Black fashion bloggers are the most sought-after celebrities on the internet, but some are struggling to find work, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center.
“The black fashion blogging community is a small but vibrant and vibrant group, but for the most part, the community is very insecure,” said Shauna Roper, a sociology professor at Rutgers University.
“It is difficult to get work, it is difficult for people to get hired because of the stigma,” she told CNN.
“There are no black bloggers working today, so the question is how do you attract a group of people that are already there, but they are also not looking to get a job?”
Roper is the author of the book ” Black Style in America: How Fashion Has Changed in the Last 100 Years ,” which explores the trends and influence of black fashion in the United States.
“We see the same kinds of patterns of stereotyping, of racial stereotypes, of stereotypes of black people, of stereotype of people of color, of people who are on the bottom rung of society,” she said.
“So, to me, that’s one of the things that I think is so striking about this particular study is the diversity of the group.”
The study looked at more than 6,000 black bloggers from 2007 to 2010 and found that there were more than 9,000 women of color who participated.
“Black women have been the primary subjects of black-based media in the last several years,” said Roper.
“And they are, for the first time, doing so in a way that reflects their actual experience.”
Roper said black bloggers are more likely to be male and have more education than their white counterparts.
They are also more likely than their female counterparts to be employed in the fashion industry, which is one of their biggest career choices.
The black bloggers she surveyed were more likely (57 percent) to be in college, and to be single, but also were more often female (42 percent) and had higher incomes (59 percent) than their male counterparts.
“So, they are not only working and working and having careers that are more rewarding, but at the same time, they’re also dealing with some of the issues that the black community is grappling with,” Roper said.
“And so, for them, they have these experiences, and they have their stories, but sometimes they are still feeling very insecure about their experiences.”
The researchers also found that many of the black bloggers surveyed reported that they felt marginalized by the fashion and beauty industries.
“Many of these women have come to the Internet and have experienced a sense of being completely alone,” said Dr. Laura Smith, a lecturer at the University of Michigan’s School of Journalism.
“They are seeing people who have been able to have a greater impact in the media world, but not necessarily having the same kind of access to the industry.”
“And when they see the lack of visibility, and the lack [of] agency that they’ve experienced, and have seen that they’re not getting the recognition they deserve, that is one reason that many feel that they are feeling isolated and that they feel very disconnected,” she added.
The report, titled “Black Style in the Digital Age: How Black Fashion Has changed in the 20th Century,” found that the growing black-focused media industry in the U.S. and around the world has a profound effect on how people perceive the black race.
“What’s really interesting to me is that, in many ways, it’s the opposite,” Smith said.
It’s the same with the digital age, she said, because “the technology of the digital era has given us more and more access to our black communities and to their stories and to how they experience their communities.”
“We have a lot of ways that black people can relate to each other on the Internet, and that’s what this report is about,” Smith continued.
“We’re talking about the ways that people can connect and relate to one another.
And that’s the way that we’re seeing our black lives and our black cultures grow and grow.”
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