Fawn Wood of Saddle Lake First Nation, Alberta was among those who challenged Bianca Linaires’ posts | Robert Doyle photo
Popular blogger faces criticism for MMIWG comments
American makeup blogger Bianca Linaires is facing opposition from Indigenous people on both sides of the border
by Kristy Shaw
Bianca Linaires, a popular American makeup blogger on Facebook, is facing opposition from Indigenous people on both sides of the border about her comments on missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.
During a Facebook live video on May 5, Linaires referred to reservations saying, “You know that they have their own laws, and you know people can get murdered there and they don’t solve the murders.”
“Women go missing and they don’t do anything about it. I had no idea about that. I would never want to live there, I don’t want to get murdered and killed,” she said.
Some Indigenous viewers quickly took issue with the comments, saying her words were hurtful.
Later that evening, Linares posted a picture of herself holding up her middle finger with the caption, “Fun fact whenever I’m taking my makeup selfies I also do one giving the camera pa los haters.” She included an emoji with the middle finger.
May 7 Linaires hosted an Instagram live video to discuss viewers concerns.
Fawn Wood, a Cree woman from Saddle Lake First Nation in Alberta, joined in and told Linaires her comments were uneducated.
Wood also pointed out that Linaires posted the photo of herself giving the finger on May 5th, which is the National Awareness Day for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, which added fuel to that fire.
When asked how she felt speaking on behalf of Indigenous people to Linaires, Wood said, “I prayed to be able to communicate the issues of our people.”
“I prayed to be able to communicate the issues of our people.”Fawn Wood, Saddle Lake First Nation
Another woman, Desirae Desnomie from Peepeekisis First Nation, had also been asked by viewers to participate in the Instagram live with Linaires.
Although she did not go on, Desnomie said in an interview that she stopped following Linaires on Instagram because of the incident.
“What she says matters as a (social media) influencer, she needs to understand the impact of her uneducated opinion.”
A petition quickly began to have Morphe cosmetics remove Linaires’ affiliation with the company. That petition attracted nearly 150,000 signatures in 24 hours. Links to Linaires’ makeup sponsorship with the company were removed.
A day after the advertisements were removed, a counter-petition was shared by fans of Linaires to show their support of her.
That petition, started by a Linaires follower Myk Gonzales, had 6,000 signatures by May 15. The petition states Linaires apologized for her remarks, and her treatment is unfair because “they are bashing her for an opinion she stated.”
There are those in the Indigenous community who urge caution in how people respond to Linaires’ comments.
“Somebody is targeting her and we don’t know the full story,” said Joely Bigeagle. “(I have been) the target of social media aggressors and keyboard warriors.”
During the online debate, Bigeagle posted, “If we acted more in kindness than reacting to bullying, our world would be changed for the better.”
I am a third-year Indigenous Social Work student, a mother of a three-year-old, and love to volunteer with my community. I have been living in Regina for the last seven years, but grew up in BC. I am slowly learning my family heritage and the First Nations University of Canada has really pushed that motivation forward.