Jennifer Olaleye works as a freelance makeup artist, specializing in bridal makeup, in London. She's also a successful vlogger, boasting 55.6k followers on Instagram and 77,246 subscribers on her YouTube channel, where she makes video tutorials covering hair, makeup, and fashion. Olaleye, in addition to being gorgeous, has a ladylike, glamorous signature style — her favorite look is a classic red lip with winged eyeliner.
She's popular on the channels where she posts; the most frequently used words in her comments are "beauty" and "slay." But then a few days ago, she received commentary that was both racist and smacked of colorism, with users questioning "where dark skinned girls are getting this confidence from."
“I was quite shocked. I didn’t expect to see such comments on my page in 2016,” said Olaleye. “And then after I had gotten over the shock, I was angry and annoyed. I didn’t understand why they thought it was OK to leave such comments on my page.”
But she didn't let them get away with it. Olaleye put her commenters on blast, posting a screenshot in the hopes that their accounts would be deleted. “I feel like it’s not acceptable, and I just didn’t want them to get away with it,” she said. “I kind of just wanted them to know that you can’t leave such comments, and I also wanted their pages to be removed. It’s not nice to have that out there online. Social media is a place where people go to have fun and just enjoy and to look at other people’s pictures, and I didn’t want to them there, to be honest.”
Olaleye’s other commenters reported the accounts as well, and Instagram deleted them within a few hours. “Normally my comments are really positive and really sweet,” she said. “That was the first time that I experienced something like that.”
But these people aren't going to keep the blogger down. When asked what women of color should do when racist comments online, Olaleye said, “Keep doing what you’re doing, and understand that confidence lies within. Keep pushing and keep striving, and don’t let the negative haters affect you.”
(Photo: Jennifer Olaleye via Instagram)
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