Spilling the Tea with Francisca Rockey - Who's that girl?

Photo by Jodie Mitchell
@jodiedcmitchell / jodiedcmitchell.co.uk

Who is Francisca Rockey?

One of my favourite women in the world is Francisca Rockey. Open, honest and full of sass, Fran keeps it real on social media, particularly Twitter, often confronting issues face on and forcing people to address what's really going on in a given situation. You might not have heard of her before, but you're about to get to know her now! We've got a big ol' interview with the lady herself, broken down into five segments and shared with you every day this week!

Spilling the tea on boys, bloggers and being a young black woman in Britain, you'd better take a seat and get comfy... you could be here for a while.

For those who might not have heard of you before, can you fill everyone in on who you are and what you do? 
I'm Francisca (pronounced Fran-sis-ca) Rockey, an 18 year old lifestyle blogger on a gap year. I'm African, born in Barnet, North London. I currently live in Luton but I'm in and out of London all the time! As well as being a blogger, I work full time juggling various jobs to fund my 2019 travel plans and to try and make sure I start uni in September with a bit of cash behind me!

Tell us three interesting facts about you!
I speak more than one language, I'm ambidextrous and I've never broken a bone!

When you're not working, what are we most likely to find you doing?
If I'm not blogging, I'm at the gym or spending time with friends, shopping or in bed until the late afternoon, binge watching Netflix and eating pizza for breakfast at 5pm. (A girl after our own hearts, hey!)

Who is your biggest inspiration?
My biggest inspiration is Dunola Oladapo. If you don't know Dunola, get to know! She is the founder of Luton Lights, a Girls 20 Ambassador and part of the #iWILL Fund Leaders Board Commonwealth Youth Peace Ambassadors Network. She's an inspiration to many because you can look at her and think "I can be something and I can do what she's doing. I don't need to be from a wealthy background or a posh town to get or take opportunities." Hard work gets you to where you want to be! Her Instagram is @dunola_ so go and check it out!

Do you have any words that you like to live by?
"Lux in tenebris" I have this tattooed on my ribs. It's a Latin phrase meaning "light in darkness", a phrase that has stuck with me and is something I now tell myself whenever anything goes wrong. The meaning behind my tattoo is very personal to me - about six months ago, I was going through a rough time, and during that time a lot of things happened, a lot that has changed me mentally. During this time, I discovered a German dramatist called Bertolt Brecht and one of his plays, Lux in Tenebris, The play is about a moralist who campaigns for the closure of brothels - that part is completely irrelevant to my tattoo but it's interesting!!

So let's find out about the blogger in you...

How did you get into blogging?
I started my blog in 2014 after months of reading Zoella's blog in admiration. On June 22nd 2014, I decided to start my own and it's the best decision I ever made.

What kinds of things do you write about?
I used to write about fashion, beauty, lifestyle and fitness but now I see myself as simply a lifestyle blogger. I think having such a wide variety of topics was too much, I wanted a niche, something that you can identify me by.

With blogging being such a huge marketing tool nowadays, particularly in the fashion and beauty industry, what role do you think it plays in the recently highlighted 'fast fashion' issue?
People see their favourite blogger sporting a new pair of wide leg jeans from ASOS and they swipe up or click on the affiliate link and buy them. Say someone has 50,000 followers, that's potentially 50,000 pairs of those jeans that are going to be bought, and when they sell out, the brand is going to mass produce to meet demand. I could talk about the issues with fast fashion all day but I think Stacey Dooley's latest documentary on BBC 3 iPlayer explains it perfectly and highlights the environmental impacts.

Do you think bloggers can create impactful change, be that through campaigns, social media movements etc., or do you think the industry is still struggling to be taken seriously? 
Bloggers can create impactful change. With all our following combined, if we all promote the same message, it will get across to a large audience who will go on to share it on their own socials. I do think there is an issue with campaigns and social media movements, being that bloggers will retweet posts on Twitter discussing problems such as police brutality, global warming and so on, but will make no further comment on it and just continue living their lives as though there aren't issues that need addressing.

For example, we all know that diversity is a huge issue in the blogging industry, and brands like Benefit send the same type of bloggers on every press trip and use the same faces for every campaign - white, skinny, tall and blonde, everything the Western world regards as the definition of beauty. When a blogger of colour is on said campaign, they're ignoring the fact that the brand doesn't promote diversity and so the brand gets away with having just one or two dark shades. It's 2018, there's no reason why brands can't develop shades for every skin tone - it's just down to them not caring and wanting to make their brand exclusive by keeping their 50 shades of beige.

As for the industry not being taken seriously, I think it starts with our community. When we start taking each other seriously, then the public will take us seriously. And by that, I mean if we spend less time tearing each other down for what we post on Instagram, what editing style we use or how much we promote on Twitter and more time lifting each other up, showing support and healping one another then readers will reciprocate that.

Part 2 of Spilling the Tea will be live tomorrow, and we'll be talking all about taking a gap year... make sure you don't miss it! 

In the mean time, find Fran on Twitter at @franciscarockey and visit her blog at www.franciscarockey.co.uk

Love from,
Florence Grace

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