Yesterday there were so many messages that were meant to empower women but if we don’t have a conversation about inclusion and diversity, the day was completely amiss. Women of color are constantly left behind even on a day celebrating women. All women need a seat at the table. I mostly write about travel but that intersects with fashion and beauty.
Personally, I have an intense love for beautiful beaches in the Caribbean and the culture overall. For that reason, I’m fairly well versed in swimwear and know what options are out there. Since 2015 I have always worn two brands: Mara Hoffman and Mikoh. They are great examples of an apples to apples discussion on inclusion vs. exclusion.
Mara Hoffman is not only an incredible designer who uses beautiful colors and prints in her swimwear, her models are diverse too. In fact, I found the most beautiful rug shop in Marrakech because of her.
On the other hand, Mikoh used International Women’s Day to post three photos and not one featured a woman of color. I received the message:
“Hi Lauren, thank you for taking the time to share your voice with us. We support and love women of all shapes, sizes, color, or background. Today more than ever we need to support women and how far we have come. Our two owners are half Asian and half Caucasian. We love all women and don’t look at color, just look at positivity and happy people. Thank you for supporting us throughout the years. We love the Biarritz on you throughout your travels.”
But that message didn’t align with what their page actually shows. If you post three on a day celebrating women and not one includes women of color, you aren’t including or celebrating all women. I won’t bother posting pictures of me wearing their clothes because I am no longer supporting or promoting brands that continue to exclude women of all ethnicities. The most powerful tools I have are my voice, my social media platforms and my spending power.