Quick visual break for some clothes, at Shope's request. I dislike fuss, shop infrequently, and when I do, hunt rabidly for primary vintage pieces (as opposed to secondary, or tertiary - conversation for another time) that are “just right”.
I think, conveniently, the reason I love to sneer is because it reminds me to sneer at myself; to ask, why are you taking this picture, why are you taking up this space, is this your narrative, your fight, what are you doing, don’t say that, really don’t, that’s seriously what you’re going to type, don’t share that, look just be quiet now. I know this sounds exhausting (I am exhausting) but it also helps me think. It helps me ask questions like ‘do I really believe in this or am I just trying to join in?’, ‘do you just like what sharing this says about you?’ And to tell myself things like ‘your socio-economic background should really preclude you from weighing in on this one.’ Work is hard. There are lots of parts of my life that I won’t share today, my political activism for one, my relationships, volunteering. Maybe they’re marketable, monetizable, and maybe they would help my image, maybe someday I’ll change my mind about this too.
I’m not saying we should make work out of deciding whether or not to post that ootd. It’s also political. TAKE. THAT. SELFIE. But I am saying when it comes to thinking about sharing our work (and I mean sharing all work, housework, mothers work, political work, emotional work, caring work, coming out work, the list, really, is endless) we have to add ‘deciding whether or not it passes the sneer test’ to the list.
Share what you want, say what you want about what you do (every second of the day), no one's going to be mean about it anymore (well not really), everyone’s just going to keep on sharing.
I’m not advocating for a digital world of zero self-promotion, image building, or Instagram activism. That’s neither necessary nor realistic. But I am saying, let’s put a different kind of lens onto our thinking about what we share of our work and why, (is it always good for us? And on those occasions when it is in fact meant to be, is it actually helping anyone?), how we find peace in the space between Instagram and interiority, and why silence in the face of injustice isn’t always a bad thing. That quote is often wrongly attributed to MLK, who offered up a more religious variation on the theme. But my favourite quote of his is this “life’s most persistent and urgent question is ‘what are you doing for others?’”
More work needed.