This is a special post because it’s my 100th Post! Cue the fireworks……
Lately, I’ve been noticing something. Something that gives me cause for pause. It’s not something that’s unique to the natural hair community, but it’s still problematic to see natural hair bloggers and vloggers do it.
Now….to the it. Just because you have a computer, an opinion, a blog, a YouTube page, etc., that does not make you exempt from standards of responsible journalism. Sounds harsh? Maybe, but I think bloggers should be held to certain standards. Let me break it down.
Problem #1: When well-known natural hair bloggers and vloggers do not behave responsibly.
Example: I was browsing the website of a popular blogger. In a disclaimer about product reviews, she basically stated that if she didn’t have anything nice to say, she wouldn’t say it at all. I’m paraphrasing, but does anybody see how this can be problematic? Your readers rely on you to provide feedback on products. Once you become a role model, expert, reviewer, etc., you have a responsibility to be fair and honest. Especially if a company gives you the product for free to review! Just because a product wasn’t great doesn’t mean you don’t write about your experience.
Think about it like this. Do restaurant reviewers only provide positive reviews about a recent dining experience? Or do they offer reviews, regardless of their experience?
*Raises hand*, “Uh,the second one”? Yup, that would be right. I’m not at all suggesting that natural hair bloggers and vloggers be mean, rude, or spiteful. I’m just encouraging them to provide balanced reviews. Say, “this didn’t work for my hair, but it may work for yours”.
Imagine you’re a natural newbie (or someone who just needs advice about hair products), and you subscribe to the blog of someone who doesn’t post “negative reviews” about products. You want to know how a new product works, but said blogger reviewed this product, hated it, and won’t post about it. Is that fair? In my opinion, no. I say make like “Men on Films” from In Living Color and let us know if you “hated it” or “gave it two snaps with a twist and a kiss!”
I’m just saying. *shrugs*
Problem #2 When bloggers and vloggers give out really bad advice!
Example: If you’re active in the natural hair community like I am, you probably saw or heard about those so-called beauty experts on TypeF. Believe me when I tell you that they had “experts” on there suggesting that women with natural hair use brushes on dry hair (see picture).
This is a huge no-no, and can cause breakage. This same woman told naturalistas to curl their hair using a curling iron, and keep it on the same spot for 60 seconds! 60 seconds! *Side eye*….Yes, I know this is an extreme example. But you’d be surprised.
It’s important to research, experiment, and think before you write. Besides, like it or not, you’re building an online brand and/or identity. The more popular you become, the more likely people will be to follow your advice and try products just because you did.
We, as natural hair bloggers and vloggers, must be aware of our roles!
Check back for more! *Update* See Part 2, Things Every Natural Hair Blogger/Vlogger Should Know – Part 2: “Oh, no she didn’t”