Cultural Kaleidoscope: February 16, 2013
It’s Fashion Week. Feministe has a great article that asks if fashion can fix fashion, analyzing it from a feminist perspective and including issues of consumer culture, sustainability and conformity as well, taking not of the good and bad and looking at its future potential:
For some people, being unique is empowering, and for others, it’s lonely. If style or fashion or apparel in any of its many configurations doesn’t appeal to you in the least, I congratulate you on avoiding a major societal pressure; for the rest of you, I welcome you to the club. Maybe, in a world without that pressure, fashion can actually be feminist.
The Guardian is more explicit in its articles on the feminist case for fashion:
Aesthetics aren’t the enemy of feminism; social codes that require women to meet certain aesthetic principles, and to be constantly putting in time, effort and money in the service of femininity, are the enemy. Fight the system, not the people who do their best to operate in it, or, God forbid, take a little pleasure where they can find it. Gendered fashion requirements are bad. Enjoying the self-expression and aesthetic appeal of clothing? Girl, go ahead and enjoy your new shoes.
New York Magazine also has a great article analyzing gender in The Cut that praises “fake” women aka powerful celebrities who became successful by reinventing themselves and why we should think twice before judging them by labeling them as mainstream sellouts:
Reinvention has long been key to success — especially in artistic fields. So why are we hating on pop stars for adopting the very qualities that entertain us? We’ve all heard the advice to “fake it til you make it.” The pop-music industry takes that a step further: Fake it so you can make it. If your work isn’t catching on, try something new. Seen through this lens, fakery is laudable! It takes guts — and savvy — to radically change your career, your looks, your approach to life. In just about any industry, the people who don’t adapt to changing times are left behind. And those who evolve quickest, those who are first to learn new technology or hop aboard new trends, tend to be the most successful.
Rosie Molinary advices you to take a break from media, at least briefly, to recharge:
I do want you to go 4 hours without media- no television, movies, internet (you can answer email or text a friend)- so no social media, magazines, newspapers, music. For four hours, do not allow yourself to be exposed- even subconsciously like the ads on the side of Facebook- to any messages about how you should be or how your life should look. Just live your life rather than watch how others live it or listen to the expectations.
If Valentine’s Day is one of the holidays that gets you down, take note of International Self-Love day on February 13th next year and follow this advice from New World Library all year:
Here’s the truth about your happiness: It’s directly correlated to your levels of self-compassion. High self-compassion equals more happiness; lack self-compassion and watch your happiness drop. You, more than anyone else, are counting on you to be there with open arms, offering compassion and forgiveness without condition. You are counting on yourself to love yourself. And loving yourself doesn’t just mean believing you can do and be anything; it requires you to be kind, gentle, and compassionate with yourself always, even when you fail, fall behind, or don’t measure up to the unrealistic standards you and society have set for yourself.
There are also two new great sites to keep your eye on: Dailyworth provides advice and insight on managing money so it doesn’t control you. Though aimed at women, the advice is easily generalizable and we love that they focus on making money by doing something you love and spending with intention on things that are most important.
Money has meaning when it gives you the freedom to live an inspired life. To do that, we’ll need to dig deep, make new rules, and build true wealth. We are here to make sure we do just that, together.
For those of you who love being a student but can’t afford to go back to school because of time or money Coursera offers free lectures online on a range of topics for FREE and will even provide a certificate of completion at the end.
So graphic design can change things, but it also plays a very strong role in sustaining things as they are. So for every single thing that changes, there are a thousand more that want everything to remain the same, especially now with the predominance of Apple and the “Apple aesthetic.” It’s difficult, but important, to challenge the notion of design as it is embodied in Apple products — where increasingly complex architectures are increasingly hidden from view. So the system is incredibly complex, but you don’t get to worry about that because all has been solved for you, like with the Cloud where you store your files wherever. You basically get this Fischer Price interface culture with one or two buttons that do everything. And that’s really great. But Apple has evolved from leading an innovative and important fight against deliberately bad, bureaucratic design culture (Windows and the PC) into representing a deliberate oversimplification of the world. That’s where we are critical.