Recognising what her 1.9 million followers already knew, beauty influencer Jackie Aina was recently honoured as the recipient of the first NAACP YouTuber of the Year Image Award, in recognition of her work advocating for more inclusivity and diversity in the beauty industry.
The awards, which recognise people of colour who have contributed to music, art, entertainment, and literature, took place on 15 January 2018, and our favourite celebs from the small and big screen showed up and won big, but it was particularly heart-warming to see Jackie receive her award alongside all of them, especially with growing acknowledgment that YouTube stars influence millennials more than traditional celebrities nowadays. With her tribe of more than 1.9 Million subscribers, Jackie certainly uses her influence to great effect.
As reported in Hello Beautiful: “The makeup artist and beauty guru gives us all the best of both worlds: classiness with all the latest servings of “tea” and truthfulness. In a world where authenticity– especially amongst larger influencers who have to consider what they do and say when it affects sponsorship deals–is questioned, Aina’s down to earth expertise on makeup and discussion of what it is to be a person of color in the beauty industry is nothing short of refreshing. One scroll through her feed and you will find everything from how to tutorials to product reviews.”
Her real and honest commentary on various brands and evaluation of new product ranges often draws criticism from trolls, but time and again she has proved that she is prepared to take them on. In an industry that too often overlooks catering for women with darker skin tones, her voice is a much-needed breath of fresh air.
Sharing her thoughts on winning the award through her Instagram page, Jackie said: “Super honoured to have been awarded this year’s @naacp Image Award for YouTuber of the year. Thank you so much @google and the @naacpimageawards for this incredible opportunity and reminding each of us that even if just through makeup, we all have the power to encourage social change. #naacpimageawards”
It’s no coincidence that increasingly brands are taking steps to have a wider range of shades and better representation of people of all colours in their imagery. No doubt thanks to voices like Jackie’s and others like her.
Congratulations Jackie on winning such a ground-breaking award!