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Pinteresting while black

Posted on  4 February 15  by 

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by Monica Mason

As Pinterest becomes more popular with African American female consumers, blogger Rachel Wilkerson Miller calls out the popular social networking site for setting impossible standards for women in general, not to mention women of color. “Pinterest has earned a reputation as a site for Mormon housewives, mommy bloggers and basic white girls,” explains Miller, who set out on a journey to live her life according to the stereotype — allowing Pinterest to dictate every aspect of her life for one whole week.

Her experiment shows that while Pinterest sometimes serves as a great place to find tips and tricks for making magic in the kitchen or arts-and-crafting your way through the holiday season, the site lacks representation from women of different racial and ethnic backgrounds. When Miller visited Pinterest’s “most popular” page, it was a reiteration of the site’s most dominant presence, “which is essentially a collage of white girls with impossibly great hair, superhuman nail art skills, and apparently enough free time to create a tidy basket of ‘postpartum supplies’ for ‘every bathroom’ in the house,” she said (BuzzFeed.com, 15 December 2014).

So what are some popular Pinterest topics in the black community? Natural haircare for women and children, black fashion and beauty products, and tons of recipes ranging from traditional soul food and Southern classics to ethnic African cuisine. Much like Black Twitter, these topics are explored outside the site’s mainstream, rarely (if ever) making it to Pinterest’s “most popular” page. But as the site continues to grow and gain acceptance from a more diverse audience, perhaps this will change. Since the point of Pinterest is to inspire creativity, more diverse voices are likely a boon to consumers. Marketers can use the site to gain a deeper perspective into the diverse female consumer or drive diverse users to the platform through other social media sites.

 

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