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: “This year, I’m planning on taking [my] wife and kid to the Philippines so he can experience his mother’s culture. His mother is Filipino while I am African American.” –Male, 32, CA

Over the last few years, airline flight safety videos have become marketing clips, with some going viral and brands getting more creative with their messages to stand out. Delta’s new in-flight safety clip is no exception, and they’re trying to speak young consumers’ language with a parade of internet guest stars. Meme celebs like Nyan Cat and Overly Attached Girlfriend make appearances in the “walk down Web culture memory lane” that has been viewed almost 2 million times in two days. (The Next Web)

The start and stop years of generations is hardly agreed upon, and many distinguish teens as a completely separate generation from Millennials—one that brands are paying more attention to. Tips for connecting with Gen Z (aka Plurals, Homelanders, iGen, or post-Millennials) include exposing your quirky side (or getting a little weird), having #NoFilter, and engaging with them on the social platforms they use. (Adweek)

Back in 2013, we told brands to prep for the future of e-commerce, including subscriptions beyond the beauty box—and we’ve been keeping track of the trend ever since. The founder of subscription box startup Carnivore Club has some thoughts on where the popular industry will go next. Expect even more niche product offerings, luxury services sold en-masse, and big retail brands joining in on the subscription model craze. (PSFK)

Nothing says summer like a baseball game—right? Maybe not for the next generation. The number of casual young players is dropping, and some Little Leagues are struggling to pull in players. According to the National Sporting Goods Association, the number of seven to 17-year-olds participating in baseball fell 41% between 2002 and 2013. New preferences for other sports like lacrosse and soccer, and kids’ focusing on a single sport for the whole year, could be reasons behind the drop off. (WSJ)

The promposal trend, which we spotted last year, has only been growing and now brands are getting in on the public “will you go to prom with me” spectacles. MTV launched “Promposal Mania” last month, orchestrating promposal stunts with pop stars and broadcasting them on Snapchat and Periscope. Sour Patch Kids has asked teens to submit their promposal stories on social, and is hosting a prom for the winners of the competition. (The Drum)

Looking for a quick stat on young consumers to get you up to speed before a strategy session? Searching Ypulse is the best place to start! Silver and Gold members have access to 10,000+ articles, 20,000+ curated news items, and thousands of statistics on Millennials and teens drawn from our monthly national survey of the generation. Your search can begin and end with us. (Ypulse)

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