Okay, so this post is probably going to be all over the place, but I really need to get these thoughts out! Here we go…
First things first, God has really been opening my eyes up to some things, especially creatively. He has been speaking to me about the platforms that we have and how we use them. I just recently started my blog at the beginning of this month and I honestly did it on a whim. I truly had no idea which way I was going to go with things, even though I had the premise pretty much set. I knew I wanted to be a lifestyle blogger and post things about my crazy life and family, but that was pretty much it. From there I just created my site and started posting! Easy enough right? However, as I began posting and promoting my site, I started to feel a little bit off. I started to feel like I could possibly be headed in a direction that I didn’t want to go in. A direction that was focused on views, likes, comments, and shares. A direction that only posted things that I thought people wanted to see and read. A direction that focused on the “pretty” side of life. A direction that was just not authentic. When I started to feel like this, I had to really take a step back and ask God where he wanted me to go from that point? What did he want me to do? He literally begin to bring things to my attention that had been right in front of my face all along, but I never really thought too deep into them.
I have had my YouTube channel since about 2012, so basically a pretty long time. When I first started really watching YouTube heavily, I mainly was interested in natural hair and makeup videos. Recently, I have been really questioning why almost five years later, all I STILL see on YouTube are mostly hair and makeup videos? Like even more than I did when I first started watching! I totally believe that this type of content has it place and value, but at the same time I don’t believe that this type of content should be the only content that is VALUED. There are so many different types of vloggers, bloggers, content creators, influencers, etc. out there these days that I feel get swept under the rug because our society puts SO MUCH emphasis on looks and outward appearances. Not only are physical looks and appearances portrayed as uber important, but even the way we perceive or make our lives look and appear has become a major obsession. I know aesthetically when things look nice, people are naturally drawn to them. So business wise I completely understand why we want to make things “look” nice, but at the same time we need to be able to push through that and show what is REAL. Now, I am not saying that someone can’t always be slayed head to toe and always on the go, but where are the people that don’t do these things? Where are the people who have REAL STUFF going on? Where are the people who live just simple and average lives? Most importantly where are the people who aren’t AFRAID or don’t mind showing these things?
I am honestly not trying to belittle or speak ill of anyone. These are truly just my observations. I honestly wasn’t even going to say anything, but after I watched a YouTube video where a vlogger was actually encouraging another vlogger for having “drama” on her page, I seriously wanted to just get this out. I kind of spoke a little about this on my Instagram story today, but I needed a bigger space to get it all out lol. It’s just scary how God blesses us and allows us to have such easy access to platforms and we just use them any kind of way. Instead of really using our platforms as a way to deeply inspire, encourage, uplift, and be transparent with one another, we use them for self-promotion and surface level expression. I am including myself in this. I truly believe that my blog was headed in this direction just because everyone else was “doing” it. You know how just because everyone else is doing something or does something a certain way and actually being successful, then you feel like you have to do it that way to? I honestly felt like okay, I’m going to do these kinds of post because my viewers will want to read that and I will do this because xyz person does it and it makes business sense and blah blah blah. WHO CARES?! If I am going to have a platform, I want to use it to actually SAY something. I want to use it to actually STAND for something. That something doesn’t have to be something big and controversial either. It can be something as simple as representing real moms, with real issues, and real struggles. Being that voice and representation that I honestly feel like is so few and between. With all the things going on right now in our world, I feel like we need to use the voice and platforms that we have been blessed with to really move things in a positive direction. If that means that you vlog your daily family life so that you can portray a positive image of a black family or blended family…DO IT. If that means you do a video talking about being a single mom…DO IT. If you write a blog about getting over depression or how to remain positive in trying situations…DO IT. After the last two recent shootings of innocent black men this past week, out of all of the YouTubers that I subscribe to I only saw ONE creator post a very touching video speaking on the issue. Now, I totally understand some people might not be comfortable talking about such things, but at least acknowledge it. Start a dialogue. DO SOMETHING and everyone’s something is going to be different.
Okay Ivory. So what are you going to do? Well guys, I honestly only have a couple ideas of what to do at this point.
- Support OTHER content creaters. I have started to follow other mommy, lifestyle, and family related channels and blogs and such. I want to do my best to share and support the work of these creators. I want these creators to be valued just as much as the beauty and fashion creators out there. Of course I am going to support any and everyone that I feel led to, but I just really feel a personal charge to do more in supporting these types of creators.
- Be a CREATOR. I am going to stick to my guns and really produce content that speaks to my heart and soul. I want to write post that are going to penetrate past the surface. Of course I am going to post light-hearted things, because everything is
NOT THAT DEEP, but I do want to make sure that the content that I put out on my platform is moving things forward. One of my goals is to actually start vlogging and get my YouTube channel up because it is very important to me to share my past and current experiences with others. I know that the things I have experienced, am experiencing, and will experience are not just for me.
- PRAY. I am going to continue to remain in prayer and be God led in everything that I do (at least try to be). I want to make sure that in whatever I do, I am the light and the salt. I don’t want a platform if it’s just going to be a soapbox.
- Collaborate. I feel like this is another thing that God is really bringing to my attention. I just got done doing a collaboration with kokoandcoffee.com where I wrote about being a young mom and how it isn’t the end of my life. I LOVED IT. It was probably the first time that I really felt good about something I wrote (I can be a perfectionist at times lol). I am currently working on another collaboration for another mommy blog as well. I want to try and collaborate with other creators and even brands and move things in a different direction. I want to see brands do new things with new people and I’m sure you guys do to. Not saying that what is happening now isn’t great stuff, but I do think that we can move things a little out of the box because of course that is where even greater stuff happens!
I know this isn’t a really in depth plan, but this is what I have so far. I would love to hear you guys thoughts on this topic and I am completely open to ideas to add to the plan above and even some cool collaborations! I hope you guys enjoyed this post, but most of all I hope it spoke to your heart in some way. As always, remember to flourish!