Joy Curators

daily inspirations, curiosities, and obsessions


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How White Should My Pinterest Be?

When I browse Pinterest, I feel guilty about the lack of high-quality, glamorous images of racially diverse women. Am I the only one?

In case this spiel on the whitest of white guilt hasn’t given it away, I am a white person. I’ve been lucky enough to grow up in a relatively diverse area. I’ve traveled to places that are less ethnically diverse. That aspect of those places depressed me in a way that realizing a friend hasn’t read my favorite book would: the people who live there don’t know what they’re missing.

That’s kind of how I feel about Pinterest.

Should I really be surprised that a platform populated by religious (mostly Mormon) housewives lacks a more accurate representation of society as a whole? In some parts of the country, a sea of whiteness is a reflection of that society.

But this is the internet, and the internet is nothing if not diverse.

My guilt isn’t about Pinterest’s neglect of women of color in general, it’s about my role in this neglect. Pinterest is a reflection of how I see the world and where I gather inspiration. It’s where I go to aspire and apply trends. For me, Pinterest replaces the need to buy fashion magazines; I can be my own Anna Wintour.

However, I browse through my own whitely populated boards and sadly realize that I’ve ignored a major part of the population. Most of my pins are from fashion editorials. Lamenting the shortage of fashion editorials featuring non-white models is not a new sport, but I think I just made varsity.

Realizing my myopia, I made a decision to seek out glamorous images of women from different racial and ethnic backgrounds. At first I was worried that promoting diversity on Pinterest when I, myself, am white makes me guilty of tokenism. But if I think the images are beautiful, who cares whether or not the women look like me? Alex Wek is my new favorite makeup muse, leading me to conclude that the same eyeshadows and lipsticks that look great on someone with very dark skin work equally well on very pale skin, but I digress.

Pinterest is a place where people can create their own icons. That is why it needs more pictures of fashionable and fabulous women like Bianca Jagger, Eartha Kitt, Lupita Nyong’o, and Fei Fei Sun. We all can gather inspiration from these women and plenty of other POC. Besides, Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn are getting painfully boring.

-Missy


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I Agree with PacSun Mom

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If you were to ask me what I think of PacSun, the surf-skate inspired clothing brand for teens, I would flatly tell you, “I don’t.”

That changed while I was walking through my local mall on a shopping trip this week. I saw this display in the front window of the PacSun store. (There might have been one or two more shirts, but same general effect.)

At that moment I felt compelled to walk into the store and explain how the window made me weep for humanity, or at the very least take a picture and tweet my disapproval. I don’t have a smart phone (long story) or a misguided belief that the store manager has any say in what is displayed in the front window, so I didn’t.

However, I don’t blame PacSun Mom for wanting to voice her opinion. I think most of us can agree that purchasing the shirts was probably not the ideal way to do so. That said, I admire her for making a stand and I resent other people for trying to belie her sentiment because she is Mormon or was shopping with her 18 year-old son. Religion plays a major part in censorship in America, but I don’t believe that it does in this instance.

As someone who would be considered both politically and religiously liberal, I was offended by PacSun’s display.

I was most offended by the fact that they were the *only* apparel for young guys being displayed in the front window – as if to say “this is the coolest stuff in the store.”

I resent the fact that this objectification is so highly regarded by PacSun that they would make it unavoidable to anyone walking past the store. As a woman, that sh!t is embarrassing to see.

Why?

Women are not nameless accessories and we all are responsible for a culture that promotes this notion to young men.

If we want to break this cycle, we have to teach young men and women to respect each other’s anatomy as well as their autonomy.

I get that some people want to embrace the female form, but there are less objectifying images that could be used to do so.

M