Black women have a big influence on social media. Our influence ranges from Vine to Instagram. Viral stars are “inspired” by Black women. The IG baddie look is inspired by Black women.
Let’s start off with a more recent phenomenon, “Hot Girl Summer.” You couldn’t go anywhere in summer 2019 without somebody using that term. It was coined by the hot girl herself, Megan Thee Stallion. It started off as just a thing between her fans, majorly Black women and queer people at the time. With Black Twitter being as influential as it is, the term reached white people. White people started writing articles trying to figure out what this term was. Where did it come from? Is it a meme? (it’s not) Then it became commercialized. Brands like Forever 21, Wendy’s, and Maybelline started to commercialized it. Luckily, Megan was able to trademark her term. I hope she got her coins.
Since we’re starting off with terms, let’s take it back to 2014 when Vine still existed. Remember “on fleek”? Eyebrows on fleek! Hair on fleek! Remember when white people ran it into the ground? Remember they tried to credit Kendall Jenner with starting it? Like “hot girl summer,” white people were trying to decode what this foreign saying meant. It was being used in articles and on television. Celebrities were using it. This term was coined by a teenager named Peaches Monroe. She never received the credit she deserved. This happened to a lot to Black kids on Vine. They started the trends, and the white kids who copied them became famous. Sadly, this has happened to Black people throughout history.
Unfortunately, this may be repeating with the new app, Tik Tok. If you use social media, you’ve heard of the “Renegade” dance. It’s everywhere. The creator of this dance is Black teenager named, Jalaiah Harmon. When the dance took off, it was Addison Rae and Charli D’amelio who were credited. The girls made their own version of the dance. This made them Tik Tok stars. These girls were creating tutorials and teaching the dance to NBA cheerleaders as if it was theirs. Thankfully, Jalaiah and others helped make it known who the creator was. After receiving backlash, Addison and Charli featured Jalaiah in their video with the original dance. Harmon went on to appear on the Ellen Show and at the NBA All Star game. If you pay attention to Tik Tok dances, you will notice that many of these dances are inspired by the “Renegade” dance.
Now onto Instagram. Specifically, the “IG Baddie” look. The “IG Baddie” is inspired by the Kardashians. The Kardashians copy Black women and the “IG Baddies” copy the Kardashians. Most of these girls have the same look: , fake butts, spray tans, or foundation that is ten times darker than they are. Throw in some Black hairstyles that’ll likely damage their hair. Some girls even go as far as to pretend be Black or racially ambiguous. Also known as “Blackfishing” or “Niggerfishing”. Isn’t it ironic that these non-Black women don’t get harassed for being artificial, but Black women do just for weaves?
The fashion of the “IG Baddie” is inspired by hood Black girls. You know the ones who were constantly dehumanized? Called hoodrats, ghetto, and trashy? Now ghetto is an aesthetic. Even soft ghetto is an aesthetic. What even is soft ghetto? Those fashion “trends” are recycled from the 90s and 2000s. Hood Black girls are the innovators. They created baddie fashion.
Black women’s influence on social media is evident. We inspire the slang, the fashion, even the features. When we point this out we’re gaslighted, even by our own. We get accused of being jealous and thinking we own something. You know because Black women are always angry and envious of non-Black women? Misogynoir exists. It’s the reason why we get negative labels for the same stuff non-Black people steal from us. We need to keep calling it out. Let it be known who the trendsetters of social media are: Black women.