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

“The issue I am most passionate about is jobs/unemployment, because I need a job.”

—Female, 24, OH

Half of all 13-17-year-olds are on Snapchat, according to Ypulse’s most recent social media tracker—so what are they really doing on there? One BuzzFeed writer observed his 13-year-old sister to find out how to “Snapchat like the teens,” and learned that the “app is [her] life.” She wakes up every morning to respond to about 40 incoming snaps with selfies, which she can do in under a minute. Responding is crucial, streaks (responding every day without a break) are “the MOST important thing,” filters are “VERY big,” and “EVERYONE looks at Cosmo on Discover.” When asked about her dad’s reaction to her incessant snapping she answered: “Parents don’t understand. It’s about being there in the moment.” (BuzzFeed

The Tab, a student-targeted site with articles on campus life and local stories, is not ready to let go of their 2.5 million monthly readers preparing to graduate—so they’ve expanded. The Tab National is targeting for 20-somethings, and describes itself as as “the Vice for people who don’t think that Uber or pop-up markets are necessarily a bad thing.” The Tab’s top-tier U.S. and U.K. university sites have captivated advertisers, who are guaranteed that their sponsored posts will get at least 25,000 page views—more than half of brand stories on the site are getting 50,000. (Digiday

You may have heard that Twitter is reworking their timeline algorithm, but what does that mean for brands? The new layout will use an algorithm to showcase the most relevant tweets, and “collated tweets from brands, athletes, politicians and other public figures will appear at the top of the timeline” so users won’t miss any trending conversations. For brands this means well-thought out content will still be key as “[t]he algorithm will likely favor content with higher engagement.” It could also mean more exposure: “organic posts [will] have the ability to drive enormous engagement and cause a buzz.” (The Drum

According to Pew’s new data, Millennial Democrats are far more likely than older generations and their Republican peers to get their political updates through social media, with 74% who are very likely going to participate in their state’s primary or caucus saying they learned about the election through a social site, compared to 50% of Millennial Republicans. Millennial Democrats are also the most likely to identify themselves as liberal: in 2015, half (49%) labeled themselves as liberals, compared to 41% of Gen X, 40%(of Boomer, and 35% of Silent Democrats. (Pew Research Center)

Luxury menswear brand John Varavatos’s shoppable, touchable video ad powered by Cinematique prompted eight times more Facebook engagement than standard videos. Viewers can click or tap clothing like as the video plays, and at the end of the ad are shown the collection they chose, leading to product pages on the website. According to recent data, 33% of fashion video are considered mainly “brand-building,” and only 16% of brands use shoppable videos. But that could shift as more marketers adjust to consumers’ video-consumption behaviors. (WWDDigiday)

Quote of the Day: “I participated in Bikram Yoga, because I found a few YouTube tutorials on it.” –Female, 24, MN

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