The autonomia Marxist scholars reading this (holla!) should click through to this dense but intriguing paper
on smile-scan technology and affective labor; the rest of us might just be content (or malcontent, as it were) to learn of the existence of smile scanners
, which some workplaces in Japan are using to monitor the "smile!" angle of customer service amongst employees. "Workers at Keihin Electric Express Railway will receive a print out of their daily smile which they will be expected to keep with then throughout the day to inspire them to smile at all times, the report added."
Actress and writer Louise Brealey gives a compelling piece on what it's like to be naked onstage
, in her case to play Helen of Troy: "The idea of standing naked in a theatre the size of a corner shop, five feet from the audience, whilst pretending to be Helen of Troy, the most beautiful woman on the planet?
That sounded like a very bad idea indeed. ... Exposing myself to 75 strangers a night has made me think a lot about what psychologist Susie Orbach calls 'body terror,' the chip in your brain that tells you your body isn’t good enough but if you buy this cream, eat this thing, do this exercise, you can look like Rihanna and you will be happy." (via Jessica Stanley
"How to one-up ourselves after The Biggest Loser
?" NBC executives asked themselves while splashing about in a bath of virgin blood. "How about The Biggest Loser—for Kidz?"
If the idea of a weight-loss competition show for children seems like as bad an idea to you as it does to me (and after you read this interview
with one of the show's finalists, I assure you it will), let NBC executives know. Yes, I've written about the pain that being a fat kid
brought upon me. I'm certain that embarking upon a highly visible, public weight-loss effort would be far, far worse. #stopbiggestloser
Afro Blue by Andrea Pippins, limited-edition print, $45, Etsy
Crowns of Color: Interesting interview with Andrea Pippins, an artist whose celebratory woodcut-style posters of black women's hairstyles are the focus here. "Because we so rarely see black women represented as free, pretty and majestic I wanted these ladies to be that in a very lighthearted way, as if they were getting their portraits printed to capture their nobility, but in the style of a barbershop sign or woodblock print. Instead of a precious painting that only one person could own, it would be more in the spirit of propaganda posters that everyone could have and hang in their homes."
Work up a lather:
In a recent study, about a third of black women said they exercise less than they'd like because of concerns about their hair. As Charlotte at The Cut points out
, this is hardly limited to black women, but I do wonder about the general sentiment at play here, given other contested points surrounding black women and exercise (body image, body size, musculature and femininity, etc.).
Visions of sugarplums:
With all the intense focus on food—coupled with constant tips on how to stay trim during the holidays—this time of year can be incredibly difficult for people who have or are recovering from an eating disorder. Margaret Wheeler Johnson has some deeply considered advice
on the matter, and it's advice that can only come from the sort of lived experience she dips into here.
This is sort of a win-lose situation: I expected this piece geared toward professional hairstylists on how to boost male clientele
to be chock-full of blather about appealing to patrons' masculinity and not making them feel like they're vain for caring, etc. Pleasant surprise there; the tips are pretty much the same as you'd expect for women. But then the growing sense of ill spreads: "Past are the days when men just wanted a $5 buzz, they are now interested in all areas of grooming from hair color, highlighting, waxing, custom cutting, facials, manicures, pedicures, spray tanning and last but not least products to take home.” We knew this already, but something about seeing it put in terms of consumerism makes it super bleak. If it's now expected that all
of us want custom cuts and blow-dry expertise, our point of comparison shifts radically. And I don't think the answer here will be equality; I think it's just that women's maintenance will have to raise the bar to keep that point of comparison intact.
Off the cuff: Jeans that update your social media for you. You know what? I'm with the Mayans, the world is ending.
"...and to all, a good night!"
Hurry up my chimney tonight:
On the sex appeal of Santa
—scientifically speaking, of course: "Recent studies in the Perception Lab have also found that people choose partners with redder faces, as red skin is indicative of health. The result of increased vasodilation of blood vessels in the face, redness can occur as a result of high levels of physical exercise, such as delivering presents to the children of the world."
If silence during a haircut is apparently a sign
one is inclined to visit an unimaginable act of violence upon an elementary school, it's a small miracle NYPD isn't knocking on my door right now. Don't we have enough to figure out on a "national conversation" level about why white American men like to kill loads of people without this sort of crap? (via Phoebe