Sydney, Australia – March 31, 2021 – Australia has long been known for its blonde hair and blue-eyed population but an increasingly popular platform aims to change that. AussieWOC is Australia’s first platform aiming to put Australian women of color front and center. Started by Ashlene Singh in 2018 as an Instagram page, the account gained popularity after June 2020 and the global uprising of the Black Lives Matter movement.
The team behind AussieWOC identified over 400 Australian fashion and beauty brands that were using white women almost exclusively throughout their marketing. Non-Europeans make up roughly 30% of the Australian population with a melting pot of cultures from across Asia, Africa and Latin America. However, they have less than 1% representation. The page demanded brands to pull up for diversity and while many of Australia’s top brands responded positively to the call for change, Singh says most brands didn’t stick with it.
“Far too long Australia has centered whiteness,” says Singh, the founder of AussieWOC’s anti-racist fashion and beauty platform. “Women of color, myself included, have been silenced because when we speak up, we are outcast from Australia’s beauty and fashion industries. From panels to news reporters to influencers, a majority of the opportunities here go to white people. At AussieWOC we are trying to change the global narrative of Australia and we’re starting with the beauty industry because it is influenced by the American market.”
The platform will touch on subjects such as the availability of dark foundation shades, performative marketing from beauty brands and the overwhelming whiteness in the wellness industry. Singh claims the appropriation of yoga is the tip of the iceberg for wellness, as the popular page examines cultural appropriation almost daily. “Indian spirituality is increasingly popular here but it isn’t inclusive and heavily white washed and offensively appropriated,” says Singh. The platform aims to bring awareness to these issues.
For more information please visit www.aussiewoc.com.
AussieWOC is a platform focusing on diversifying fashion and beauty by amplifying the issues of immigrant and second-generation women of color, along with educating white allies. Their goal is to change the face and voice of Australia to be more diverse and inclusive.