Influencers Uncensored: with My Own Sense Of Fashion
We have said goodbye to our popular Bloggers Uncensored series to make room for the new and improved Influencers Uncensored! You're probably wondering what the difference between the two is outside of changing the name slightly and how it's "new and improved". Well, in this new series we've expanded it beyond just the blogging community to involve all social media influencers and youtubers! We'll also be diving deeper into the life of an influencer, racism, mental health, feminism, LGBTQ+ and so much more! Have you ever wondered what your favourite influencers really think about the topics that matter? Well now you'll find out in this raw and uncensored interview series!
Intrigued? Good! Because it's time to introduce today's Influencer...
Everyone meet Tamarah Brown, the blogger, fashion writer and influencer behind the fashion blog My Own Sense Of Fashion. Based in Mobile, Alabama, Tamarah is a graduate of Academy of Art University and she has worked with international fashion professionals & brands from different aspects on the industry. Tamarah's writing has been featured on fashion websites such as Luevo, Trendy Bomb (formely Minnstyle Fashion Boutique), and Karlene Lindsay Designs where she served as a guest contributor. Her blog covers all things fashion related and more from a global standpoint, and also offers her fashion blogging and writing services.
Tamarah is really killing the game! Such a queen!
Life as an Influencer...
What initially made you get into blogging and influencing?
Honestly, I also had a love of writing and fashion since I was younger. I was looking for a way to combine both and that's where blogging came in. My blog originally started as a way to showcase my work during my undergrad days. I didn't start blogging regularly until graduating and started blogging professionally after that. As for being an influencer, I didn't start that part of my blogging journey until I built up an audience. In a way, influencing found me.
What is your experience of society's perception of pursuing blogging and influencing as a career path?
Oh boy! I had quite the experience of assumptions from strangers & close loved ones. Some common ones I get often are people underestimating the amount of work or money that goes into maintaining a successful blog. Then you have the people who overestimate the amount of money that I receive from blogging or assume that I get everything for free. While I have been very fortunate in my blogging experience so far there are still plenty of goals that I am working on reaching. Blogging and influencing do often get a bad reputation due to a select group of entitled individuals. However, I have seen a good part of it. I had the privilege of meeting and collaborating with fellow bloggers. Also, I have seen so many pay it forward by extending opportunities to new bloggers, donating to charity, or purchasing their 1st home. I am always looking for ways to help new bloggers and influencers especially since so many have helped me out along the way. Whenever I get a little down from the criticism I think about whenever I receive feedback about a blog post or a link that helped someone out.
What are the pros and cons of being an Influencer in 2020?
I will start with the pros first. Some of the pros are that I can give back to my audience or community for their constant support (i.e. discount code or giveaways). Also, I can help my family financially and put back money into my blog. I have met and connected with great people through my brand work. Now, of course, there are a few cons. It does take a lot of work and money especially the campaigns. Also, you have to prepare for the unpredictable outcome. Sometimes an opportunity may run into a snag or the response might not be as warmed as you anticipated. Unfortunately, it does happen to countless bloggers and influencers regardless of their level. Lastly, you have to constantly find ways to stand out & still be yourself now more than ever. I approach campaigns, etc. by telling a story yet keep it real. For example, if I am working for a haircare brand I share with my audience where I need improvements in my haircare routine and give honest feedback. Your audience can tell when you genuinely like a product and that's why I am selective when it comes to my brand work.
What difficulties have you faced during your time as a blogger and influencer?
One of the biggest difficulties I constantly faced is financial uncertainty. I am a full-time blogger, but there are times where work is slow especially during certain seasons like what we are experiencing now. Thankfully, I have a great support system and find different ways to generate revenue. Another difficulty is building my blog overall. Let's just say there has been a lot of trial and error over the years. As for being an influencer I am still consistently pitching myself to brands and sometimes being turned down for several reasons.
The Influencer community is huge, who are your favourites to follow right now?
Great question. Obviously biased aside some of my favourite influencers just happen to be my friends or we have worked together previously in some capacity. There are so many influencers to choose from, but I will say some of my favourites are:
Chrissy of Whimsical Fawn
Cris Zaragoza of Styleanthropy
Tiffany Turner of I Love Me So Much
LaShoundra Young of Young At Style
Kayla Denise of With Love, Deni
Let's get deep...
Recently the Black Lives Matter movement got the world's attention. Racism is finally being talked about openly, and white privilege is being acknowledged. What is your opinion on the BLM movement?
As a Black woman, I a still forming my opinion and learning more about the movement itself. Overall, while we have made progress there is still a lot of work ahead and will require all hands-on-deck. Everyone is not going to contribute to change in the same way. I think what is important is that action is being taken and comes from an authentic place. Lastly, I think whether you are a critic or still learning you can benefit from learning more about the actual movement. Don't just make assumptions especially for those who have at their agendas.
Although the protests have mostly stopped for the time being, what can we do to make sure the movement and black lives continue to be supported?
I think they are still going on in places, but they just aren't being covered in the media as much due to them being mostly peaceful. Also, some of the instigators not connected to the movement aren't as present at protests. I have still seen a few protests in my local area and from people in different areas live from the front lines. As for what I can do I will speak for myself. I have found ways where I can use my platform. I continue to share resources, promote Black voices, etc. As for others, I would say find the best way to show support online and offline. As I mentioned previously you have to find which method works best for you.
What does the word "Feminist" mean to you?
Personally, a Feminist means fighting for women's rights, equality and so much more. I believe women should not only be paid fairly, be respected, and in charge of decisions that affect them directly.
In 2020, how important do you think the feminist movement is?
The feminist movement is very important especially over here in the United States. There has been some progress that has been made, but there is still much room for improvement. Unfortunately, some issues can be within the movement such as some Black Women not always feeling included.
There has always been such a stigma surrounding mental health, how do you feel mental illness is being portrayed in today's society?
Full disclosure: I am still learning and researching more about mental health. With that being said, I believe there is still a huge stigma surrounding mental health. From what I do know it is either not enough representation or discussion in media. Another thing I have seen is often mocked or dismissed altogether. It does a disservice & people suffered because of it.
What can we, the government, and society do to progress mental health services and end the stigma surrounding it?
First, I think all three mentioned could benefit from being more informed on ways to effectively provide better mental health services. For us as individuals and society that means listening to mental health experts along with people who benefit from the services. As for the government, I think there needs to be more funding for these services as a whole & ways to educate people to be more understanding. I know for a fact in my hometown there have been several mental health facilities that have been shut down due to lack of funding.
As an Influencer, you have to spend a lot of time on social media. Do you get affected by online trolling; whether it be directly or indirectly?
This is one of my least favourite parts of being in the blogger & influencer space. Unfortunately, I have to deal with it in both respects. Usually, I don't give trolls the response they are seeking. I am a block & report kind of girl. LOL! I get annoyed more than anything and can't imagine dedicating that much energy to harassing a stranger. At the end of the day, I know some people are trolls because something is going on with them & and nothing to do with you.
Do you think social networks are doing enough to combat online trolling? If not, what can they do?
Speaking from my personal experience, I still think there is plenty of room for improvement. Online trolling is out of control, especially on social media. I think they should take cases more seriously when first reported. Also, make it so trolls can't hide the IP addresses to make multiple accounts for harassment.
Do you believe we are all individually responsible for stopping online trolls? What can we as the users do to help stop them and protect others?
I wouldn't say we are responsible for stopping online trolls but rather how we respond to them. I think we as users can try to stop it before escalates. Also, hold those who are in charge (i.e. social media teams, etc.) accountable and find the best ways to address this issue for everyone.
How much acceptance do the LGBTQ+ community receive in your country?
As a whole, my country has a long way to go. While it isn't as restricted in comparison to other countries acceptance is still a work in progress. Progress is being made, but there are still major roadblocks to get over. I am still educating myself and focusing more on listening to what the community has to deal with daily.
In your opinion, why in 2020 do you think some people, cultures, and countries still have a strong dislike or disdain towards the community?
Some of it is based on how people were raised, are afraid of change, and lastly based on their religious beliefs. It is going to take more unlearning of harmful beliefs and willingness to change.
In your opinion, what is the biggest issue we as a world are facing?
It is hard to say what the biggest issue, but I guess I would say racial injustice, inequality, and women's rights.
What does freedom mean to you?
True freedom to me is not having to constantly be in fear for your life and to be able to live freely within reason.
What else do you feel passionate about?
I am very passionate about paying it forward, using my platform for good, and woman-owned businesses.
Let's end this with some fun 'This or That' questions...
Tea or coffee?
Text or call?
Summer or winter?
Love or money?
Book or movie?
Meat or veggies?
TikTok or Youtube?
Fame or quiet life?
Night in or night out?
. . .
There's a new Influencer every Monday and Sunday at 6pm GMT, see you there!
If you're a blogger, influencer, youtuber or content creator and would like to be interviewed for the Influencers Uncensored series then please email me at - firstname.lastname@example.org or DM me on Instagram.
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