Pinterest is one of my favorite websites. I didn’t feel that way until recently. When Pinterest first launched, I didn’t have an interest in pinning all that I considered unattainable. Recipes? I’m too lazy. Dream houses? I ain’t got the money for that. Fashion? I’m fine at the thrift store.
I never deleted the account since it’s connected to my Facebook. I occasionally browsed through it when the mood hit me. Recently, I came to the realization that the site should be praised for at least one attribute: just type “Black women” into the search bar.
Articles, videos, images, products, blogs – all showing the diversity of Black women. I did the same with Google and got beautiful Black women.
The view from Google, however, lacked authenticity. I got a series of stock photos, granted the algorithms likely differ in a number of ways. The boards about Black women revolve around a number of topics – natural hair seems to have a great deal of importance. Images about natural hair include styles, hairstyling instructions, products, and models. When I googled Black women’s hair, I got images of mostly natural hairstyles.
The same keywords with Pinterest once again offered more diversity.
Beauty seems to be another topic of positive representation of Black women I discovered on Pinterest. Pinterest users embrace Black women’s curves. Furthermore, the representation of Black women’s bodies serves to defy the way society defines Black women’s physical fitness. Typically, we hear about Black women being overweight relative to other women.
The board Before and After Weight Loss Stories by Black Weight Loss Success defies that assumption. The board features over 2000 pins of Black women sharing their weight loss journeys. For the most part, Oprah Winfrey has dominated mainstream narratives about Black women and weight loss. With over 30,000 followers, this page reaches a demographic that continues to go unrepresented in the fitness and health industry.
How I Contribute to Positive Portrayals of Black Women on Pinterest
I have started to embrace Pinterest as a way to keep organized information about our favorite Black feminists. For instance, I have boards dedicated to Audre Lorde, Angela Davis, and Ida B. Wells. I also have a board about Black Women in Academia.
I suppose then one reason for the positive portrayals of Black women relates to who contributes to what is on the platform. The demographics skew toward women, meaning most of the users on the platform tend to represent themselves and other women in a positive light.
Do you have a board dedicated to Black women? Let me know in the comments.