• Meet Dominique Baker



    A few years ago I came across Dominique Baker, the Canadian blogger behind Style Domination who lights up Instagram with her gorgeous smile and positivity. To me, she is exactly what the influencer world needs more of.

    I admired her for her encouraging personality and fabulous style, and when the BLM movement began gaining momentum, my admiration grew as she began using her platform to share her voice during a difficult time.

    Not everyone celebrated this shift, but she remained open and strong-- and has become a role model for many.

    I am honoured Dominique could share what this year has felt like for her:

    Hi Dominique! Tell us a little bit about yourself:
      Hi Leah! I am a public servant by day, and an Ottawa-based lifestyle influencer by night. I have been blogging now for five years and loving every minute of it. 

      As an influencer and someone in the public eye, have you experienced discrimination or racism online?
        Yes - most definitely. I have been called every name in the book, especially on Instagram and YouTube. It's gotten much better though as both platforms have tightened up their filters. I also get the odd micro-aggression from time to time.

        For example, some followers see me posting about Christmas, but still wish me a Happy Kwanzaa. They automatically think that I celebrate that holiday because I'm black. I also get "but...you sound so white!!" A LOT. That last one really bugs me. I correct people quickly when they say this.

        My parents sacrificed a lot to move to Canada to raise us in a great neighbourhood and to send us to good schools. Telling me that "I sound so white" minimized all of the hard work they put in to raise me well. How are black people supposed to sound anyway? 


        It's easy for us to look to other countries and think "well, it's not like that here". But growing up in Canada, what has your experience been like as a Black woman?
          I was lucky to grow up in Ottawa where I experienced little racism, but it's definitely there. I have been called the n-word several times on the playground as a kid. As a grown adult, I'm lucky to have not suffered too much racism. I get more "odd looks", especially when I hold hands while walking with my husband who is White.


          So often people are silent because they don't want to hurt anyone by using the wrong words. What advice or thoughts would you give to those who are crippled by being "politically correct" and remain silent?
            I advise them to COMMUNICATE!! I don't get this way of thinking. Ask questions if you're curious...and more importantly, befriend people who don't look like you. And if you see a BIPOC being bullied because of their race, SPEAK UP. If you don't speak up, you are part of the problem.


            What is something you wish people would ask you about this time? Something you wish they wouldn't?
              One thing I wish people would ask me well, is if I am ok. Those who didn't reach out...let's just say that our friendships are now "weaker" if not, non-existent. Something I wish people wouldn't do is be dismissive. There are a few people who I have confided my experiences in and they responded with the whole "Oh - I'm sure he was just joking..." about whatever racist comment or "I think you are reading too much into blah, blah, blah....". 


              Many of us (myself included) have been "shocked" by what we have learned over the past few months as we've watched the Black Lives Matter movement. What would you like to say to people who are only now just understanding the depth of racial inequality?
                "Ummm...have you not been watching the news or reading newspapers for the last few decades?" LOL. I have a hard time actually believing it when people tell me they had no idea how bad things are for BIPOC. Go travel the world. Go meet people of different races and cultures. Get out of your bubble!


                You always seem to find ways to add more joy to your platform. What keeps you optimistic? What has been something (if anything) good that has come from these last few months? 
                  I'm a naturally optimistic and positive person. Talking about things that make me happy and I know will make others happy keeps my platforms a positive space. Also, I surround myself with happy people...and my happy dog. That has been really keeping me optimistic.

                  Also, seeing people learning...loving their willingness to learn keeps me going. That right there is some of the good that has come from these past few weeks, along with seeing bad people being brought to justice.


                  I know many people worry things will slide back after the social media "hype" dies down. Do you think year 2020 will have a lasting impact?
                    Yes - I definitely think 2020 will be a game-changer. Personally, I love 2020. It's teaching us to respect each other...and to live our lives in a more safe and open-hearted way.


                    What is one action that everyone can take that you think would make a real difference?
                      Sharing information and resources on BIPOC. Resources to help others learn, help the movement, help the families of those who have been killed, injured, etc.


                      What are some BIPOC influencers or brands you would love to highlight and think everyone should know and follow?
                        Some BIPOC influencers and open-minded platforms that I adore and who share great information and positive messages are @chasingdenisse, @dietprada@asiyamigold@trevornoah...there are so many.


                        Where can people continue to connect with you?
                          On my Instagram at @dominique.baker and by visiting my blog at www.styledomination.com


                          Photos courtesy of Style Domination