by: Alonzo Kelly
Who died and made you king? That is the question I would love to ask the marketing department of some of the largest companies in the country. Perhaps as a parent I have become more aware the messages being sent to our children, especially my daughter. Via billboard and radio commercial on our way to school, she is told no less than 50 times what is wrong with her. Her hair is not straight enough, her clothes are not tight enough, her smile is not bright enough, her bank account is not full enough, her car is not new enough, her house is not big enough, her height is not tall enough, her skin is not dark enough, her skin is not light enough, her hair is not natural enough, her phone is not clear enough, her shoes are not new enough, her breakfast is not hot enough, her lunch is not healthy enough, her dinner is not fresh enough, and on and on and on. Let’s go there…
The next time you are watching television, critically examine the first ten commercials you see. Ask yourself if they are saying something is wrong with you and your lifestyle or praising you for doing the best you can with what you have? Of course most companies are not going to pay money for advertising space that praises you for doing something right (especially not during the Super Bowl for $3.5 million per 30 seconds).
How Much Are You Influenced By Advertising?
So how do we compete with the endless marketing budget of corporations? The answers are surprisingly simple;
- Remind yourself that someone got paid a lot of money to get you to believe that you need them to feel validated. Confident leaders need not be validated by anyone but their own conscience.
- Remind yourself that the rich and famous are actually the minority and that there are more people like you than the people you see on television. If that were not the case, we would not see the same people, in the same commercials, promoting the same beauty products.
- Find humor in the fact that advertisements tell you how to achieve something NOW but do not tell you how to maintain it. Perhaps marketing departments intentionally ignore national inflation and unemployment data. I would love to own one of the many $70,000 vehicles that I will be sure to see during the Super Bowl. I would also love to see the job the auto company will be giving away so that I can afford the car payment!
- Listen to your gut instincts that remind you how amazing you already are. Your intuition can do much more for your beauty than any cosmetic any day!
There is nothing wrong with my daughter and there is absolutely nothing wrong with you. You do not NEED 99% of the products advertised on television today despite the messages on the billboards. I recommend that we control what we can control. I cannot control the actions of a marketing department but I can control how the message is received and internalized. Strength is embracing who we are and what we have. Be the strongest person you know this week!