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: “When I want relationship advice I usually check out good relationship blogs or online articles.” –Female, 32, TN

E-cigarettes are becoming increasingly popular with teens, and one reason could be that it’s “ridiculously easy” for teens to get them. A new study asked minors to order e-cigarettes online from 98 different vendors, and 75 of those orders were successful. Of the 23 orders that failed, only five were due to age-verification issues, and in many cases if a website did not accept a minor’s age, teens were able to use their parents’ identities. Kids who have smoked e-cigs are reportedly twice as likely to say they intend to try regular cigarettes, so this ease of access could lead to a larger issue. (The Verge

Millennials are seeing food as the new status symbol and expecting everything on demand. Now a slew of startups areredefining food delivery to cater to their tastes. Gourmet food delivery service Munchery is a player in this trend, and has just expanded from San Francisco to New York City. Unlike services that deliver dishes from high-end eateries, Munchery provides a selection of over 300 pre-cooked meals prepared by Michelin-starred chefs, which are delivered cold and ready to be heated. There is a social good angle as well, as Munchery matches the cost of each order with a donation to City Harvest. (Forbes)

Young consumers have helped to make Scotch and whiskey cool again, and old-school brown spirits have become increasingly popular over the last decade. While the industry might have initially been ”perplexed” by the attention, it has seized the opportunity by targeting Millennial drinkers in new ways. The brand Balvenie is appealing to this new generation of Scotch drinkers by tapping Anthony Bourdain to host Raw Craft, a video series traveling around the country to showcase American craftsmanship. The Balvenie’s parent company has also released new brands, like Monkey Shoulder, that specifically target 20-somethings with lower prices and unpretentious branding. (Fast Company)

YouTube celebrities like PewDiePie’s Felix Kjellberg, Zoella, Alfie Deyes, and Jamal Edwards all made the list of the 500 most influential people in the country, and digital marketers could learn a few lessons from Generation YouTube. “Flawed is the new flawless,” thanks to digital celebs’ realness and transparency, and brands should embrace the authenticity of the medium. It’s also important to note that the stereotype of kids watching YouTube alone in their bedrooms is far from the truth: 90% of users are over 18-years-old, and 39% watch YouTube with their partner. (Marketing

Sonic is planning to play up their retro style drive-ins to appeal to young consumers' nostalgia, while also giving those drive-ins a technological makeover. Soon the fast food spots will feature touch-screen menus, which offer suggestions and internet access, along with the carhop service that has helped to set it apart from its competitors. The brand was slow to launch a digital and social presence, but is ramping up their efforts, including a series of digital only clips that show a significant departure from their traditional TV marketing. The opportunity for Sonic to attract younger consumers could be big, considering their customizable menu and unique experience-driven locations. (Digiday)

Have some lingering questions about Millennials that you need answered for an upcoming meeting? That’s what Ypulse is here for. Silver and Gold subscribers have access to Ypulse's trend and Millennial experts for quick, personalized feedback on any topic. After each insights article, subscribers can submit questions and requests directly to our experts and receive instant responses. (Ypulse)

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