You are a person, not a brand.
With the wave of social media has come the notion of branding yourself. Are you a vintage loving surfer mom? A corporate climber who embraces a minimalist approach to life? Are you bohemian? Classically prep? How does your blog capture this persona? Is your Instagram properly curated? Have you maintained consistency with which filters you use? Are these things algorithm friendly?! Who are you? Which boxes do you check? Choose now or forever hold your peace.
Can we back track a little? Let’s start with branding - actual branding. It’s a searing hot piece of metal pushed onto livestock for the sake of assigning ownership. This is my cow, not yours.
In a commercial sense, a brand encompasses a product or services. It’s a set of colors and fonts and logos. Maybe a mission statement. This differentiates our product from yours. Our box is blue, yours is brown. We are not the same. We are better.
So we’re at livestock and products. When did people become brands? Why is this desirable in social media? Because much like the college freshman asked “what do you want to be when you graduate?” the question of WHO ARE YOU? has a different answer everyday. You do not need to become an elevator pitch. The essence of you should never be boiled down into 140 characters. People are not brands. We’re not meant to fall into black and white lines of this or that.
I’ve been decidedly off brand in the past few months. Or at least what makes for pretty fashion blogger posts (I really don’t see myself as such anymore). Posting videos at bad angles, in bad lighting and without makeup. And ya know what? I feel more myself than ever before. And I’ve gotten better feedback than I have in years. Because the real, ever changing version of myself IS the best version of me. And the real YOU is the best too.
So can I offer an alternative to the perfection and curated posts that are so popular on social media?
Do whatever possible to avoid boxing yourself up into a pretty package. Imagine yourself instead as a tree. Let your roots dig deep. Establish a strong sense of character. Follow the path that feels right in your gut. Instead of polishing your external attributes, challenge yourself to refine your inner truths and morals. Let yourself stand up and be strong as you grow into the woman you were meant to be. Stretch your arms upwards and outwards. Giving thanks and seek the light. Let yourself unfold and blossom. And when the time comes, be open to changing colors and blowing in new directions. Hibernate and be reborn. And do it over and over again. For all thats good in the world, let yourself share the shiny and the ugly. The joy and the disappointment. The reality of life!
Forget being trapped by box of being a brand. Darling, you’re so much bigger than that.