Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Especially Aguilera

Why do folks try so hard? I've never really understood that and while I'm sure I've been guilty of the same thing in the past, I no longer understand it. Why try so hard to portray yourself as someone you're not? Why not just be you?
I think this comes across easily among friends, but it certainly comes across in the public eye. Both Christina Aguilera and Rihanna have new albums they are promoting and both are choosing the most desperate ways of doing so. Rather than creating a great album with music people want to listen to over and over again, they are creating forgettable and mediocre (at best) songs and stripping down to nothing on magazine and album covers. Why though?
They'd argue that it's female empowerment and because they are choosing to expose their body, they are in control. But the real issue here is the fact that they are relentlessly grasping for any sort of press they can get. The days of shocking magazine covers have come and gone and it would behoove them both to take that into account. Especially Aguilera. She was a part of that first wave of shock-journalism and she should have grown out of it by now.
Did Adele have to get naked on the cover of a magazine to have big first-week album sales? No. She stood there, fully clothed, and sang good songs that everyone could relate to. Remember Shania Twain's album "Come On Over?" It's the best-selling female album of all time and it's an album of love songs everyone can relate to. The success of Taylor Swift? Songs everyone can relate to. Elvis, Celine, old-school Mariah...the same. But Christina continues to sing about how she's under siege and how everyone needs to back off.
When it comes to real people though, I don't understand why being ourselves isn't good enough. It's not that we don't all have work to do to become the best possible version of ourselves. We all do. But no one was ever truly fulfilled while being busy playing catch-up with others.
Be you. Don't try so hard to be someone you're not. We might not all sell 21 million albums, but we will sell ourselves short by not being true to ourselves.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Connection

My entire life is about making connections. Why I just landed on that, I'm not really sure.
Actually. Lies. I do know. I blame Instagram.
At first it was just a fun way to share photos. I was already sharing them anyway, might as well share them with fun filters on them. But then my follower count started to include people I didn't know, which is really fun. So I started following them and the spider-web kept extending.
It's amazing that we live in a time when I can follow someone that lives in Paris or London or Belfast. I get to have this glimpse into their lives and their daily activity, both the mundane and the exciting. We're able to do that with Twitter too, but this is a purely visual representation and I think that's more compelling.
I have a Masters degree in Communication for the love of God, I spend my time doing interviews and putting together a magazine - my entire life is communicating, therefore connecting. How thrilling and inspiring.
When the internet exploded and was available for everyone, we were suddenly sent into an age of information. But now, with the power of apps like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, I feel like we are in an age of Connection.
As we elect the person that will preside over our country for the next four years, has it ever been more evident that we are sharing and connecting more than ever? I think that's a great thing. It's expanding our worldviews, it's showing us different ways of thinking about our neighbors and it's making it easier than ever to stay in contact with people that matter (and some that don't).
I like to be connected. When I feel disconnected, I feel disoriented, discombobulated and just flat out dissed. (I had a shtick going there)
 So let's connect. I guess it's true, once a student, always a student because I don't ever want to stop learning about people.