© Jessica Wimbley, Artist/Curator
jessica.wimbley30@gmail.com
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Armor for Microaggressions, The Kiss My Black Ass Panty


It started as a simple proposition: is it possible to make passive aggressive work?

It was a useful proposition as it served to focus on the nuances of our lived experiences. What is a micro aggression if not a form of passive aggressiveness? From the daily experiences of micro aggressions, to the rippling effects of institutionalized racism -the thousands of cuts from the razor blades you must swallow as a black woman can be relentless. How do you protect yourself from these constant onslaughts to your humanity?

I decided at the age of 26, I would make myself a pair of panties. The Kiss My Black Ass Panty.

I thought the underwear would be perfect under armor against such microaggressions. In ways that I was voiceless in the verbal interaction, I was able to speak out and protect myself. The action of wearing the underwear prohibits the toxicity for getting under your skin. Rather, it gives you physiological means of dealing with the situation that are productive and healing. It allows you to slowly walk away with the last word. It's self-care. It’s passive aggressive. And hilarious.

I was so excited to get my panties in the mail, and wear them to work- the place that I needed the most protection from the toxicity. However, when I got them in the mail, they were too small!! I was literally too big for my britches. So they have never been worn. Nonetheless, I held onto these panties, knowing that eventually this idea would be revisited, and one day, I will wear my armor. An army of us will……


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