Inspired by Lorena Cupcake’s colortastic outfits, I put this together over the weekend:
cardigan: Lane Bryant, skirt: thrifted, t-shirt: got for free from a furniture store where I worked briefly, socks: Domino Dollhouse, shoes: Naot, purse: LeSportSac via eBay, tote bag: Borders, sunglasses: Sweet and Lovely, necklace and earrings: Faces (a long time ago), fascinator: Enz’s
Jobs have been on my mind a lot lately…if by lately, you mean the past three years or so. It’s a lot less depressing to envision what the job market would look like in a sustainable economy than to think about the shitty choices it offers now. And if we’re going to build a better economy, we have to start by imagining it, right?
So here are ten more ways that people could make a living in a new economy:
This would be a win-win all-around, as it would lower carbon emissions, decrease traffic, and provide exercise to the bike messengers. Here in the US, we don’t have the necessary infrastructure for such wide-scale biking: but building it would create even more jobs in construction and urban planning.
2.) Cupcake bakers. Because a revolution without cupcakes is not one worth having.
3.) Artists, writers, performers, and other creators of all stripes.
As my friend Bethany says, “The truth is, we don’t know what is possible. Which is why the pushers of envelopes, the stretchers of bodies and minds, the pioneers, the prophets, poets, and weirdoes are so vitally important.” See also this piece about why artists and designers are just as necessary as more “practical” jobs.
-The comments in this thread about exploring the friction between attention-seeking and impatience with regard to unusual fashion choices are so interesting. And the post led me to my new style crush, Lorena Cupcake! Her outfits remind me what I love about fashion: rainbows, bright and interesting color combinations, and the sheer playful fun of putting it all together.
-These unicorn slippers are the cutest thing.
-My mind is slightly blown by Domino Dollhouse’s ring pop ring. It looks like a ring pop! But it’s an actual ring! Whoa…
-Pure fatshion (and fat love adorableness) inspiration: this bride’s gorgeous frock. It’s so glamorous, and fantastically twirly.
–Rock N’ Roll Bride’s fall/winter collection for Crown and Glory is now available. How gorgeous is the Sophie flower crown?
-Affatshionista reviews Gwynnie Bee. I keep meaning to do one of those free monthlong trials….
–Imagine if it was really about health.
-Marianne writes about her experience doing a 5K while fat.
-I’m glad to hear that Massachusetts will no longer send “fat letters” home to the parents of fat kids.
Climate and Sustainability
–Inspiring actions from last weekend’s PowerShift, a convergence of young leaders from around the world working on social and environmental justice issues.
–Back to no future: what use is playing the long game when the arc of the universe feels so frighteningly short?
Jobs and the Economy
–How to democratize the US economy.
–Amid government shutdown, “New Economy” events across US draw enthusiasts for sustainable alternatives.
–Giving away food is great for business: the surprising benefits of local lending.
–Why Iceland should be in the news, but is not.
-This puffin makes a very good point…
–“The world doesn’t need any more costume designers.”
-Jaclyn’s takedown of the misogynists who call themselves “men’s rights activists” is so important.
–I am not going to pursue a PhD (I am tired).
–Willow Smith and the curious case of the carefree black girl.
–A yarn-bombed tree squid = !!
-I really like this piece exploring whether polyamory is a choice and whether it matters. I especially the like the author’s take on how to build a legal framework that serves all unconventional families without getting rid of marriage.
–Shooter boys and at-risk girls: reflections on teenage anger and the ways adults respond to it based on gender, race, and class.
Despite my love of shiny shiny things, I am generally in favor of a society focused less on consumption and more on community. Our current levels of consumption as a society are unsustainable and harmful to both workers and the environment; if you want a good in-depth analysis of these problems and some potential solutions, I highly recommend Annie Leonard’s book The Story of Stuff.
But there’s one thing I keep wondering when I think about transitioning to a less stuff-focused society, and reading this post about planning a shareable wedding helped me put my finger on it.
The author’s wedding, which included contributions from creative friends and lots of DIY, sounds wonderful. I especially like the idea of a make-your-own-mojito station, which I’m totally stealing for future use:
Think about all the things you can make instead of buy. Instead of programs, we painted the day’s agenda on a big smooth piece of wood, propped up on an easel. Instead of a full cocktail bar, Michael made a giant pitcherful of sugar-mint-lime mash the day before, and guests enjoyed the make-your-own-mojito station with instructions and ingredients. And instead of store-bought invitations, we designed and formatted our own, and printed them at a local copy business for under a hundred dollars.
I have no problem with the author, or anyone else, planning their weddings or other events this way (although I would caution anyone considering using “friendors” to think about it carefully and be aware of the risks). But when I see such stories held up as a model for “how we should do things,” it leaves me wondering: if everyone did it that way, what would happen to all the professional photographers, florists, wedding coordinators, artists, designers, craftspeople, and bakers?
More broadly, if we move toward a model of sharing–that is, replacing paid labor with volunteer work done by friends and family–where does that leave people who make things and provide services for a living?
One potential way around this conundrum is the basic national income, which would free people from having to work to survive. Under such a system, people who want to make art could do so without having to find a way to make money from it, and people who want to volunteer for their friends could do so without losing out on much-needed wages. But even then, there are probably many people who would want to do these types of work. After all, being an accessory maker, photographer, event planner, graphic designer, florist, or maker of tiny wedding cake replicas sound like fulfilling and rewarding jobs–exactly the kind we’d want more of in a new economy.
How do we move away from ubiquitous commercialization, from the constant beating drum of buy-buy-buy, without devaluing creative work?
I know this is a rather theoretical question, as we’re nowhere near a large-scale shift away from consumption. But I care about figuring out social and economic models that would work for as many people as possible.
This is my second outfit post for the Fall Fashion Faceoff challenge organized by Kelly of Masque Mag. It combines a few of my favorite things: ombre, floral, vertical stripes, and of course, a tiny hat.
top: Pink Clove, leggings: Wet Seal, necklace: Macy’s, zipper bracelet: some random store that was going out of business on Newbury Street a few years ago, studded wristband: PacSun, earrings: gift from a relative, boots: Hot Topic way back in the day, ring: Kelsea Echo, tiny hat headband: Claire’s