JLO IS OUT AND MILKING COW NAILS ARE IN
The one thing social media never has a shortage of is fuckery. From Black Chyna fighting Alexis Skyy to the milking cow nails out of Moscow that are apparently all the rage, and to be clear I am referring to literal cow figurines that have udders that shoot out real milk glued on top of nails, there’s always plenty of social media fuckery to go around.
At the start of my Monday this week I woke up per my usual alarm snoozing and Instagram scroll. Whether or not this is the best practice for what someone should do as soon as they wake up is debatable, but I know Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger knew exactly what they were doing when they made Instagram. I’m 85% confident that their intention was for me at some point to want to wake up and scroll through the chaos that I missed. So in some ways I’m just being the over achiever I’ve always been. Anyway, as I scrolled through posts from @cb2, @reynabiddy, and the #blackgirlsrock, I started to see sprinkles of posts from my actual friends and associates of two photos side by side, one from what’s clearly at least an era or so ago based on the spritzed French rolls and Lady Enyce knickerbockers, and the other from maybe the last twelve months, each post tagged with the hashtag #10yearchallenge.
At first my reactions were strictly to the photos, laughing at how we all used to dress, and Lord, the hair. We loved a hard core flip back in the day and the proof was all over my timeline. I found all of it to be HA-larious and enjoyed seeing the growth of some of my friends flash frozen through photos. I contemplated on joining in on the fun, but then I started to read the captions and found my way to societal bullshit and social media fuckery in raw form.
“30 is the new 20.”
“I haven’t aged a bit.”
All the captions and comments unveiled much of what we all already know, that as a society we are obsessed with youth. It’s downright annoying and I simply don’t get it. Is everyone just so terrified of dying that they hold on to every patch of skin that’s not wrinkled or every section of toned muscle like Linus holds on to his blanket that was probably never washed in all the decades Peanuts has existed. I mean seriously, what is it? Example: In our society when a woman is 65 years old she can’t just be 65. She looks good or bad for 65 which is judged on scale of how young she does or does not look. And thanks to JLo the standards for aging out here in these streets are all fucked up and seeing some of my friends caught up in that kool-aid sucked. I want to celebrate their growth, not compare their physical appearance to their younger selves and sing praises at the photos that show the least aging. I want us to be proud of the unruly gray hairs in private places and the extra pounds.
To rewind a little bit, this past Saturday I hung out with my girl Konyin. We rarely get to see each other because she lives in Brooklyn, which in the city is regarded to as a completely separate state. But I love hanging out with her because she is one of the most thoughtful and enthralling creative minds I’ve known. She has a point of view and stands in her truth daily, and is everything I want to rub off on me. Saturday she made the trek up to Harlem and we ate and explored the neighborhood. As we walked to my apartment to listen to vinyl and chill out, I decided to take the opportunity to pick her creative brain. “What are the things that you do to stay inspired and creative?” She paused for a bit before addressing things like travel and meeting new people as vehicles of inspiration for her, but then she threw a curve ball. She said, “I constantly look for opportunities that make me uncomfortable.”
I’d never heard anything like that before. It was the perfect Konyin response to a very generic question. It stayed with me as I ventured through the #10yearchallenge photos days later and is the perfect summation of my plea to the world.
It’s not easy to embrace change, to see your skin get looser, hair turn colors, or forget things that used to be no-brainers. Aging is one of life’s many challenges, but if you approach the inevitable process with confidence and acceptance the things you can create and the people you can inspire are endless. Find more opportunities to be uncomfortable, and be proud to show evolution not preservation. #notetoself