Social networking sites such as Facebook and Instagram are notorious for photo sharing and using hashtags. When it comes to getting likes for photos by using hashtags, Instagram holds the torch. The photo sharing app has even earned its own verb. “Instagramable”. Meaning that a photo is worth posting on Instagram to get plenty of likes. Society has become so reliant on getting likes on their pictures for the sake of instant gratification that they are willing to pay for it. Not just by purchasing followers.
Unlike most art exhibits, The Egg House didn’t have any valuable substance. It was a venue that was literally designed for guests to take pictures for social media. The entry fee was $20. It will cost you $20 to take tacky photos in front of plastic props to get more notifications on your phone. It’s ironic that millennials in particular will spend money to go out for the sake of being able to spend more time looking at their screens.
Photographer Adeos Yeboah told me he does not find any benefit in taking photos at meaningless exhibits that claim to be art. “I feel like that’s kind of sad. It’s not something that I would personally do but you can’t control what people want. It’s their phone.”
Going to a cheesy “art” exhibit to take pictures for social media isn’t a crime. Charging an exorbitant amount for entry to these exhibits should be thought out more carefully before you buy tickets. Some of these exhibits can inspire people to get creative with their photo taking and editing skills. Before dropping your hard earned cash on these pop ups, make sure you are getting an experience worthwhile and not another cliche photoop to mark yourself “here” in a social media post.
An inside look at NYC’s colorful haven.
Color Factory is a pop up exhibit in downtown NYC that takes visitors through rooms with different activities that are designed around color themes. Visitors get an experienc that is interactive and educational. Each room let’s you explore colors through sight, taste, sound, and touch. Keep scrolling through this photo gallery to explore more of my Color Factory experience.
The “WTF” moment when you realize your paying more for pink frills.
A gender based pricing known as “Pink Tax”, is a surcharge toward women for the same hygiene products used by men. While floral scents and packaging colored in different shades of pink distinguish women’s hygiene products from men’s, the price tag is also a major difference. Razors, body wash, hair shampoo, and specialty sized clothing will cost women a significantly higher percentage than men. It isn’t exactly clear when Pink Tax started but chances are women have probably been charged since birth. Throughout my research I found that even identical children’s toys with similar functions are priced higher for girls than boys. This discriminatory tax is only excluded in 12 states.
In a study of gender based pricing done by the New York City Department Of Consumer Affairs in 2015, the agency found that women pay seven percent more for similar products than men. According to the DCA, about 800 products of male and female versions were compared from two dozen New York City retailers online and in store. The study of comparing products included: children’s toys, adult personal care products, home health care products, and clothing. The DCA specifically found that girl’s toys cost seven percent more than boy’s toys, 13 percent more for personal care products, and eight percent more for clothing.
A clear example of gender based pricing in a study done by Jezebel, which was a comparison of a children’s self-riding car being sold by the company Fisher Price. This article was surprisingly accurate. Fisher Price sold their Power Wheels Jeep Wrangler self-riding car at $206.54 for the blue Hot Wheels version for boys and the pink Barbie version for girls at $214.88. Both of the toy cars have the same functionalities. The cosmetic difference is where the consumer gets an increase in price. According to Jezebel, product marketing director at the consumer data firm Index Jenn Steele says “If you’re finding consistently that pink sippy cups are more expensive than the exact same sippy cup in blue, then the marketplace could be putting pressure on sellers to drop the prices of the blue ones more.”
Business Entertainment/ Entrepreneur/Educator, Ebonie Jackson find told me that she, like many other women, deal with Pink Tax. Jackson told me that she does notice a change a difference in taxes for things like shaving cream, razors, shampoo, and lotion. Jackson said, “The ones that are geared toward women are a lot more expensive than the ones that are geared toward men, even though they complete the same function.” Jackson told me that feminine products are essential items and are not luxury items. I’m sure plenty of women like Jackson, would agree that they shouldn’t be paying more for items that are essential.
Deal News did a comparison of men and hygiene products. In the study a woman’s razor from Walmart cost $4.49 while a man’s razor cost $4.27. Their study also showed that women’s body wash from Olay cost $0.33 per ounce while men’s body wash from Old Spice cost $0.23 per once purchased from Target.
Jackson is also the mother of two teenagers. I wanted to know if they were ever instances where she had to refrain from buying pink packaged items when it comes to her daughter. “I have two teenagers at home. One’s a boy and one’s a girl. We all use the same stuff.” Jackson told me that her daughter wants the pretty pink stuff and the packaging but it doesn’t make sense financially.
I spoke with Brianna Daquin, a recent graduate from Stoney Brook University who says she’s always stealing her boyfriend’s razors, literally. Daquin says that she purchases her Gillette razors from Amazon to save money a broke college grad’s budget. She shares her Amazon account with her boyfriend and noticed that the cost of his razors were lowers than hers yet, they were purchased from the same company. “I feel like I use more razors than he does. Just because men can skip shaving sometimes it isn’t fair that they get to pay less than we do,” said Daquin. I wanted to know if Daquin has an alternative to paying higher prices for women’s hygiene products. She said “From now on I’m buying all my razors and body washes in the men’s section. I don’t care about smelling like a man. It actually smells better to me” she said laughing.
Pink Tax certainly feels like punishment. The crime? Being born of female gender. All women should have the freedom to live unapologetically as females. As far as the pink packaging on women’s essential items; the the Pink Tax needs to be removed without a doubt but, the packaging should still remain pink as fluff.
“Be who you want to be.” The mantra heard by little girls growing up with big dreams since the birth of the inspirational doll in 1959. 60 years later; Barbie continues to be a symbol that encourages young girls to explore endless career choices. To honor Ruth Handler’s (creator of Barbie) visionary doll, the 60th Anniversary of Barbie was celebrated with an exhibit at Skylight Mercer in Soho. Being that March is women’s history month, it was an exceptional time to celebrate.
Being a 90’s baby means I’m no stranger to playing with dolls. This makes me thankful that my childhood wasn’t riddled with technology till I hit my teen years. I still remember being a freshman in high school gushing over the 50th anniversary for Barbie behind my computer. Since I wasn’t able to experience any of those delightful activities at the time, I was eager to see what the 60th anniversary had to offer.
The exhibit began to take place Saturday morning. I decided to get there early to avoid crowds but typical MTA service on the weekends wouldn’t allow. It was still early so I didn’t think it would be long until I hit an unexpected line that stopped in front of Zara. At least I could stare into the shop window for the new season trends. The line only increased as passersby kept asking “what is this line for?” Once they found out it was for Barbie the line kept growing behind me.
About an hour passed and I was finally in. I expected pink to be everywhere so as soon I saw the huge pink balloon archway and the pink lit up “Barbie” sign, it felt comforting. Comforting because it was a reminiscence of my childhood. As I got closer to the sign, the wall was covered in tiny plastic barbie shoes. If only I could pluck a pair off the wall and put it on one of my old dolls (which I have none left of).
As anyone could have guessed, the first part of the exhibit displayed the first barbie ever made in 1959 with a history of Ruth Handler’s invention. I was glad to see the first barbie commercial ever made on a set of old television sets from the 1950s. Beside was the first Ken doll debuted in 1961. Yes, boys can play with dolls too and it was wonderful to see some of them interested in the exhibit as well. Just a reminder; it is 2019 where inclusivity includes gender fluidity.
Being that this event took place during Women’s History Month, this was a perfect time for young girls to learn more about where Women in history and also in the present day have power. While I think of the adults were probably more interested than the children because Barbie is not only a toy, but she also served as a symbolic figure that inspired many of us to have no limitations when it came to choosing a career and is also doing the same for girls in today’s generation. From occupations in nursing, technology, engineering, fashion design, and even working for NASA; The venue had a beautiful display of dolls in acrylic cases displaying all the careers that Barbie has put trade for young girls to aspire to be someday. The event was art and history in itself for adults to reminisce and had interactive displays for children to play with and learn from.
I spoke with Maria Bloem creator of the blog Oprah Complex and mother of a 9 year old daughter, Bella. Bloem said “when I heard about the Barbie 16 year event my inner child shrieked! I knew I had to have a special mother daughter day with my nine year old daughter Bella. I honestly can say I was pleasantly surprised.” I was pleased to hear this sentiment from Bloem because this event truly felt heartwarming and somehow bought everyone together as women.
“I really enjoyed seeing the look on my daughters face as she saw the many ways that Barbie was represented. The diversity, the fact that she could be anything she wanted to be. At the end she was able to pick out her very own Barbie! I was so happy for her.” Bloem said.
I think Barbie truly represents something unique to all of us and I wanted to know what Bloem thought of Barbie as a representation for young girls and she said “that’s what Barbie represents to me, empowerment. I created my own blog Oprah complex.com as a platform of empowerment for women, my daughter knows she can do anything she puts her mind to. It’s one of those days I won’t forget.”
I completely agree with Bloem’s statements. Barbie definitely serves as a figure of empowerment for young girls. The event also embodied that with their exhibit. Upon waiting on a treacherously long line that was moving through the venue, I passed a long wall of empty pink Barbie doll boxes. This seemed a bit peculiar to me as the boxes had specific titles on them, referring to career aspects and positions of power. I chatted briefly with a mother of two young daughters ahead of me in line and it became clear to us that the empty dog boxes with the titles written on them were a representation for the roles that women have it filled yet. To me this was such a profound and unique way for young girls to be inspired to possibly take on these roles someday in the future. Aside from being able to go into Barbies dream house, take a walk through Barbie’s closet and bedroom, seeing dolls of all different ethnicities and even dolls who had disabilities, the empty boxes at the end of the venue while leaving The venue was the perfect way to end the event. I think that left and imprint on the hearts of all females of all ages at that event to be inspired to go out and hold positions of power and do something greater with themselves.
Of course and event center around the celebration of Barbie and women’s history would not be complete without giving free Barbie dolls to each and every little girl who was leaving the event. Unfortunately adults were excluded from the receiving of free Barbies as they left the venue. Fortunately enough for most of the adults there, Who most likely took the day off from there a 9-to-5 were able to purchase limited edition Barbie’s and souvenirs. I myself could not resist picking up the Iris Apfel limited edition Barbie.
Apfel is a prominent figure in the fashion industry in her 90s. She is living proof that you are never too old to do anything, we are bright colors and a lipstick, and just to be who you want to be. It’s only fitting that she have her own Barbie because they both embody the same principle. The Iris Apfel doll has actually sparked just a bit of controversy with some debating whether or not the doll isn’t meant to be African-American because she is a Caucasian woman in real life. There are two versions of this doll however, the first version is Caucasian and the second edition version it appears to be African-American or highly spray tanned.
Of course it was also only fitting for me to purchase the doll as well because I had a dream of becoming a fashion designer and while I still do some of that I just couldn’t help but realize that it’s been over 15 years since I had that child in my heart from picking up a dog in a box and bringing it to the cashier. I have to admit, I was relieved to see that they were adults in their 50s purchasing Barbies for themselves. I shared this with my mother who has been a registered nurse for over 20 years and is also a clinical professor, and she asked why I didn’t bring her back a Barbie doll dress as a registered nurse.they were actually giving out Barbies dressed as a registered nurse to the little girls Who were saying that they want to be nurses when they grow up.
No matter your age, your gender, your race, or even your occupation, this event was a wonderful way for women to come together and express themselves and be inspired. It was also nice to see that there were no adults there who were bitter about their childhoods and not complaining about the things that they have not achieved. The Barbie’s 60th anniversary was a unique way to make women feel empowered and it was also nice to escape this crazy city of Manhattan and our daily nine to fives by being able to reminisce and reflect on our childhoods and encourage the next generation.