I had the privilege of attending a very special event at the Rachel Zoe Pop Up Shop on Tuesday evening! As if being greeted with bevvies, an Honest Beauty lip crayon, and an RZ gift card wasn’t enough already, I got the chance to listen to a panel of three inspiring, empowering businesswomen. Co-Founders Lauren Paul and Molly Thompson of Kind Campaign, and Founder of The Giving Keys, Caitlin Crosby, all told their stories behind why they started, and how they have maintained the success of their companies. They had a passion to make a difference in the world, and they still do.
If you don’t already know, Kind Campaign is a school program that works to bring awareness and healing to the harmful environment of bullying that girls experience. Lauren and Molly both spoke about how they witness firsthand the bullying that goes on in middle and high schools, both in-person and on social media. In a world where people hide behind their computer screens and iPhones rather than participating in face-to-face interactions, it can be easy for some to attack others with negative comments and hateful messages.
It has also become an unfortunate phenomenon to measure a person’s worth or value based off of the number of followers and likes they have on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Pathetic, sad, and superficial- but true. I mean, look at how many people on Instagram freaked out on Monday when they pleaded for their followers to turn on their notifications so that their profile wouldn’t get lost in the shuffle of Instagram’s newest update and resultantly lose likes or followers. Whether it was a casual, innocent reminder by some users, it felt like it was more of a desperate plea for approval by the entire Instagram community that proved just how much people use social media to measure their self-worth. Lauren and Molly encouraged us bloggers, writers, editors, and photographers to report any negative or hurtful comments we come across to Instagram and categorize it as “bullying” in an effort to spread more positivity and eliminate negativity. I encourage you all to do the same!!
Caitlin of The Giving Keys also shared her perspective on using social media to make a difference. While her fashion company employs those transitioning out of homelessness to make jewelry out of repurposed keys, there is a product to be sold, but more importantly- there is a message to be heard.
She shared that even her company has noticed that social media posts of homeless statistics and other posts relating to homelessness receive dramatically less likes than fashion-oriented posts featuring celebrities wearing the jewelry. While her and her social media team constantly work towards posting the right balance of fashion and passion, Caitlin insists to post what matters to you and to not be afraid or hesitant to post what the real meaning is behind your company or brand. Stay true to your roots, always.
It is easier said than done to not get caught up in the social media popularity contest. As a multi-agency repped and published model, I have missed out on castings and jobs because they wanted an “Instafamous model” instead of a legitimate model (I kid you not, those are the exact words they use to describe some roles). I know that I would have dramatically more followers if I photoshopped my body, airbrushed my selfie, and posted booby and booty mirror pics- BUT, that is not who I am!! I know I’m not alone in that, because I follow a lot of women who are beautiful inside and out and you girls keep it easy for me to remember the importance of transparency and genuine personality on the Internet.
You have the ability to make the choice of who you want to be and how you portray yourself on social media. Keep the fire you had when you first started the blog or the Etsy shop or the creative direction business. Unveil and maintain your true self, and take control of your social media environment. Remember, you are you for a reason. Your ideas, brain, soul, and heart are one of a kind- don’t be afraid to let them shine! Xx
Thanks for reading my novel- I swear I only rant about really important stuff;) How do you make social media matter? Comment below!