(Still from video linked in number three)
One: Nicki Minaj recites Maya Angelou’s “Still I Rise”. This gave me chills. I love seeing the way people connect to the words of others, and in Nicki’s face you can see the light that flares in her eyes and the smile that tugs at the corners of her mouth when she recites the lines that mean the most to her. Nicki is a woman who radiates unapologetic power, and I don’t know how anyone can find that anything but intoxicating.
Two: This piece about Selfies by Rachel Syme is beyond incredible. It says absolutely everything I’ve ever thought myself about our selfie culture, about the way society hates it when women take control of themselves, about the way history is a long road of women whose stories went unrecorded, and, most importantly, about the way selfies are the opposite of the narcissism they are so often portrayed as.
Here’s the secret: Nothing destabilizes power more than an individual that knows his or her own worth, and the campaign against selfies is ultimately a crusade against widespread self-esteem. What selfie-haters fear, deep down, is a growing army of faces they cannot monitor, an army who does not need their approval to march ahead. […] Anyone who hates selfies outright is likely in the position of privilege to never have felt invisible. They fail to perceive the value that a new way of seeing can bring to so many lives.
Three: You’ve probably already seen it, but this video of Florence Welch in her London home is so completely enchanting that I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve watched it. Florence often describes herself as ‘maximalist’ which I relate wholly to, and you can really see it in her home. To me, the home is the most important thing, and the way she refers to it as a living organism, living and breathing with us, has stuck with me ever since I first pressed play.
Four: Have a question about Islam? Hoda Katebi has opened up an anonymous Q+A where you can submit any questions you have (provided they’re not already answered in her resourceful FAQ!), in an effort to provide some alternative insight to all the fear-mongering and worryingly right-wing ‘information’ that is floating around at the moment.
I know I’ve done link roundups in the past, but lately, more than ever, I want to only do these kind of posts when I collect together pieces from around the Internet that I think are truly insightful, inspiring, and thought-provoking. The direction I am trying to take this space in is honestly relative to mainstream blogging, in that I am bored to death of what the mainstream is offering.
All too often I see posts like ’10 things you absolutely must look at right now’, and sorry for cursing, but it’s nearly always all useless shit. It’s all pointless distractions that don’t encourage anyone to come to their own conclusions or open their minds to new perspectives or present a real opportunity to truly learn something.
It’s fine to have the frivolous and slightly mindless fun bits and pieces, but my problem is that all too often this kind of content is presented as Super Important. It’s all flashy gimmicks to harness our short attention spans, because all these websites really want is the clicks. They don’t actually care about adding value to people’s lives, and pushing people to actually think for themselves would probably be detrimental to their set-up. I don’t like it, especially with so many online blogs and magazines acting like they’re empowering women when they’re actually subtly disempowering them with all their empty “Must Have’s” and “How To’s”.
So anyway, I linked to all of these because they really prompted me to think and form my own conclusions. Let me know your thoughts, I’d love to hear them and talk about them.