Crown the Brown: A Platform that Enables South Asians to Break Barriers

This article was originally published on July 17, 2020.

Crown the Brown is an account that can be found on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook dedicated to representing, educating, and celebrating South Asians. The account is home to original posts about society and helps South Asian creators have their voices heard by reposting their amazing content, as well. Crown the Brown not only helps spread South Asian content, but it also spreads awareness about important movements including the Black Lives Matter movement and the Save Yemen Movement. Via email, I was able to communicate with Karusha Pather, the founder of Crown the Brown and blogger for UrbanAsian and Indian Spice, about Crown the Brown and what motivated her to found such a platform.

Can you please give me a description of Crown The Brown including when you founded it, etc?

I founded Crown The Brown in April 2018. Crown The Brown is a platform that enables South Asians to break barriers, change narratives and dismantle stereotypes in our own communities and the western world. It encourages support and celebrating South Asians worldwide. Creating awareness regarding the South Asian diaspora, fighting against injustices and social issues within our communities and working towards unification.

Can you please give me a summary of what you want to achieve via Crown The Brown?

I hope to achieve a sense of unity within our community. A safe space for all South Asians to feel celebrated, represented and acknowledged for all the amazing work that they do in various sectors. So often, we see our own people being mistreated and underrepresented. There needs to be change. I want to enable our community to feel heard and stand up for what they believe in, as well as feel supported with regards to their individual battles. To create a supportive community that encourages change within society. The ultimate goal is to see our community fully represented and acknowledged whilst breaking every barrier that has kept us silenced. We are often forgotten and never offered a seat at the table, it’s time to create our very own table. I want to create that table for our community!

What inspired you to start this platform?

I started my journey as a plus-size model at the end of 2017 but found it extremely hard to book jobs. My opportunities were limited because of my ethnicity. I was often labeled as a “minority” and therefore I was not able to get booked. Girls with more exotic looks were booked instead. Brands did not believe that I was needed in order to showcase any sense of diversity in their campaigns. I eventually became extremely frustrated with the lack of work and authenticity within many brands and their stance on diversity.

One particular day, I started scrolling through social media and realized that I wanted to speak about my experience. I saw an Indian plus-size model speak about her experience in the UK modeling sector and how she was so despondent because of the lack of opportunities. I finally felt like maybe I was not the only one. I immediately started the page and shared my own experience and so many people reached out feeling the exact same way. That was when I knew that in order to change the narrative, we had to all work together and I started sharing other people’s experiences which led to the platform we have today!

Why do you feel it is important for platforms such as Crown The Brown to be created?

It is important to have platforms such as Crown The Brown because people need to be heard. So many voices have been silenced over the years and we all need a safe space where we can speak about issues that matter. A space where people can understand and relate to your experience and ultimately enable change in society.

I reside in Cape Town, South Africa. The Indian population in my city is extremely small compared to other cities. I never got to actively engage with others that may have experienced the stereotypes, discrimination and racism that I have as someone of Indian descent. It was hard finding a sense of identity and belonging. As well as practicing my religion or showcasing my culture openly without any ridicule. I only found that sense of belonging on Social Media because I got to engage with people who understood my struggle. Thus, the importance of having these platforms to connect with others who might feel the same way.

Social media has become an intricate part of our daily lives and many are influenced by what they see on social media. It is important that people see content that is reflective of their own journeys and find a community that allows them to express themselves and feel respected and heard while sharing. It is imperative that we use these influences positively to engage, learn, educate and share in hopes that others can relate and ultimately find the needed support.

Is there anything else you would like to share about yourself and your venture?

I would like to share that we truly try our best to represent the community. The platform has become my life and I thoroughly enjoy it. It warms my heart to see the community growing and be able to engage and network with people worldwide. I have learned so much over the years from our community. I was not able to freely express myself before this platform and I am so proud of what it has achieved. It is not the platform but the community as a whole that has made a difference. I am truly grateful to be in this position and to be given the opportunity to share the experiences and voices of others. The continuous love and support are truly appreciated.

Crown the Brown has definitely made an impact on the South Asian community through its authentic content and has helped many creators get the attention they deserve through reposting. The account features posts of all variety and helps educate and empower South Asians and everyone else who is willing to learn. To be featured on this great platform, be sure to follow @crownthebrown_ on Instagram and use #crownthebrown on the post you would like for them to repost. Be sure to check out their account on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook and continue spreading awareness about the topics you feel are important!