How was your weekend? Mine did not go as planned but ended up being really nice, regardless.
My friend and I had a road trip up to visit our friend Catherine Howe’s studio. Catherine is one of my favorite artists and she’d invited us up – we were so excited! We booked (and paid for a rental car!) but when we got there there was an extremely long wait and then… no cars! I try not to blame everything on this but I think Mercury is in retrograde? So instead, we had margaritas. (Sidebar: Oxomoco in Greenpoint is heaven – the food was incredible and they have a wonderful heated outdoor patio.)
Yesterday there was more snow so I just cozied up and read. I am reading The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. It’s pretty upsetting so far, mostly because I am at the part where Cora (the main character) is enslaved. The way the slaves are treated like animals and tortured is really hard to read. It is beautifully written but there are some graphic scenes. I’m glad I’m reading it but it isn’t easy. I’m also still listening to Untamed which should be required reading for anyone who considers themselves a people pleaser.
OH, and also, I watched the entire first season of Firefly Lane on Netflix. I really enjoyed it, as did Becca… but will say my mom did not like it! She read the book first, which I think contributed to that. If you watched (or read the book), I’d love to hear your thoughts. I can’t wait for season 2!
This Week’s Good Things, 2.8.21.
Curated Book Care Packages from a Black-owned Bookstore.
A reader (thanks Kait!) emailed me to tell me about this service – it’s a bit like Stitchfix but for books. Old Capitol Books is a Black-owned bookstore based in Monterey, California. They are currently closed for in person shopping but they have two really cool services. You can purchase a curated books care package (all chosen uniquely to your special interests – each care package includes books, stationary, and other little gifts. Or, you can purchase their “banker box of books,” where you pick two favorite genres and they’ll fill a box with surprise books! So clever – and what a fun way to support a small Black-owned bookstore.
A New Podcast About Mommy Bloggers!
There are a lot of podcasts about influencers but I’m excited about this one. Jo Piazza is a journalist (and mom), taking a deep dive into the world of the “Mom Internet” in particular. The world of mommy bloggers is fascinating for so many reasons (Having two sisters who have children you just have to wonder how their lives always look so perfect, so clean, every child smiling, etc!). So I listened to the first episode and really enjoyed it.
I will say (and I said this to Jo!) I am always wary of promoting anything that makes fun of the influencer industry (so many snarkier podcasts exist, just making fun of it without actually understanding the industry or that yes it is a real job), and from what I can tell so far Jo takes a thoughtful look at it. I’m looking forward to listening to more episodes. You can learn more here in Apple Podcasts!
Fake Famous on HBO Max
I have so many feelings about this documentary. Basically, HBO Max (or the producers, rather) take three regular people and turn them into influencers by buying them followers and doing big photo shoots, etc. etc.
I enjoyed it (mostly by separating myself from it and looking at this particular example as a case study) but the way that it worked in the film was just so different from what I’ve done (my peers too!) that it did feel like they didn’t quite understand the industry or all the work it takes to actually build a community and a real audience. They really normalized bots and buying followers/engagement, and that truly isn’t the case for most influencers… or, at least the influencers in my circle. Soooo I objectively enjoyed it but also as kind of like WTF. Then again, that’s probaly the point and also – it’s titled “fake” famous! It’s enjoyable and interesting, I’ll just say… have fun watching it but don’t look at this film and think that it’s how influencing actually works! Woof.
Veronica Beard x Bobbi Brown lipsticks
Veronica Beard and Bobbi Brown have collaborated on a limited edition collection of lipsticks (just two colors) and they are SO pretty (and also hydrating and just great, as are all of Bobbi Brown’s products. There is a classic rosy nude that’s perfect for every day, and a glamorous red orange that will make you feel like a million dollars. I haven’t been wearing a lot of lipstick these days but both of these are so pretty and when I tried them on I remembered the power of lipstick…. it really does make you feel amazing!
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Top photo by Allie Provost.