What does authentic representation *actually* look like? Fats Timbo, Bernicia Boateng and Oloni have some thoughts

…and step in front of the lens for a Google Pixel 6-powered selfie.
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If you’re reading this, the chances are you’re doing so on a smartphone (or you have a smartphone within arm’s reach). They’re such a staple in our day-to-day lives that it’s easy to forget the smartphone’s power: from democratising access to online fashion and beauty spaces to reaching new frontiers in digital representation and inclusivity.

Of course, this wouldn’t be possible without forward-thinking content creators, who are using their smartphones to pioneer authentic representation in the media we consume. And GLAMOUR was lucky enough to chat to three of the most exciting online personalities, who are doing just that.

Enter Fats Timbo, Bernicia Boateng and Oloni.

Fats Timbo, a social pioneer who actively uses her platform to advocate for living life without limits, has created a social media empire – with over 200k IG followers and 2 million followers on TikTok – where she shares her comedy and insights into life as a 4ft woman.

Bernicia Boateng has also taken social media by storm with her beautiful soft glam makeup and you’ll see her looks featured on the feeds of Clara Amfo and Michaela Coel. She’s also the founder of Bernicia Boateng Studios, which empowers young women in the beauty industry, earning a place on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 List for Arts and Culture.

Next up, we have Oloni: an award-winning influencer, podcaster and the internet’s favourite sexpert and leading voice in online conversations about sexuality and consent – seriously, her Twitter threads frequently send the internet into meltdown.

These three creatives have harnessed the power of social media to create digital platforms unapologetically focused on individuality and representation – a message that happens to be at the heart of the Google Pixel 6.

It’s no secret that unconscious bias has historically operated within photography, where light skin tones – which typically fall between one and three on The Fitzpatrick scale (a scientific classification of human skin colour) – have been deemed ‘the norm’. The consequences? Cameras that don’t accurately capture all skin tones, with dark skin tones being inadequately represented and requiring special colour-corrective care post-photography.

Now, with one of the most advanced smartphone cameras available, the new Google Pixel 6 and 6 Pro aims to provide an accessible answer to this bias. After years of research, this latest camera is able to capture the nuances of skin tones, representing all people accurately using its advanced light absorption technology. Aided by integrated camera features like Real Tone – a seamless addition that accurately hones in on our tonal individualities – the camera is able to finally capture us all, beautifully and authentically.

We asked all three to step in front of the Google Pixel 6 lens to share a true representation of themselves and how they use imagery on social media to deliver authentic, true-to-tone content for their audiences, while also celebrating beauty standards that are representative of us all.

Bernicia Boateng

Celebrity Makeup Artist and Beauty Influencer

@berniciaboateng photographed with the new Google Pixel 6 

“It’s so important as a makeup artist, when you’re working with colour and texture, or even bare face, for people to still be able to see the real you. Makeup is a form of self-expression. I use makeup as a way to show how I am feeling, my vibe; for me, this form of authenticity within beauty is so important,” says beauty tastemaker Bernicia Boateng. Although, she explains, “People sometimes treat beauty and makeup like it’s a mask or barrier – if you look at it as a vessel for becoming more familiar with your unique features and enjoy every single part of the process, it can help carve out space for you to love yourself.

Not every woman loves a 10-step makeup routine, so as a makeup artist, I try to encourage people to choose the one or two products that make them feel happy – even if that means just a little bit of blusher.” This true-to-self approach also informs Bernicia’s content-creation process. “I prefer working with cameras, like the Pixel 6, that make sure that my skin and face look as true as possible. My go-to look is soft glam – yes, there’s lots of lip gloss, but it’s a look that really relies on a ‘skin first’ base, so working with tools that champion real-life detail is really important for me.”

Fatima “Fats” Timbo

Influencer, Model and Comedian 

@fatstimbo photographed with the new Google Pixel 6 

“A casting call for a shoot was the catalyst for my current platform,” explains beauty, lifestyle and comedian Fats Timbo. “The advert was asking for all different types of people, including people with dwarfism, and I thought to myself, ‘This is basically calling my name. I could fill a gap in the market. I could be a representative for people that are being underrepresented.”

Since that moment, the content creator says her meteoric rise “has been crazy. I am thankful for my platform, but I’m so aware it’s not just me on here changing the beauty and fashion narrative. Now, because of social media, we get to see so many different types of people and if you consider the statistics – one in five people have a disability in the UK, and around 3% are Black and 5% Asian – you’ll see that this wave of content creators is actually just a true picture of the world around us.”

Despite this much-needed change in the beauty narrative via digital platforms, Fats says that crafting true representative content is not always easy. “When I go to create now, despite wanting my work to show me in my truest light, that’s not always possible due to many aspects of technology – and even social media algorithms – that aren’t created with different tones in mind.”

That’s why challenging digital bias is so important to Fats. “Shooting with the Pixel 6, it was nice to not have to play with the lighting for once in order to get a ‘that’s actually my skin tone’ photo,” she says. “I like to try to create content that is free from filters or lighting that doesn’t reflect my real skin tone, because I want dark-skinned women to feel comfortable in their skin and not feel like they need to use filters – much of which actually make us lighter. So, if showing up as my unfiltered self helps people fully embrace themselves on and offline, then I’ve done my job”.


Sex and Relationship Influencer

@oloni photographed with the new Google Pixel 6

“My first ‘viral’ moment happened long before video content refined supreme, with a blog post called The Girlfriend Fluffer,” explains the sex and relationship wellness influencer, Oloni. “Social media and content creation has evolved so much since then and mostly for the better.

Growing up it was rare to see someone who looked like me and spoke about the topics I discussed, so making sure that I am a real, honest voice that people can follow is important to me.” Now, with video content at the forefront of social media platforms, the content creator says, “When shooting videos, I rely on my Pixel and features like Real Tone in order to connect honestly with my audience. I’m not super tech-savvy, but now with short-form videos becoming such a vital way to communicate online, I want my videos to be as raw and as straight to the point as my Twitter feed – so I love working with technology that makes it easy.” Oloni says the benefits of features like Real Tone go beyond the crafting of videos. “I try my best to show more than the ‘perfect’ images we are so used to on the grid. With videos, my audience is able to see bits of my personality, my sense of humour and as someone who is super-vocal about rethinking beauty standards, working with technology that doesn’t actively perpetuate unrealistic ideals is important to me.”

Although, transparent representation forms the heart of the sex and wellness advisor’s platform, she stresses that “Hypervisibility comes with its own challenges.” Be it after a round of, ‘Ladies, shall we…’ or after posting a reel calling out hypocrisy in relationships, the internet’s favourite agony auntie says she is no stranger to “negative comments about content”. Her advice for navigating online hate? “Just don’t respond! However, there’s always the option to block, restrict accounts or mute certain words. I truly believe that social media should be a place where everyone can be represented. Although, equally it would be disingenuous to say that there aren’t still certain physiques or types of beauty looks that are praised more than others, but on my platform, I try to make sure everyone feels welcome.”

Conditions apply. For full details, search for the Google Pixel 6 now at Store.google.com