Mandy Harris Williams

Mandy Harris Williams (aka @idealblackfemale) wants you to #brownupyourfeed. Employing the medium to critique its message, the LA artist/educator uses Instagram to explore how social media and algorithm bias can reinforce racial norms. Below, Mandy talks about her eBay addiction, Barry White and her complicated relationship with the platform that brought her fame.


“I gotta start it off with my main bitch. There are few other platforms that have so dramatically shifted the individual's ability to sell their talents to an open market. I also reserve the right to criticize the platform I love so dearly. Our inability to know more about the algorithm of why we see what we see, feels discomforting and manipulative. I think people who are upset by this factor tend to step away instead of demanding a fairer platform. I think we can do that —I think, why not do that?”

The Creative Independent

“This site features hundreds of creative professionals writing about their practice. I love seeing how other artists work. It’s not always necessarily a match, but understanding other processes and intentions helps to sort through or get new ideas for my own work.”

Lisa Stansfield, Barry White - "All Around the World"

“My work explores the relationship between black cultural products and white performance and profitability. For instance when, if ever, is it appropriate for white people to perform R&B? Lisa Stansfield wrote this incredible song as a bit of a tribute to Barry White—but rather than a sample or cheap copy, it’s super original. It adds to the conversation rather than leeching off it or trying to replace it. The video builds on the song’s greatness. Lisa is so excited she looks like she’s gonna jump on Barry at any moment. Barry’s ad libbing little moans and encouragements. The whole product is so creatively sexy—singing the song your mentor inspired with your mentor who you also kind of wanna fuck—but that’s all part of the sensual feel of R&B.”

750 Words

“I used this site one of the times I did 'The Artist’s Way.' I like typing because it pours out a bit faster and less self-consciously than when I’m writing longhand. Longhand also has its pros—there’s something about physical etching—the effort and capacity to remember. It can be cool to see which means of communications will work per different moments in life. I also like that the site shows your pacing, frequently written words and other insights.”


“I love eBay because you can get great deals if you really know what you want. I have a hyper specific fashion sensibility. There are these weird combos and vibes that run consistently through my outfits and upcycled clothes and accessories (like this bag) play a huge role both ethically and aesthetically. I also love to compare watch lists with other similarly slick-looking weirdo fashion friends.”