Tallahassee is the largest city in Florida’s Panhandle. The city boasts a vibrant college community that includes Florida A&M University, Florida State University, and Tallahassee Community College.
While Tallahassee is no stranger to student diversity, the capital city does lack in shopping diversity.
Coming from a small town, Florida State University alumna and current Tallahassee resident Dionne Blount, had an expectation for a variety of shopping in Tallahassee, but she quickly found that her expectations were unmet.
“As a freshman I thought there was so many options and variety of different things that Tallahassee had to offer but once you’ve been here for some time you realize that there isn’t,” Blount said.
For food especially, Blount noticed a lot of the same types of food around town but were just made differently. She thinks if more people branch out, take their own cuisine and make a business out of it, that it would help diversify the city.
“We need an influx in variety of options and less chain restaurants,” Blount said.
Along with chain restaurants, chain retailers need to diversity their clothing sizes to target women of all sizes.
“I’m a plus size girl, so when I go to stores and try to get clothes there’s really no place for me to go,” said Destanee Greene, a sophomore nursing student at Tallahassee Community College.
The lack of plus size clothing in Tallahassee clothing stores has resulted in Greene having to buy all her clothes online.
“I honestly get all my clothes online because there’s no way for me to go into a store and find something that’s in my size,” Greene said.
Greene hopes clothing retailers will branch out and carry bigger sizes to accommodate woman of all shapes and sizes.
Diversity in the beauty industry has been a long-standing issue not only in Tallahassee, but in the nation. Women all over the world love a great beauty routine, but women of color have a more difficult time finding products that work well for them, and Tallahassee doesn’t make it any easier.
Junior occupational therapy student Carlicia Lewis says there are not enough stores in Tallahassee that target beauty products for women of color.
“There are only a certain number of stores that cater to our needs, and majority of them are on one side of town,” Lewis said.
The need for the community, especially college students, to come together to help diversify Tallahassee, is what Lewis truly believes will make a difference.