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  • Arts & Culture
  • Issue 42

Box Fresh

The odd appeal of unboxings.
Words by Salome Wagaine. Photograph by Tine Bek.

The thrill of unboxing predates the social media trend for watching videos of it. Opening up a box containing new, uniform-compliant school shoes can be as exciting for a child as unwrapping a birthday present. Despite their future being clear—several seasons’ worth of scuffing before they start to pinch—for a moment those shoes are spick-and-span, perfectly arranged and full of promise. 

Recently, this thrill has taken an odd twist: There are currently more than 100, 000, 000 videos on YouTube featuring people opening products and packages. The first video described as an “unboxing” (item: a Nokia cell phone) was uploaded in 2006. Since then, these videos have come to serve as reviews, relaxation aids and a glimpse of a life less budget-strapped—sometimes all at once. Content ranges from people opening up the latest phone or multimedia release, to luxury fashion

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This story is from Kinfolk Issue Forty-Two

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