Sunday links, 4/27/14

close-up of pink and white cherry blossoms

Cherry blossom season is my favorite time of the year.

Fa(t)shion
-This flower crown made of real flowers is incredibly gorgeous.
Breaking the design mold: the potential of zero waste.
-I love these fashion sketches based on flower petals.
Don’t make me over.
-I love this guy’s style and the reasons behind what he wears.
Wear your clothes inside out for Fashion Revolution Day, which marks the one-year anniversary of the Rana Plaza clothing factory collapse.
Obama’s free trade agreement ignores the scandal of Rana Plaza.
-The Closet Feminist rounds up five plus size floral dresses.
Sell us the clothes, don’t judge us on them.
-Cardboard Cities interviews Erin of Zero Style.
-Remember that gorgeous Scarlett & Jo prom dress that just didn’t work on me? It looks much better on Naomi and Danielle.
-Two fatshion models/bloggers who I don’t link to because of their racist actions: Amelia Butter and Nadia Aboulhosn.

Fat Acceptance
-Two great Twitter conversations about fatness and health: #notyourgoodfatty and food politics, and Amanda Levitt on the importance of talking about health on the social structural level.
-ASDAH members talk about why the HAES principles have been updated to include intersectionality and social determinants of health.
-“I’m a dancing fatty, short and stout.”
-Virgie Tovar writes a fascinating analysis of the race and class dynamics involved in her identifying as a fat foodie.
-Lindsey Averill writes about being stalked by a troll due to her work on the Fattitude documentary.

I love Mary Lambert’s new “Body Love” video:
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Jobs in a shareable society: how do we get paid if no one is buying?

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.