As we approach International Women’s Day on March 8, National Indigenous Times is spotlighting the stories of strong, powerful Blak women across the country.
Kija/Bardi Jawi woman Fallon Gregory is taking the social media world by storm.
Here she discusses Blak visibility in the predominantly white social media influencer space.
No one was present, nor able, to direct and guide me into to space that I, alongside many Indigenous sisters, now dominate.
We are pioneers; cultural women with ancient bloodlines now submerging ourselves into a modern world of technology and social media which is unnavigated by the generations before us.
Having been dismissed, discarded and silenced for so long we voice ourselves unapologetically and proudly via our platforms, representing our families, our communities and our people as we toe the line daily between an ancient culture and a modern society.
We demand our space; and we are not only creating our seats at the table but creating the table itself, reclaiming the spaces and opportunities our foremothers were once stripped from and denied.
I never set out on social media to become a public figure or a figure of representation, yet as the women before me in my matriarchal lineage, I have become one.
This was never deliberate or intentional but came to fruition by combining the knowledge passed down to me, my first-hand experiences and my undying tenacity to amplify my people, our successes and our injustices to the masses.
Taking on this role is an issue I often find myself in debate with internally, as to self-proclaim yourself as a figure of public praise was always seen at conceited or shamejob/thinkemself.
Now, by breaking down that inner dialogue and mentality by acknowledging my work, my voice, the hours I spend educating and holding conversations that haven’t yet been had on these platforms, providing insight into both my culture and also my personal life as an Indigenous mother, I am able to utilise this platform and following I’ve built from the ground up to create awareness, education and understanding where it didn’t exist previously.
To appear confident in these spaces is something I had to learn myself, and it was a hard lesson. It took lot of soul searching, a lot of self-praise and encouragement, trying to find the balance between humble and proud.
It took decolonising a lot of my own mindset when it came to issues like beauty standards, the differences in expectations when it came to people of different races, being a presence in any room I walk into, acknowledging I deserve to be in these spaces, saying what I need to say, and knowing I will be heard.
To now dominate in an industry that a year ago I was invisible in, whilst being a single mother to two, whilst being in the community, whilst raising money and awareness for the mob, and whilst breaking down racial barriers among so much more; is something I unapologetically take great pride in.
Every day I draw strength from the women and those who are female-identifying around me across all platforms, businesses and industries. I absorb their stories, life experiences, wisdom and knowledge and I apply these life lessons into my own life, being mindful I speak about so many of them when I speak of myself.
These women are my friends, my Aunties, my Mothers, my Grandmothers, my Sistagirls … all encountered within my short lifespan to shape me and better me as an individual. They uplift me in ways I can’t verbally express and I admire them for their never-ending love, strength, vulnerability and support.
I am me because of them.
By Fallon Gregory