A new breed of blondes on TikTok challenge what it means to be intelligent and sexually empowered

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Wondering why Juicy Couture sweatpants are back? Thank ✨ Bimbo TikTok ✨, the shiny, bejeweled corner of the internet devoted to the cult of the bimbo. Think platinum blonde pigtails, long lashes, gold hoops and push-up bras.

Ironically, bimbo was first used in the American context in 1919 to describe “an unintelligent or brutish man.” Ring a bell? …


As more of us feel the blues while being cooped up, the idea isn’t just to cope but to create.

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Change of season got you down? You’ve got plenty of company. While SAD (seasonal affective disorder) is known to affect only 5% of US adults every year, the symptoms — pervasive sadness, undue fatigue, difficulty concentrating, lost interest in normally enjoyed activities — may well be plaguing many millions more as a result of life under quarantine. And if doomscrolling panic, Zoom fatigue, SAD szn, remote work burnout and pent-up post-election hysteria aren’t already enough, with a second wave of coronavirus starting to hit and more stay-at-home orders sweeping the nation seasonal depression could soon get a whole lot worse.

What to do? Now that usual remedies like more in-person interaction and big social gatherings aren’t readily available, we need to find more creative ways to cope. Metapod, for one, to the rescue. …


Quilting Past to Present by artist Bisa Butler

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Starving for cultural experiences during these pandemic times could be seen as the sign of a deficiency affecting one’s current mental health. But a visit to the Katonah Museum of Art to encounter the beautiful textile creations of Bisa Butler turned out to be an immediate cure for any such anxiety.

My first impression was an overflow of emotion in the face of these colorful life-scale portraits. The subjects of these pieces all face front, intricate collages of fabrics skillfully stitched together in a reinvention of the technique of quilting.

The exhibition opened with an explosion of color in which five nonchalant but elegant young men are superimposed on a zig-zag rhythmic background that magnifies their silhouettes. “Southside Sunday Morning” is Bisa Butler’s interpretation of a famous black and white photograph of dapper young black men shot by Russell Lee on Easter Sunday 1941 in Chicago. …


Fighting Anti-Asian sentiment in the age of COVID-19

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What happens when one race becomes the face of a global health crisis?

Spit on. Yelled at. Attacked. Horrifying accounts of racial discrimination against Chinese-Americans are on the rise since the pandemic began. Even worse, east Asians from Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, Japan and the Philippines have also become the target of hate crimes, revealing harmful racial biases at play not unlike what Muslim-Americans experienced post-9/11.

Anti-Asian sentiment in the age of COVID-19 should come as no surprise when the sitting President openly refers to it as “the Chinese virus” in White House press briefings, blaming the Chinese government for unleashing it on the world. …


Presidents are temporary. USPS is forever.

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Was “Trump undermines the United States Postal Service” on your 2020 bingo card? Didn’t think so. An institution so vital to the American way of life is under attack as mailboxes disappear from street corners and mail-in voting becomes an unexpected major issue of the presidential campaign.

We could tell you all about USPS’ historic and cultural significance to society at large, but instead we wanted to investigate the personal role of the post office in our daily lives. We asked members of our staff to tell us what mail means to them.


Three women at ThoughtMatter look at Beyoncé’s new visual album through the lens of belonging

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A Perspective from Maya Braunstein

Watching Black Is King for the first time I was astonished by the beauty of its visuals. But I also was confused by the references. Beyoncé and I are both descendants of the African Diaspora, yet I wondered how either of us could relate to, let alone understand, the African cultural references depicted throughout the film, given that we’re not from that culture. The truth is, I don’t know where my ancestors came from or anything about the world they belonged to before they were enslaved, forced to cross the Middle Passage and arrive in Trinidad. …


What democracy can learn from digital natives leading the resistance

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Teenagers will always find creative ways to cut class, but the way they did it during quarantine deserves a long second look. When school closures forced students in China to complete assignments through a remote learning app, they flooded it with hundreds of one-star ratings to get it delisted from the App Store. No app means no downloads; no downloads mean no class. Eat your heart out, Ferris Bueller.

Targeted, coordinated actions like that one can shake up entire outcomes. …


How to solve the post-pandemic puzzle and piece together the future

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During a time when everybody has a creative itch to scratch, Miranda July’s 2002 participatory art project Learning to Love You More seems more relevant than ever. Over a span of seven years, she collected 8,000 submissions from the general public to her series of simple, often mundane creative prompts, like “draw a constellation from someone’s freckles” or “recreate a poster you had as a teenager.” Through a messy, beautiful, impossible mosaic of random images generated by a single assignment, July helped strangers on the internet feel connected. The final prompt was to say goodbye.

“This time feels like the ultimate creative prompt,” she said in an interview with AnOther on creating in the age of coronavirus. …


The Role of Brands in a Crisis

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Short answer: No. At least not most of them. But that’s OK.

For those of us who like to think of our roles as “essential” to society in trying times, the COVID-19 crisis has been a rude awakening. That’s not to say we aren’t important. But when push comes to shove, the value we bring to the table is greatly outweighed by those on the front lines.

Nevertheless, we all still have a role to play. “Staying at home” is as critical as getting the support essential workers need. …


How one hashtag opened the floodgates to underrepresented victims and took the fight for equal rights worldwide

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The way people advocate today is radically different from how it was done in the pre-digital past. Hosting conversations and gatherings was a local event, often spread by word-of-mouth. Now, with digital forces tying us together through “likes” and “subscriptions,” we are compelled to listen to one another. We participate in active, timely conversations while creating communities within a broader global audience that also is listening. One omnipresent method found inside and outside our digital bounds is the hashtag — cultural phenomenon that embeds and spreads information at lightning speed. …

About

ThoughtMatter

ThoughtMatter is a creative branding, design and strategy studio with an artful perspective www.thoughtmatter.com | thinking@thoughtmatter.com

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