Clicking Past Compassion

Social media has proven terrific at connecting us, though terrible at uniting us.

One of the worst advents I’ve seen over the last five years, has been this reflexive reposting of either virtuous or infamous media, without one fully comprehending or critically examining what they’ve endorsed. Case in point, this week’s most talked about “Be A Lady”, wherein Cynthia Nixon reads the words of a feminist poet to light techno music and a bombardment of glitzy images. Powerful, evocative, indeed, and I agree with most of what was said regarding the conflicting messages and confusing standards applied to women. And once I’d finished watching, I hopped on to FB and almost shared and reposted. Almost. But then I stopped, researched the piece a bit more, discovered that it was a viral marketing campaign for a new fashion magazine and reconsidered my actions.

Fashion, an industry of which I’ve been a part, has some of the darkest corners of the world in which lurk misogyny, homophobia, unattainable standards, body dysmorphia, child labour, drug abuse, eating disorders and more. I was torn: I didn’t want to refute the inspiring message or words of Camille Rainville (the poet whose poem Cynthia read), though I certainly didn’t agree with the powers behind the production. At this point I faced a choice, in which there are only ever really two paths forward: do nothing, do something. I chose the latter and rather than decry the aspect of the video I didn’t like, I aspired to create something positive to add to the greater conversation about restrictive roles and ideologies. The fruits of my many hours of labour can be seen below, and I am grateful, so grateful that my contribution has been as well received as it was intended—this is my most watched, liked, and talked about piece to date.

Being a philanthropist means digging down into the dirt of yours, or others’, experience and unearthing the ugliness and beauty for all to see. That’s not clean, or fun, but it sure is rewarding to add to constructive dialog rather than deconstructing another’s work or parroting false virtue.

All my love,