A Much Needed Reprieve (My Mental Gift for You)

Whether it's the latest natural disaster, Hollywood scandal, or "he said what?!" moment, sometimes we need to hit pause and reconnect with the minutiae of our everday lives — the cultural nuances that comprise and affect the majority of our days. At first, it might seem (at best) naively simplistic, or (at worst) offensively shallow, to invest mental energy and personal resources into the visual and material stuff of our lives.

Or is it?

The primary way we know and understand each other is visually — fleshy comrades in arms, charged equally with the task of making it through another day, and (if we get it right) managing to connect and flourish along the way.

It's the minutiae that bridges the seemingly insurmountable gaps. So often, the physical unites where the mental divides.

So this week I thought I'd catch you up on what we've been thinking and talking about over on the SoS Instagram (see below), where we ponder the larger significance of current issues related to fashion, the body, and culture. From the rise of "real" bodies to visual expressions of power, there's no shortage of cultural fodder — it just might not make it to the top of your mental priority list.

Today, I invite you to take 5 minutes and give yourself a mental break from your CNN news alerts to fill your head with topics and questions that, while both philisophical and visual in nature, are anything but mere superficiality. (If you feel so inclined, please add your voice to the conversation in the comments.) And if there's something cultural that you think we should be thinking and talking about, that perhaps isn't dominating the 24-hour news cycle, please send it my way.

Yours,

Anna

FASHION

Gone are the days of working out in old t-shirts (unless they're artfully cut and layered). High-end "athleisure" apparel dominates not only fitness studios, but streets, cafes, and pretty much everything else (especially if you live in a place like California). So what are we really paying for with the high-priced spandex? What message are we sending? (Read more)

Gone are the days of working out in old t-shirts (unless they're artfully cut and layered). High-end "athleisure" apparel dominates not only fitness studios, but streets, cafes, and pretty much everything else (especially if you live in a place like California). So what are we really paying for with the high-priced spandex? What message are we sending? (Read more)

BODY

“Real bodies” are in, and Aerie is the latest brand to catch on that people like buying things from brands that reflect who they are. It’s not only body positive, it’s cash flow positive. What other brands are accurately reflecting your body and lifestyle? Tell us in the comments.

“Real bodies” are in, and Aerie is the latest brand to catch on that people like buying things from brands that reflect who they are. It’s not only body positive, it’s cash flow positive. What other brands are accurately reflecting your body and lifestyle? Tell us in the comments.

CULTURE

The way our leaders dress shapes not only culture, but diplomacy. But how much power do they really have? Misha Pinkhasov interviews Anna Akbari for Vogue Arabia to explore the depths and evolution of the power of fashion. (Read the article)


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