Lack of Black love represented in mainstream online media

Ahead of World Mental Health Day on 10th October, Bumble has found that the lack of representation of Black love in mainstream online spaces has a negative impact on the mental wellbeing of more than half of Black people (52%) in the UK.

The recent survey also found that men were more negatively affected with just over two thirds (67%) saying the lack of relatable images about what it’s like to date as a Black person has a negative effect on their mental wellbeing.

Millennials were the most affected, with 66% saying the lack of representation negatively impacts their mental health and makes them feel stereotyped (34%), excluded (30%) and isolated (28%).

Throughout 2020, events have highlighted a lack of Black representation in mainstream online media. This extends to how people feel about love. More than half (53%) of Black people across the UK don’t see themselves represented in images of love and for many, this has affected their mental health.

The survey was conducted as part of Bumble’s #MyLoveIsBlackLove campaign which aims to better document Black love in Britain. Together with global culture studio Metallic Inc and leading British artists, actors, athletes, entrepreneurs and activists Bumble is sharing real, unscripted reflections of what love means to them.

The campaign aims to document and share joyful images and stories of Black love in Britain and diversify the narratives of Black experiences highlighted in mainstream media.

Throughout the month of October, you will hear from some of the many voices that make up the Black British identity, across gender, skin tone, heritage, sexuality, and location.

Voices taking part in the campaign include model Jourdan Dunn, presenter Clara Amfo, Olympic GB boxer Nicola Adams, model and entrepreneur Leomie Anderson, spoken-word artist George the Poet, rapper MS Banks, comedian David Whitely, Vogue Director Vanessa Kingori, Gal-dem founder Liv Little, presenter AJ Odudu, sex and relationship expert Oloni and many more all interviewed by author Yomi Adegoke.

Telling his story of Black love, George the Poet says, “I don’t think that Black love is usually portrayed in a way that would inspire our young people to have the healthiest relationships. It’s no secret what Black people are contending with and have been contending with for a while now. It’s no secret some of the speeches that we’ve got to give our little siblings and our children but when you couch all of that in love, tomorrow looks good. To me Black love means finding security in us, everything that makes us, our history, our insecurities, our fears, our hopes. And my love is a sure thing.”

Naomi Walkland, Head of Bumble UK & Ireland says, “Growing up in London, I saw so little of myself reflected in images of love and relationships that I consumed. And when I did, it rarely represented the Black British experience. At Bumble, we have a role to play in how our community, particularly millennials, think about love and relationships. Through this effort to document and amplify British Black love stories, we hope to better represent the breadth of love in the UK.”

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