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: “My dream for the future is complete financial independence from parents and any others, and a very satisfying career that I enjoy (a high salary would be a plus, but not essential).” –Male, 25, PA

The pickup game could become a thing of the past. According to ESPN, playground basketball as we’ve known it is dying. Crime has pushed many urban kids off of outdoor sports spaces to indoor courts that can be controlled. Meanwhile, high school players who want a future in the sport are turning to organized leagues like the Amateur Athletic Union over yard games where “street cred” ruled over building skills to showcase for schools. (ESPN)

Let wants to be the “ultimate, coolest” social network for teens. The app was built on the concept that “Facebook is not for teenagers anymore” and that they are looking for a more positive, gamified experience. Let creates leaderboards to show the members who have amassed the most stars, the equivalent of a Like, and has recently gained members—reportedly doubling in size every two weeks—thanks to YouTube stars like Jake Boys joining and “bringing their followings with them.” (TechCrunch)

Are Millennial marriages in beta? A lot has been said about the generation’s delayed walk down the aisle and their rearrangement of traditional adult milestones. Now, a new study has found that even after they’ve walked down the aisle it might just be to test the waters: 43% of Millennials “would support a marriage model that involved a two-year trial,” and 33% would be open to licenses that require the “terms” to be renegotiated after a certain amount of time.  (Time)

Young consumers have made music streaming their clear preference, and it is currently the only area in the recorded music industry experiencing growth. Apps like Spotify, Pandora, and iHeart Radio are competing for their attention, and their loyalty. But an epic streaming battle could be about to begin: tech titans like Apple, Google, and Amazon are acquiring their own streaming tools in order to control the future of the music market. (Quartz)

Some are dubious as to whether social apps can create real media stars, but it can’t be denied that for young artists today the path to fame has diversified, and online followings can impact careers. Case in point: 15-year-old Vine star Shawn Mendes’ self-titled EP hit No. 1 on iTunes only 37 minutes after its release, thanks in part to his 2.9 million followers spreading a #ShawnToNumber1 hashtag. (Mashable)

Quote of the Day: “My dream for the future is to become an entrepreneur so I can become my own boss. I also want to become successful to help other people who are in need.” – Female, 23, CA

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