Is it just me, or does it feel like we are all starting to Brand Ourselves? Through social media we each curate our lives and reveal in mostly filtered perfection, (or sometimes purposely non-filtered perfection), images and witty sound bites creating in essence our own brand. The Brand of Me. I am part of this trend too, I post regularly on Instagram: there is Mary Ellen the Pit Bull Advocate, Mary Ellen the Living with Cancer Through Humour Gal, Mary Ellen the Vintage Loving Stylehoader. Is this a bad thing? I don’t know, but it does make me a bit uncomfortable.
It used to be that creating a brand was done primarily by companies in order to sell a product. To this day fashion retailers continue to be focused on creating a desirable brand in order to make money: “Understated elegance for the woman who knows true luxury.” “Affordable classics with a twist!” “The only watch for the man who works hard and plays hard.” But now that we are all self-branding, are we in some strange way selling ourselves? And to whom and for what reason? Many successful fashion & lifestyle social media wizards are actually selling items, often through sponsored ads, so that makes sense. But what the hell are the rest of us doing? I realize I am probably just overthinking all of this, but it still kind of freaks me out.
The other issue with everyone becoming a Branding Queen (or King), is that – at least for me – it can lead to increased depression & anxiety. If I see one more perfectly decorated home with that damn fury IKEA bear rug thrown casually but not casually over a mid-century chair I am going to stab my eye balls out! Or another reclaimed wood dining-room table, sparkling with glitter and pastel food and champagne bubbling over in mis-matched but perfect vintage glasses with an incredible floral arrangement in a milk jug bought for just $2 at a garage sale! I can’t take it! This past weekend I actually suffered from a bout of “Insta-Madness:” I went to my favorite Leslieville bakery – Sweet Bliss – and bought myself three delicious treats (luckily for me my partner is Paleo, so I get all the sweets to myself!) Upon arriving home and admiring my goodies in their low-key unadorned box, I found myself thinking that they would look much prettier “styled” on a vintage floral China plate. OMG! What has happened to me?! Thankfully I am not THAT insane and I happily enjoyed my sweets on a regular, almost ugly plate. And they were damn tasty!
I guess for now I will just cut back a little on social media so that I can remain sane-ish. But then again, I did just buy my dog a new bandana, so I might have to Instagram that as part of my “I’m a Pit Bull Advocate” Brand. #stopthemadness