Ask me anything   the compulsive aesthetician


    On black market economics →


    I was having a chat with a dear old friend today about the legalisation of drugs. While I am pro-legalisation, he doesn’t believe ANY drugs (even cannabis) should be legalised. His reasons are as follows:

    During the 1920s or whatever when alcohol was made illegal, it was so completely…

    — 9 hours ago with 271 notes
"Where is this love? I can’t see it, I can’t touch it. I can’t feel it. I can hear it. I can hear some words, but I can’t do anything with your easy words"
Closer (2004) 

    "Where is this love? I can’t see it, I can’t touch it. I can’t feel it. I can hear it. I can hear some words, but I can’t do anything with your easy words"

    Closer (2004) 

    (Source: hittings, via universul)

    — 10 hours ago with 7499 notes




    This is why I respect this man

    I hope he lives forever

    The only white person on television i approve of addressing race issues.

    (Source: sandandglass)

    — 10 hours ago with 48266 notes
    What My Bike Has Taught Me About White Privilege →


    "White privilege" talk is not intended to make a moral assessment or a moral claim about the privileged at all. It is about systemic imbalance. It is about injustices that have arisen because of the history of racism that birthed the way things are now. It’s not saying, “You’re a bad person because you’re white.” It’s saying, “The system is skewed in ways that you maybe haven’t realized or had to think about precisely because it’s skewed in YOUR favor.”


    Now sometimes its dangerous for me because people in cars are just blatantly a**holes to me. If I am in the road—where I legally belong—people will yell at me to get on the sidewalk. If I am on the sidewalk—which is sometimes the safest place to be—people will yell at me to get on the road. People in cars think its funny to roll down their window and yell something right when they get beside me. Or to splash me on purpose. People I have never met are angry at me for just being on a bike or for being in “their” road and they let me know with colorful language and other acts of aggression.

    I can imagine that for people of color life in a white-majority context feels a bit like being on a bicycle in midst of traffic. They have the right to be on the road, and laws on the books to make it equitable, but that doesn’t change the fact that they are on a bike in a world made for cars. Remembering this when I’m on my bike in traffic has helped me to understand what privilege talk is really about.

    Now most people in cars are not intentionally aggressive toward me. But even if all the jerks had their licenses revoked tomorrow, the road would still be a dangerous place for me. Because the whole transportation infrastructure privileges the automobile. It is born out of a history rooted in the auto industry that took for granted that everyone should use a car as their mode of transportation. It’s not built to be convenient or economical or safe for me.

    And so people in cars—nice, non-aggressive people—put me in danger all the time because they see the road from the privileged perspective of a car.

    read more: jdowsett, 20.08.14.

    — 1 day ago with 17 notes


    Ever notice that its only “not about race” when it’s inconvenient for us white people? We made it abour race first, when we started shooting down unarmed black kids. So we should fucking deal with it being about race now.

    — 1 day ago with 22 notes


    Collegehumors’ new video is on point as always

    — 1 day ago with 68657 notes


    15 questions white people will never have to ask themselves

    Many white people may never truly understand why incidents like the Michael Brown shooting infuriate blacks and other people of color — even when it’s clear that race plays a large, looming role in how the situation snowballed to the 18-year-old’s death.

    This is in part because white people can move through daily life without constantly thinking about how their race will be perceived. Part of having white privilege is the freedom from worrying about racism, a freedom their black counterparts have never known. But it gives black people a unique yet challenging perspective by which they navigate the world. 

    African-American scholar W.E.B. DuBois called this “double consciousness,” Follow micdotcom

    — 1 day ago with 8627 notes
    "If you’re lonely, bored, or unhappy, remember you are young. There is so much time to meet new people and go to new places."
    Ezra Koenig (via saeltskin)

    (Source: whorchacha, via chanel-jpeg)

    — 1 day ago with 93483 notes




    Beyonce, Nicki Minaj, and Black Feminism | the negress

    August 31, 2012

    It’s easy for black women to like Beyonce. She’s a single female entity of commercial success, unapologetic sass, and Girl Power anthems.

    But it’s harder to see that the success of her persona relies on its ability to balance the dynamics of female power. The tightrope that gives any  woman permission to be independent, sexual, and bold; so long as she is not too tough, not too slutty, not too “bitchy”, so long as she doesn’t pose a real threat to male power.

    The same idea plays out in her music. 2001 brought the release of Destiny’s Childs’ Independent Woman, a so-called salute of financial empowerment that urged you to “throw your hands up” if you bought the car you were driving and the “rock” you were “rockin”. But in 2004, came Cater 2 U, a nod to the 1950s housewife era of man-pleasing that called for running his bathwater or rubbing his feet. Getting his “dinner, slippers, dessert, and so much more.”

    In 2008 it was Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It), a relationship revenge song about “doing your own thing”, but only if your man wouldn’t marry you first. And in 2011, we got Girls Run the World a declaration of female domination that claimed women were “smart enough to make the millions/strong enough to bear the children.”

    Her songs, though with explicit “empowerment” content, have retroactive connotations about relationships, sexuality and gender roles; a woman of modern means who still wants to preserve old fashioned morals. The lyrical nudge that reminds you to “let the man be the man”, be strong but foremost feminine, that after all, you’re still a woman first.

    And what Beyonce doesn’t say about female power, she shows with her body. In every music video centered around salacious curves and how well she can shake and grind in the scraps of fabric that all but cover them.

    Female sexuality in and of itself has the capacity to be subversive and freeing; but when it is only ever seen in simplistic tits-and-ass sort of ways–in the very same context of female “empowerment”–it eventually sends the subliminal message that pussy and power are inextricably linked. That the body determines your final value, and you are ultimately the sum of its parts.

    Enter Nicki Minaj. The eccentric, Queens-bred spitfire who managed to climb the echelons of male-dominated hip-hop and land somewhere on the top. And in many ways, she’s more progressive than Beyonce: She exudes a more complex, subtle version of sexuality, refers to her fans in unisex terms of “Barbz” (and Ken Barbz for gay men) and speaks poignantly about the challenges of being a female MC:

    When I am assertive, I’m a bitch. When a man is assertive, he’s aboss.He bossed up! No negative connotation behind ‘bossed up’. But lots of negative connotation behind being a bitch… You have to be–you have to be dope at what you do, but you have to be super sweet and you have to be sexy and you have to be this and you have to be that and you have to be nice and you have to… It’s like, I can’t be all those things at once. I’m a human being…

    But as much as Minaj tries to break through the chains of a mans’ world, she’s still complacent in the very system that confines her. Instead of denouncing the unrealistic beauty standards for women, she fully embraces them. She fires off lyrics like “pretty bitches only can get in my posse” (Stupid Hoe) and her image of choice, the Barbie, is the most extreme hetero-normative icon of beauty in existence. Instead of rebelling against the double-standard of female sexuality by discussing her own in the same braggadocious manner of male rappers, she boasts about her so-called respectability, in one interview saying: “if every nigga can say that he had you, you’re not exclusive, you’re not a bad bitch.” And instead of forming alliance with the scant of female hip-hop artists, she pits herself against them in girl-on-girl beefs; hurling childish insults and degrading remarks.

    It was at the end of Stupid Hoe that Minaj referred to herself as the “female Weezy”; a sentiment that perfectly describes the way in which she sees herself. Not as her own separate female identity but as an extension of a mans; like Eve coming to life after taking Adam’s rib. And in many ways, that’s true. She’s taken the most negative aspects of mainstream hip-hop—misogyny, materialism, violence, competitiveness—put a dress on it, and called it her own.

    What’s ironic is that Beyonce and Nicki Minaj are perpetually cited as “feminists” or “female role models”. But even when they’re being “feminist” they only tip-toe around the status quo, operating safety within the parameters of patriarchy. They seek to sell a shiny package of Girl Power that is just edgy enough to make us feel empowered, but not radical enough to encourage any real political change.

    The personas of Beyonce and Nicki Minaj embody the exact same masculine/feminine dichotomy of many black women in America who have bought into the myth of the Strong Black Woman. A woman who is either like Beyonce—the herculean superhero seamlessly juggling her independence with femininity —or like Nicki,–the take-no-shit tough girl who thinks playing by a mans’ rules will make him forget she’s a woman.

    But within the Strong Black woman myth lies the reality of the black female experience. The hardcore persona really only manifests itself in cattiness and competitiveness toward other women, but in relation to men, the armor cracks open to reveal a submissive vulnerability that looks more like weakness. It’s a persona that, even while being masculinized, tries to remain extremely feminine; curvaceous and soft-bodied, possessive of European features—light skin, long hair— a baby doll face, a masterful cook and housekeeper, an exuberant sex appeal, and passive demeanor.

    It’s the oxymoronic dance the two personas engage in; two steps forward and three steps back, awkwardly trying to find a way to fit together but only cancel each other out.

    Society likes to perpetuate the idea that black women hold their partners accountable, that unlike the White Girls, Black Girls don’t “put up” with no mans’ shit. But in truth, loyalty runs deep within the black female culture; the Ride or Die mentality, the allegiance to Your Man that means placing his needs above anything and everything else. It’s the reason black women suffer rates of domestic abuse that is 35% higher than white women (22 times higher than women of other races) and make up 1/3 of intimate partner homicides in the country. Or the reason black women account for 30% of the total HIV/AIDs infections among blacks (a rate 15 times higher than that of white women).

    The Strong Black Woman persona also claims to be in control of her decisions at all times. Yet, millions of black women poured over Steve Harvey’s relationship advice books; the ones that would instruct them on  how to walk, talk, dress, and act in order to get and keep a man.

    Many “Independent women” are also deeply religious. They value autonomy but also adhere to the patriarchal structure of the church that insists that a woman be “obedient” to men, that she “know her place.”

    The way these two contradictory images play out also inform black womens’ ideas about gendered politics. The actual pursuit of social, economic, or personal equality is seen as unnecessary and obsolete. Because in many ways I think the Strong Black Woman myth almost feels feminist enough, feels menacing and potent enough to mistake for real power.

    The problem with Beyonce or Nicki Minaj isn’t so much the persona, but what happens when we buy into it: We get so distracted by the empty rhetoric of “girl power” and “Independent woman” that we forget just how much political progress we have yet to make. We get seduced, over and over, with the same images of the Strong Black Woman and its false implications of gender equality. We fall in love with the allusion of power, and walk away broken-hearted every single time.


    *rubs temples*

    How do we feel about this? I deeply admire both of these women. Let’s be real, if they were shattering every single patriarchal norm all at once they wouldn’t be the successful icons that they are. They’re pushing boundaries within their capacity in this fucked up culture. But we need this voice as well so that the next woman can push a little further. Solidarity with these goddesses.

    — 1 day ago with 523 notes
    #beyonce  #nicki minaj  #feminism 
    "You are personally responsible for becoming more ethical than the society you grew up in."

    Eliezer Yudkowsky 

    Being a “product of their times” is no excuse. Never let someone off the hook for bigotry. 

    (via toostoked)

    (Source: abundance-mine, via universul)

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    The beginning of the end of the end of the beginning has begun.

    (Source: suchasadaffair, via mayapapaya)

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         No one before Bernini had managed to make marble so carnal. In his nimble hands it would flatter and stream, quiver and sweat. His figures weep and shout, their torses twist and run, and arch themselves in spasms of intense sensation. He could, like an alchemist, change one material into another - marble into trees, leaves, hair, and, of course, flesh.  
         -   Simon Schama’s Power of Art. Bernini

    (via wakeupinfrance)

    — 1 day ago with 140225 notes