I don’t pretend to not be a fairly avid user of social media. I am, and I do get amongst it. I’ve been friends with Face Book for many years now and although I am still very fond of it, it probably needs to know I’ve found another.
Its name is Instagram and just like I did with Face Book years ago, I turned my nose up at it every time I heard someone mention it. In fact, I’m sure I’ve actually got frown lines purely from my pre-Face Book days, and more recently, pre-Instagram.
I fought the Instagram phenomenon for a long while, thinking it was going to be full of attractive twenty year olds, all uploading minute by minute selfies. The whole “hey look at me being invited to this event!”
Sure there was a time when I probably did some of that thing but not now. It kind of makes me cringe. So why do I need to be jumping on the Instagram wagon when I have enough RSI in my life?
I now know it’s because it’s mainly about creativity and a lot of the time about building a brand. Especially if that brand is you!
So speaking of building the brand that is you, and anyone can do this by the way, you don’t need to have a newspaper column or have spent any time on radio or TV, you just simply need have love yourself to bits or pretend that you do.
Then package that little essence into as many social media comments, pictures and videos that is physically possible for you to do. Just like Face Book, Instagram, Twitter are all major cultural phenomenons, so too is the cultural tsunami of completely normal people, who are consciously and ferociously turning themselves into the next big thing. Albeit a lot of the time that may just apply to their friends, or even simply their direct siblings and their cat. But there are tens of thousands, of girls and guys around the world that are very cleverly branding themselves Team Beckham style.
Thanks to all these different social media hubs, loads of people, who as I said, have possibly not kicked any major career goals but are gorgeous and have an eye for fashion and photography, are starting to gather a following and as such are gathering actual physical brands who want to throw them lots of free stuff, or will sponsor them financially in exchange for a plug.
I went to a fashion parade the other week which was literally bursting at the seams full of the sort of people who I just described. They were young, seriously beautiful and decked out in all the latest cool gear. As the parade kicked off, and I watched a few outfits coming out, I suddenly realised that most of the first row, was looking down at their crotches. Model after model sashayed past and many of these hot front rowers did not look up once.
Was this because they’d suddenly got all coy and embarrassed about being up front? Or were they putrid that they hadn’t been picked for the show? What they were doing is feeling compelled to update their ‘social media fans’, about the fabulous moment they were at.
As the final line of models came down and the show was over, up came their cameras from their laps, as they were now videoing themselves with the models whisking past them. Kind of like they were part of the show…
Whether you hate this Kim and Kanye generation or not, the selfie and the hashtags are not going away. There is actual money to be made out of building a brand out of yourself and working your guts out to be the Pied Piper of social media.
It may seem all very shallow and vacuous I know, but these little buggers are potentially having the last laugh all the way to the bank. Which will be posted as a selfie very shortly no doubt.
Whether you watch her show or not, most of us know who Ellen DeGeneres is. Her talk show airs all over the globe and she has squillions of fans. Anyone that ends a humorous show with the words ‘be kind to one another’ deserves much success.
Bethenny Frankel, soon to launch her own talk show thanks to Ellen, first came to my awareness as a cast member of The Real Housewives of New York, airing here on Foxtel.
The show essentially follows a group of atrociously behaved women who pretty much go from one catfight to the next. Although Bethenny herself got dragged into a succession of pointless bitch fights, she cleverly brought something else to the show by being painfully and amusingly real.
She was the only one of the show that didn’t have a partner and was honest in owning that she was hopeless at relationships and had about as much baggage as Jennifer Lopez going on a world tour.
All of this baggage was played out for the cameras through her counseling sessions, where she thrashed out her issues regarding her parents and her crazy childhood. But it was never done through a ‘poor me’ vein, it was done by a desire to own it and being tough enough to face it. And along the way she gathered fans that resonated with her struggle and learnt by her revelations.
After a couple of series of being in the hit series, she left to begin her spin off show, Bethenny Getting Married? Having endeared her to millions of women, we cheered her on when she met a gorgeous guy called Jason Hoppy. She did her best not to screw it up and used her newfound self-knowledge to guide her through.
While the relationship was gathering momentum, so too was her company Skinny Girl cocktails, a range of alcohol targeted to women. To the point where the once single girl who couldn’t afford her rent at one time, was gradually becoming a multi-millionaire through its success. And then if that wasn’t enough, she found out she was pregnant.
All of the dreams this now famous woman thought would never be hers, were all erupting at once. She sold the company for a reported $120 million US, wrote a best selling book, married the handsome Jason and gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. And the show followed the lot.
I’ll admit I cried through a lot of it and like millions of other now die hard Bethenny fans, used her as inspiration to believe that so too might I be able to one day get the lot if I sift through my crap.
No doubt along with her fans, I grieved recently when news broke that her marriage was over. With all this going on, and both sides of the marriage struggling to find themselves in the chaos of it all, as happens every day all over the world, the real world, they had to go their separate ways.
Australia will get to know Bethenny soon as she joins Ellen on her trip to Australia. Although her marriage didn’t work, she was gifted with a divine child. Her inspiration now for millions of people will be to show others that she can forgive herself for the romantic relationship not working out, but to appreciate that it was meant to happen to bring her baby girl into this world.
I’ve heard it said that God doesn’t throw us anything we can’t handle. A little tough to suck up at certain points in our lives, granted. But when the gift of a child is part of a union that came to an end, then was any of it really ever a tragic mistake? Does anyone really need to keep beating themselves up?
DO YOU FIND IT HARD TO LET GO OF THE RELATIONSHIP? HOW HAVE YOU DEALT WITH YOUR DIVORCE?