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 don't like photos of me up on the web, period, because they have the potential to be misused or misinterpreted and I have a professional reputation to uphold as a teacher.” –Female, 32, NJ

In case you missed the outpouring of excitement from Potter fandom of all ages yesterday, there is big news in the wizarding world. J.K. Rowling has published a new Harry Potter short story on her website Pottermore, reuniting now 34-year-old Harry, Ron, Hermione and friends at the 2014 Quiddich World Cup. Older and younger Millennials grew up with Rowling’s famous series, and this is their first glimpse of their boy hero as an adult. The rush to read the post crashed the site intermittently yesterday morning. (Time)

Political views are particularly shaped by events that occur in between the ages of 14 and 24, so some say that today’s teens have a greater chance of being more conservative than their older Millennial counterparts. However, the fact that they are more ethnically diverse group—45% of American teens are either Latino or another racial minority—could also affect their political leanings. (NYTimes)

We wrote that Millennials and Instagram are changing the way that advertising looks, with visual commerce platform Olapic pulling user-generated images from social media and integrating them into brand sites. They aren’t alone. Snapwire, which released its 2.0 version today, connects “mobile social photographers” with buyers who can’t find the image they’re looking for in traditional stock photos. Photographers make 50% of the profits if their image is purchased. (Fast Company)

Millennials say smartphones are more important to them than deodorant. More specifically, a recent study found that only 87% of the generation said that their deodorant was essential, compared to 93% who said that a smartphone was “very” or “somewhat” important. We can’t say we’re surprised. Ypulse’s own research has shown that 62% of 14-32-year-olds agree that their phone is a lifeline to the world around them—that’s pretty important. (NYPost)

Silicon Valley is starting young to recruit top tech talent to their companies, and bringing in high school students as summer interns has become more common. Young Millennials and post-Millennials “don’t have to get a computer science degree before producing their own mobile apps," and major coding and programming skills can be found in these very young recruits. These summer interns are also being treated better and paid well, making a future in tech look more attractive for them. (Bloomberg)

Quote of the Day: "My parents buy from companies that support fair trade like coffee and stuff, and that give back to the environment and community even though they cost a little more. I think it's worth it. So I do it too.” –Male, 15, CA

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