Want to change the culture? Then it’s important to understand why something has happened and equally important to know what the correct response is and why that response is so critical.
As you’re probably aware, Kim Kardashian is back in the news. Why? She flaunted her naked body again. Obviously, many have a ton of opinions on this but we can end those debates and discussions quickly by doing one thing. Nothing. I’ll explain.
Kim K is winning the culture war because people ARE talking about her. The entire point of what she did was to both draw attention to herself and to have people everywhere talk about both it and her. She is wildly successful. Her vulgar magazine spread takes advantage of the old marketing adage:
Any publicity is good publicity.
Kim K is noted for one thing, her body. In fact, she’s terrible at pretty much everything else. I might even argue that her life is a warning to others as what NOT to do. She doesn’t create, build, or invent anything, nor is she an artist in any way. But, she is outstanding at getting lots of attention. Sadly, that’s our fault because we give it to her.
I’m absolutely certain that there will be plenty who talk about Kim but that’s exactly what she wants. The best answer to her and her latest shenanigans to completely ignore her and never discuss her. When she doesn’t get the attention she wants it ruins her brand. When that occurs it reduces her income stream.
But Kim isn’t new nor novel. In fact, the seeds for were planted decades ago. How often do we quote Gloria Swanson from Sunset Boulevard? Remember her famous quote?
Alright Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up.
That’s exactly what all celebrities do. They’re ready for their close up and no one captured that better than Marilyn Monroe.
We are all familiar with Marilyn Monroe’s iconic photo from the movie “The Seven Year Itch”. In fact, I’ve seen it displayed everywhere. We not only display it, we glorify it. Why then, are we shocked when the next logical step comes along? Madonna pushed that edge in the 1980’s and ‘90’s and Lady Gaga pushed that envelope this past decade. So why would we be shocked when Kim Kardashian poses for this magazine spread? It’s obvious that this would happen.
So what do we do?
Ignore her. By choosing not to talk about, post about, write about, tweet about, or even acknowledge this behavior we steal the oxygen from the room and from the fire she lit. But you’re talking about her now. Yes, because this won’t be the last time she does this nor will she be the only one.
When we engage this behavior we stop talking about the things that are important to us. We stop talking about our principles. We stop talking about the culture we want and desire. When we refuse to engage this behavior we rob it of the publicity they want. When we purchase music from artists that engage in this behavior we are giving our tacit approval to their behavior. If you’re opposed to it, the biggest statement you can make is to completely ignore them.
We talk about changing the culture but fall right into the trap of engaging and discussing these individuals and their behavior and feed them the publicity they so desperately need. When we don’t discuss or talk about them, we starve them of that publicity. We change the culture by discussing those things we care about.
When asked about Kim, change the subject. Express your disapproval and then immediately talk about how you really admire Sadie Robertson. How you admire her ability to dance and win while firmly adhering to her principles. Talk about how she can look sexy but not slutty. Talk about how you admire that she refused to listen to her detractors and stands up for her family.
What you’ve done is complete rob the former of any oxygen to fuel the fire of publicity she desires, further, you’ve promoted the actions and behaviors of those whose principles you admire. You’ve given Sadie positive publicity and the more people that drive that conversation the more people will respond by trying mirror those principles.
Want to know who’s going to make the talk shows? The celebrities that people talk about most. Want to know who drives those conversations? You do. Ask yourself who you’d rather see on the shows. Now drive the conversations and ignore those who don’t represent your principles.
When we do that, we start successfully changing the culture.