VSCO Launches New Initiative Spotlighting Black Joy

VSCO has launched a new creative series in support of Black artists and online communities.

Spearheaded by VSCO’s Shavone Charles, the #BlackJoyMatters initiative aims to spotlight Black creatives creating work that centers their joy and is far beyond just the trauma and adversity we typically seen online.

Related | Seven Black Artists You Should Know

As such, the platform will start amplifying the entire spectrum of the Black diasporic existence to its millions-strong community starting today. But by allowing a number of Black creatives to reclaim “joy, healing, and wellness,” Charles says the hope is to “help the world see a more holistic picture of Black Stories and Black joy through our lens, vs what’s portrayed by the outside world.”

VSCO’s program will run all summer long and kicks off with an open call for their #BlackJoyMatters Art & Portrait Series. The company will also be debuting a new, curated in-app carousel of images posted by VSCO users. Additionally, they will continue to update their Melanin Collection page, which has spotlighted everything from Black queer creators to Nigerian style bloggers.

Check out the initiative via the VSCO app now.

Photo courtesy of VSCO / Black Joy Matters

Emma Chamberlain Hates Being Called an ‘Influencer’

Turns out being dubbed a high-powered influencer has its downsides — at least, according to Emma Chamberlain.

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While speaking to Cosmopolitan for their February cover, the popular YouTuber — who has over 8.5 million subscribers — got real about her distaste for the term “influencer,” and even went so far as to call the designation “disgusting.” But why exactly?

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“If someone is calling me an influencer, they’re saying that my job is to influence, and I don’t think that’s true. I prefer to entertain and be a friend,” Chamberlain explained, before adding, “I don’t want to influence.”

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Related | Why the Ideal Influencer Looks Like… That

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Not only that, but Chamberlain later admitted that she herself is still a little mystified by her success, saying, she’s often wondered, “‘Why has this worked?'”

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But perhaps it has something to do with the fact that she says she tries not to take herself all that seriously, telling the publication that she also likes to “make fun of YouTubers and I am one.”

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“I think of it as, ‘Why not play into it?'” she continued. “‘If you can’t beat them, join them?'”

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Yet despite being one of YouTube’s biggest stars and a VSCO girl icon, Chamberlain says she’s also had to deal with some serious mental health and body dysmorphia-related issues.

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“I just think that growing up on social media gave me eating issues as a kid. I literally have struggled with that my whole life,” she explained. “Almost every person I’ve met has had some form of an eating disorder. I mean, I’ve had… I don’t want to trigger anyone, but so many.”

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Granted, she’s since decided to stop editing her photos for her fans, arguing that they don’t “need to think I look like that. I look the way I look” — which, honestly, sounds like a step in the right direction. Let’s just hope this is maybe the one thing she does “influence.”

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Read Chamberlain’s entire feature, here.

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Photo via Getty