Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Under the influence

I’ve always been uncertain about celebrity endorsement. It reminds me of the warrior eating the heart of an animal s/he has killed in order to gain their strength.

Ok when I was 12 or 13 I bought Wrigley’s gum and Pepsi (not coke) because my favourite band of the time used those products. Not many years down the line really from wanting something (anything!) because it had a care bear or a My Little Pony on it. While I can be smug about not buying the signature scent of some model/actress/pop star type, if I at little closer at what steers me towards things I have no doubt that some kind celebrity endorsement would turn up.

If fact there are many things that I have taken up because I think the person in question is cool and I wish to emulate them. The difference is that these people aren’t particularly famous. I read a lot of blogs and I can see that I’ve been turned onto certain things through these blogs. I started looking into Melissa shoes after reading Vintage Vivant. I wanted a laptop lunchbox after reading Vegan Lunchbox (and the now defunct Vegan lunchcast). I found myself wearing shorter skirts after reading What I Wore. So I what I eat and wear is influenced by these people. I want to be like them. Presumably by blogging about my own life I want readers to think I’m cool and potentially to take up the activities or products I mention.

It’s like being influenced by your big brother’s friends or idolising your glamorous auntie. The only difference is that you don’t know these people. Well, I don’t know these people but I am sufficiently taken with what I know of them to believe that my life would be better if I just had a little piece of them.

Of course these people aren’t endorsing products in the same way that celebrities do. They are simply sharing their way of life and the things that get them through the day. There is a big difference between sharing your love of refashioning and deliberately promoting products. I believe Gala Darling refer to this as ‘gay for pay’.

What I find a teeny bit worrying is that I think I’m an individual and work at not being sheeplike. Either I’m less original than I think I am or individuality is built from tiny bits of other people. Is that what being your own brand is? Or is this just part of an ‘act as if’ approach? Or do I just have too much time to think?

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