Recently, I wrote a blog post about an app called Dote Shopping and how they use social media influencers to promote their brand. In the post, I go into depth about how these social media influencers are tied to the company and many people relate the two. Read my post here for a better explanation.
However, Dote has recently gotten a lot of backlash and criticism from the “dote girls” themselves, about the discrimination and racism they faced on these influencer promotion trips. Many of the influencers of color who had gone on one of these trips have spoken up about their experiences with the company.
Many of these women of color spoke about how they were mistreated, segregated, and left out of a lot of events. Kianna even spoke about how they did not have a hairstylist who knew how to style her hair. In the video, she talks about how she felt like the “token black girl on two trips in a row” for this company. Other YouTubers and influencers have also shared their stories about discrimination on dote promotional trips.
After several YouTubers and influencers came out and shared their stories, other girls who attended the trips to Fiji and Coachella responded.
Many of these influencers, including Kianna, Ellie, and Ava have decided to end their partnership with the company after the situation unfolded. The company had a response as well.
Since this statement, the company has released several photos of women of all different shapes, sizes, and colors to their Instagram page, with the caption “this is what dote looks like.” However, many people (even people who are pictured in the photos) were upset by these posts. They questioned why the company had not released these types of photos BEFORE the company had received backlash.
As you can see, this mistake cost Dote their positive reputation, many famous influencers, and several people following their social media and using their app. The way a company represents itself on social media is so important. A brand needs to think about all of the people involved when planning for a trip like this because nobody deserves to feel like many of these women of color felt.
All in all, this was an unforgivable situation that happened with Dote. However, it provides a valuable lesson for others to learn from in order to change their ways and not make the same mistakes. If you want to read more about diversity on social media, click here.