None can deny that Youtube has redefined the game for beauty hopefuls. Whether you’re a makeup artist, groom specialist, or just an avid lover of the latest product launch, Youtube has the potential to give seemingly everyone a fair opportunity to make a name for themselves. With its reach, influencers on the platform have the potential to truly move a culture forward. Jackie Aina, a beauty YouTuber who boasts more than 1.8 million subscribers on the platform, is no exception. On Sunday night, Aina was honored with the NAACP Image Awards’ first ‘YouTuber of the Year’ award, an honor she’s truly deserving of given her immense work with creating inclusivity in our communities. For the night, she sported her signature throwback black curls while rocking a Zimmerman pleated, paisley-colored dress and a nude makeup look.
Aina’s personal perspective and honesty regarding how beauty brands service and cater towards Black women has proven she deserves a seat at the table. She earned the inaugural NAACP Image Award for YouTuber of the Year for using her platform to advocate for people of color and all marginalized groups.
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 best work oftentimes comes through evaluation of a product formulation or a brand’s shade range: is this really for all brown skins? Could they have added a few deeper shades? Did they think of women of color when making these options? These are all questions Jackie tackles in honest and truthful banter in her videos, teaching us all how to use our voices to speak out against brands that don’t think of our skin color but think of our “coints”, as she notes. And if you think she won’t tell you the truth when a brand has completely disregarded browner skintones? Think again.
The effectiveness of women like Jackie Aina come from not only just “dragging” brands, but also offering useful and guided help on how inclusivity can be achieved. From increasing models of color on campaign ads to ensuring that women on the deepest of the shade range have a variety of colors to choose from for foundations, Aina remains a vocal and outspoken advocate for people and women of color in an industry that seemingly still dismisses us. The best part? She does it all with a snatched face, a smile, and a personality that makes everyone feel warm and right at home.
Congratulations to Jackie Aina on this monumental award that is so deserved!