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 tablet is my least favorite device, it’s not good to play games on.” –Male, 27, CA

Toy-inspired films have had some big success in the last few years, and now Hollywood has a new, perhaps unexpected, source of inspiration from our childhoods: Play-Doh.Bridesmaids director Paul Feig may direct the live-action film from Fox, which he reports will be “a big movie, big in scope.” Though some might sniff at the idea of a movie based on colorful clay, the memory of The LEGO Movie’s success has many predicting Play-Doh could be a hit as well. (Collider)

Although rumors of Millennials’ supposed hookup culture abound, they actually have fewer sexual partners than previous generations. According to recent study, today’s 18-29-year-olds average eight sexual partners, while Gen Xers averaged 11, and Boomers 10. However, Millennials were the least judgmental about premarital sex, with 62% saying there is nothing wrong with it, compared with 50% of those polled in the ‘90s, and 47% of those polled in the ‘70s. Ypulse’s most recent trend report reveals even more about the sex and dating behavior of young people today. (TimeMedical Daily)

Millennials have a reputation for job-hopping, and last year the median job duration for 20-24-year-olds was less than 16 months. To hook young hires for the long run, some companies are hosting mentorship “mixers,” relaxing dress codes, and asking younger employees to play a role in the hiring process. Some experts recommend openly talking to Millennial workers about the chances they will leave, and using a “tour of duty” structure in which employees and managers agree upon a specific amount of time the job will last. (Wall Street Journal)

Tyler Ward and Dave Days are proof that musicians don’t have to be part of the traditional music industry to have millions of fans, and dollars. They are two of the many YouTube musicians who have millions of 12-18-year-old viewers enamored. Their draw is that they are, as singer Tiffany Alvord says, “just normal, everyday people like them…relatable and reachable,” But while they’re experiencing unprecedented popularity, many young YouTube celebrities are choosing to remain independent of labels in order to stay in control of their own direction. (The Guardian)

Aerie, the lingerie line that has received kudos from young consumers for challenging beauty standards in marketing, is taking a “little sister” under their wing. The brand is partnering with Yellowberry, a tween lingerie company that emphasizes confidence and was launched by an 18-year-old via Kickstarter. The limited edition #AerieForYellowberry collection is meant to provide younger girls with a stepping-stone to the older brand. (brandchannel)

Did you know that Ypulse tracks social media trends in our monthly surveys? We found that Vine, Instagram, and Snapchat have seen steady growth since August 2013, gaining 7%, 11%, and 15% more users 13-32-years-old, respectively. Our Silver and Gold subscribers can find helpful visuals that detail our tracked trends in the Data Room on (Ypulse)

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