - in front of and behind the camera.
There’a movement that has started on social media by Rihanna and has spread to the fashion and beauty communities - #pulluporshutup.
If you need assistance, guidance or a resource - visit charissestyles.com.