The Serious Faux Pas: Celebrities

This week, we’re delving into a cultural shift we’re calling The Serious Faux Pas: the tendency of Millennials to reject those who aren’t able, or willing, to make their flaws a part of their public persona; the modern misstep of celebrities, athletes, and brands who take themselves too seriously; and how idolizing perfect icons has become a thing of the past.

Because Millennials have grown up in the age of tabloid culture and the 24-hour news cycle, they are a generation with a heightened awareness of flaws, moments of weakness, and the fact that any public figure potentially has a scandal looming around the corner. They have begun rejecting any attempted “public displays of perfection” as inauthentic. Those individuals who take themselves too seriously, carefully guarding their “realness” behind a mask of flawlessness, may be doomed to be mocked and un-liked, while Millennials embrace self-effacing and imperfect personalities.

Perhaps the clearest example of the rejection of serious can be seen in current celebrity culture, where actresses, actors and musicians are no longer idolized for being faultless, but instead looked down on if they appear too calculated or unable to exude a “down-to-earth” personality. In this category, taking yourself too seriously comes in the form of not allowing the world to see you off-balance and spontaneously imperfect.

This year, a takedown of too-earnest actress Anne Hathaway has played out online in contrast to the complete adoration of self-effacing Jennifer Lawrence. In February, NYMag published an article entitled “Why Do Women Hate Anne Hathaway (But Love Jennifer Lawrence),” citing Lawrence’s frequent mentions of taking shots, eating junk food, and wearing Spanx on the red carpet as part of her appeal. Hathaway on the other hand, was said…

 
 
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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “I put off/dread calling people in general. Everything should be done online by this time!” –Female, 30, FL 

In a continued effort to draw back the teen consumers they’ve lost, Abercrombie & Fitch’s logo will “be dead” in U.S. stores by 2015. Globally, the Abercrombie and Hollister logos and names will still be used on designs, but will be phased out here where the brand knows it is no longer considered a status symbol. Abercrombie’s sales continue to fall, and the retailer is making efforts to appeal to a different youth mentality by removing references to “Ivy League heritage,” making the brand “totally accessible,” and toning down the club-like atmosphere in-store. (BuzzFeed)

Following heartbreaking stories of the death of toddlers forgotten by their parents in hot cars, automakers made claims that they would be working on new technology to help prevent the tragedies. But years later that technology has not been produced, so parents and teens are developing it instead. Independent entrepreneurs are working on a slew of solutions for baby on board tech that would stop hot-car deaths, including car seat sensors, smartphone apps, and low-tech solutions. Many are seeking backing on crowdfunding sites to make their products a reality. (Washington Post)

Ck one was an iconic ‘90s product, but the brand has kept up with the youth market in order to stay relevant with a new generation. The fragrance, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, relies on social media platforms, including Snapchat andTumblr, to attract Millennials and stay engaged. When creating their latest TV ad, they invited all participating talent to take behind-the-scenes pictures, selfies, and video, which were then used to “seed” the new campaign on social. The Snapchat campaign has “seen more than 1 million views in just a month and a half.” (Mediapost)

Just a few years ago, Hollywood was incredulous that YouTube was anything more than a collection of amateur vloggers, and certainly most didn’t believe that it would change the traditional entertainment world. But now, YouTube has become a “Hollywood hit factory” for teen entertainment. Smaller companies that realized the platform’s potential early have grown massively, big studios are snapping up YouTube studios to get in on the action, and programming is in the midst of  “rapid consolidation.” Our social media trend tracker shows that as of March 2014, YouTube has become the number one platform teens use, with 89% telling us they use the video site compared to 80% who say they use Facebook. (Businessweek)

Earlier this summer, a report that fewer teens were interested in getting summer jobs than ever before had older generations rolling their eyes at the slacker youth who “don’t want to work.” But new research indicates that it might not just be that lazy kids these days want to spend their summers taking selfies: It could be that teen jobs don’t pay off the way they used to. Millennials with summer jobs don’t see the future wage increase that teens in the ‘70s and ‘80s did. (Vox

Every day we deliver Millennial insights to your inbox, but every quarter, we look at some of the larger trends happening within the generation—and why they matter to brands. Our Gold subscribers have access to the Ypulse Quarterly report, an in-the-know guide to Millennials that synthesizes the major trends and stats we’ve seen over the last quarter of the year. We take a close look at the "why behind the what" and provide in-action examples and supportive data, along with implications for you to take away. (Ypulse)

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