Wanna Be Famous? - Erin Meyers
Hey Truth Sista
Personal branding is all the rage. We're told to get out there, to show our authentic and vulnerable self to the world.
But have you ever stopped to consider The Red Hot Truth of what is means to be a brand, what the purpose of a brand is and what the pitfalls of building yourself as a brand is?
Well to answer these questions, let's look at the people who are experts at personal branding: CELEBRITIES!
Growing up, I poured over the few celebrity magazines available to me dreaming of a life of fun, adventure and freedom. I dissected the information of my heart throb Chad Lowe for any clues of how to attract him into my life (I've included Rob for your pleasure too).
And then Sex and The City showed me what life could be outside of my desperately boring and isolated childhood in Johannesburg South Africa. I couldn't wait to grow up to be like Carrie Bradshaw and wear fake nipples in suave bars and have men swoon over me (come on now, you wanted those hard nipples too).
Little did I know the influence those magazines and shows had on how I saw my world, myself and my future. It created (though subconsciously) a deep dissatisfaction within me for what I had and was because compared to the life of glitz and glamour, my life and me could never compare.
Now with the advancement of communication technology (aka social media), we follow Success Symbols (aka celebrities, gurus, business tycoons) 24/7 measuring ourselves and our levels of success by what we see.
This can be debilitating because we're striving to obtain an illusion, a well constructed artifice that's taken years of planning, boob jobs, butt implants, Photoshop and money. (Kim K needs an army to look that fabulous).
So how do we balance the glitz and glamour of the sexy Success Symbols with building our own personal brand while not getting shackled by what pop culture is telling us we need to be and do? How can we be cognoscente that 'authenticity and vulnerability' are now collateral to sell things, and still show up in our Red Hot Truth?
In this week's Red Hot Truth interview, I speak with Erin Meyers, Associate Professor of Communication in the Department of Communication, Journalism, and Public Relations at Oakland University. specialising in celebrity gossip, and popular media cultures.
Together we have fun dissecting celebrity and pop culture, and discuss how not to get sucked into small culturally defined boxes when building our personal brand, if we still choose to do so.
* download this episode so you have The Red Hot Wisdom available when you want it (topic right corner)
Turning Knowledge into Experience (Action Points)
To indulge in pop culture consciously, answer these three questions:
What's the deeper story about identity (race, class, gender, sexuality, etc) being told here? What ideas are being elevated and what are missing/erased? Does it reflect your experience as that identity (say, as a woman?) or is it telling your experience that you are "wrong"? QUESTION 2
Who benefits from these stories? Think about, for instance, how magazines are also full of ads for beauty products, so how do the stories/pictures in the magazines support the idea that we need those products to be happy and successful?
What is the cyclical nature of this celebrity magazines? (Notice how the "my best body ever" issues always seem to come out either in January (post holidays) or right before summer time?)
Remember to live your Red Hot Truth you need to question the current perceived reality and create your own path. This is what I hope you’ll do after listening to this interview.
PS: please share this with other Truth Sistas to build a global sisterhood of conscious female leaders.