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 biggest financial priority right now is to pay off my car loan and afford a wedding of about $50,000.“ – Female, 29, NJ

Facebook is getting more emotional. The platform is adding Reactions, a new set of emoji icons that allow users to convey emotions beyond “Like,” including “Sad,” “Angry,” and “Wow.” Facebook’s director of monetization product marketing says the buttons will help brands, “understand on a multi-dimensional level how people are feeling about the things that they're posting." (AdAge)

Parents are currently told that children under two-years-old should have no screen time—a pretty unrealistic tip for modern, mobile Millennial caregivers. But the American Academy of Pediatrics may be updating that advice to keep up with the times. A reported 30% of children in the U.S. first play with mobile devices while they’re still in diapers, and the AAP now says that “in a world where screen time is becoming simply  ‘time,’ our policies must evolve or become obsolete.” (Washington Post)

Amazon is already Millennials’ favorite place to shop online or off, and now the e-commerce giant has launched an Etsy rival. Amazon’s new Handmade platform will bring together creators of artisan, “factory-free” goods, launching with 5,000 sellers. Creators must be vetted by Amazon to ensure products are handmade, and some items will be eligible for Amazon Prime. (The Daily BeastFortune)

With more Millennials delaying marriage, more twentysomethings are not going to weddings—but that doesn’t mean they have to miss out on the party. Falsa Boda is a company throwing fake weddings for Argentinian Millennials who want to attend a wedding, without the hassle of actually getting married. The parties include all the elements of a wedding ceremony and reception, including a couple that re-enacts marriage vows. (BuzzFeed)

A new category of toys is combining the power of children's imagination with the amplifying magic of technology, to appeal to a generation of kids for whom “real-world activities can seem unexciting." Disney’s new augmented reality coloring book pairs with a tablet to make the characters and kids' drawing come to life in 3D and in real-time, taking their physical play and creating a digital enhancement. (Marketing Magazine)

Quote of the Day: “When I turn 14 soon I can get a job if I want and start saving for my first car with that money and the money I make on eBay.” –Male, 13, FL

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