Sexy Inc. (2007)

[Psychologist and author Sharon Lamb speaking in gifset]

“Sophie Bissonnette’s documentary analyzes the hypersexualization of our environment and its noxious effects on young people. Psychologists, teachers and school nurses criticize the unhealthy culture surrounding … children, where marketing and advertising  are targeting younger and younger audiences and bombarding them with sexual and sexist images. Sexy Inc. suggests various ways of countering hypersexualization and the eroticization of childhood and invites us to rally against this worrying phenomenon.” - (x)

Saying “NO” As Black Self-Care

Black people, I’m not going to demand you reblog a thing. Nobody needs to add the condescending “why doesn’t this have more notes!” thing to anything I write. Nobody needs to add the inaccurate “no one ever discusses this!” to my posts that have 25K+ notes and 500K-1M+ page views over years. Ever. I have zero demands on using Black hypervisibility as some sort of clarion call for endless labor regardless of your mental health status or even interest to do so at any particular moment. Your awareness is not contingent upon others’ arrogance to demand performance of “awareness” (even when other fellow Black people demand such a performance). I’ve had enough.

You do not have to trigger yourself into “proving” you are a real “activist” by hyper-consuming Black death via State violence day after day, especially since it is the most violent myth that said perpetual consumption is necessary for “awareness” of what you are already aware of, no less. You can take a break to value Black life. You can value Black life as radical praxis, actually. You do not have to center non-Black people over your own survival to “prove” your “progressiveness” while tolerating their anti-Blackness and erasure as their “praxis.” You are not their microphones. You do not have to tolerate microaggressive/abusive and violent White allies when you feel safer and healthier being away from them. There is no solidarity/allyship where there is anti-Blackness. I know people on Tumblr/Twitter/Earth think Blackness is in a perpetual state of arrears where our labor and our very bodies as representative of labor/products/services are all we are worth and what we perpetually owe them.

I am truly tired of Black bodies, Black labor and Black hypervisibility being viewed as a resource to be excavated and consumed by non-Black people. If you make a blog that is all goddamn selfies and that is every single post, I am here for it. My blog is different. It has 4200+ posts where 1,200+ of them are long form writing or specifically essays and they’re all personal because oppression is not some “abstract” theory I heard about; period. Because the things that interest me as a person–Black women’s music, art, style, culture–is what the hell I want to write about as well. Perhaps 20 of my posts are of my own image. So? That is my choice. A one-person, personal blog, still. Not a resource to be excavated by plagiarists who rabidly search my archives and think they’re going to plagiarize their way to “liberation” (where “liberation” really means “institutional acceptance/status/money via the exploitation of others”) while consuming Blackness and specifically the scholarship of Black women for their sustenance. 

Do you know that the first act of self-care for us as Black people might be recognizing that we deserve to be cared for in the first place? Seen as human? Especially Black women. Because we more than anyone encounter the idea that our only “worth” as people is finite and measured by how much people can use and consume us. And by self-care, I do not mean solely consumption in a capitalistic sense (though that is not non-Black people’s place to critique how you self-care, especially since many of them refuse to examine how anti-Blackness shapes their perception of what is “hyper-consumptive” or “capitalistic,” and how comfortable they are with Black people suffering), but simply realizing that you can say “NO.”

“No, I won’t consume specific images of Black death on a permanent media loop as everyone uses our bodies to further their careers.” Or “no, I won’t co-sign using Black bodies as rhetorical devices to recenter non-Black people.” Or as a Black woman/Black LGBTQIA person, “no, I simply do not want to attend a particular community event this evening about State violence since no one does anything to secure my safety from intraracial street harassment or sexual violence while there.” Or, “no, you cannot use my content to further your career as you slander my actual methods of discourse on social media.” 

“No” is radical self-care. Self-care is not selfish. 

Anyone who actually values your humanity will respect that you have a right to boundaries and to care for yourself, not just because it makes you more effective at the work you do when you do it (hello; think this would be obvious to the people making demands in the first place), but because you deserve care. Don’t only exist. Live.

Related Posts: “Why Aren’t People Talking About This Anymore?!” - Media Gimmicks and Hypervisibility Or InvisibilityPost-Mortem Media ViolenceBlack Women, Online Space and BoundariesEpistemic Violence, Erasure and The Value Of Black Life

The world says: “You have needs – satisfy them. You have as much right as the rich and the mighty. Don’t hesitate to satisfy your needs; indeed, expand your needs and demand more.” This is the worldly doctrine of today. And they believe that this is freedom. The result for the rich is isolation and suicide, for the poor, envy and murder.
—  Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov 

Xmas Unwrapped

Short film by Toby Smith who joined the Unknown Fields expedition to follow the journey of Christmas goods manufactured in China and shipped to the UK - video embedded below:

In August  I travelled East with the Unknown Fields Division, to Vietnam, China and beyond. We traced the supply chain of the world’s consumer products across the South China Sea down cargo routes and inland to their production.

Yiwu in China is not only home to the world’s largest wholesale commodity market but also many of the “Just in Time” factories that produce seasonal or trending products.   Christmas consumables are produced in summer ready for wholesale, packaging and shipping to principally western markets.

More Here

At this time there are too many people afraid for their jobs, there are too many people buying cars, TV sets, homes, educations on credit. Credit and the eight hour day are great friends of the Establishment. If you must buy things, pay cash, and only buy things of value – no trinkets, no gimmicks. Everything you own must be able to fit inside one suitcase; then your mind might be free.
—  Charles Bukowski

Consumed | Richard John Seymour | Via

Fascinated by the variety of inflatable toys, decorations, artificial flowers and, everyday objects that fill China’s largest small-commodity wholesale market. photographer Richard John Seymour, shot a series of amazing images documenting Commodity City, a shopper’s paradise, located in the city of Yiwu. The project which is part of a larger series by Seymour titled “Consumed,” was created in collaboration with the Unknown Fields Division, a nomadic design studio that works to show how distant landscapes connect to the rest of the world. “I tried to see as much as I could in the days that I was there, and became very quickly exhausted by the constant sensory overload,” Seymour told CNN. “I spent a total of four days constantly walking around Yiwu and wouldn’t say I got near to seeing all of the stalls.”

Whites' "Support" Of Black People's Spaces
  • Ask FM Question:"Do you think White people should make the effort to buy from Black-owned businesses? Part of me believes in small-scale almost reparation-type actions and part of me is worried White people will hold it over our heads (i.e. bought from you now you owe me)."
  • My Reply:"Well yeah. They are going to hold it over your head. A lot of what many White people do is about performance and oneupmanship. They perform the act of buying from 'the other' then oneup their White friends by saying they bought from 'the other' and are a 'real activist' or a 'good person' unlike their White friends. A lot of this has nothing to do with us as Black people and we're just objects in their games. The nature of White supremacy. I've watched this occur for a decade in corporate America jobs. I watched this occur in high school, undergrad and graduate school. I deal with this now based on my blog. I have several times tweeted about Whites who think they own not just my writing but ME, the person, because they donated to my blog, as if they got nothing in the first place, as if they are not properly (as outlined in my Content Use Policy) or majorly improperly (content trolling, plagiarism, labor demands and exploitation) using what content is already there, to then think I owe them something else on top of it. So they donate a few bucks, then announce the donation to other Whites and imply how they're better activists for doing so. Performance. Oneupmanship. So I don't know how to answer this question. Because what happens is then more Whites tack on and suggest that their behavior can be anyway they like and as harmful as they choose as long as they give or spend money. And honestly I am tired of violent 'allyship' even more than typical attacks. At least the latter people are not pretending to care."

Shut Up And Take My Money: Must-See Design Concepts

These remarkable product designs and concepts are a testament to the power and importance of consumer perception. In addition to being art objects, these clever products make the best use of space and aesthetics to deliver a product that you won’t only be proud to own, you’ll be proud to use it in front of people. Someone buy me that table, BTW.

For designs that aren’t so clever, check out our list of useless products.