Chapter 07 - Why Losing Followers Feels Good

The mechanics of what is a good engaging post on social media is no more a random game, trust me. There are full on analytical case studies, apps, algorythms that can distinguish a good selfie from a bad one, a successful post from a mediocre one just by looking at the color intensity, the symmetry and the # and timing strategy around each post. 

So next time you think what you see is a result of pure on spontaneity and creative spark, think again. Most of the influential and branded content is a result of constant, thoughtful elaboration.

The follower gain and numbers treasure hunting? That too is not based on a magical talent that God blessed you with but on logical mechanics that evaluate your always on interaction with the community.  

A month ago, I was personally stressed of losing followers, even if the number was at ridiculously minimal levels, each loss was almost a heavy burden that reflected my failure on the social heaven called Instagram. And for no logical reason, after all I am not an influencer per se, making millions out of content. And yet, failure over something so futile seemed irrestistibly devastating. 

And then one day, I woke up. And i saw it as a blessing. Why? Because there is nothing more precious about expressing who you really are, for those who really appreciate you. It is a blessing in disguise that some of my fellow influencer colleagues and friends have figured out already. It is the few people that are the most passionate about your work and mentoring you through every step of the way that really matter. It is the people you can learn from and even teach something that you should seek out to. Number is just a bubble. Action, interaction and real life mentoring and help is what we should opt too.  

I know it is not easy especially for those addicted, but it starts with less time on this little device between your hands and more time listening to this little device behind your chest (hope i didnt fuck up the anatomy class for a heart metaphor here) 

love

C

 

 

Chapter 06 Extreme is The New Black

If reading this title makes you question my racist nature, do not worry, it is not your fault. And no my chapter title was not reffering to African American citizens but to the infamous style quote. 

It is beyond my understanding, how in the year 2017, we ended up seeing extreme right symbols from a terrible past resurface on the net. And despite the fact that there is a number of people actually raising their voice about it on social media, the Charlottesville topic is still underrepresented vs the content released. No, it should not be an opportunity for trending but an opportunity for raising awareness. Awareness to the fact that in today's world, anything extreme is the new black. And that is dangerous.

What Trump and Kylie Jenner have in common apart from an entrepreneurial bone and an outrageous thirst for fame is their representation of the extreme. And they both succesfully sell in their own way. One's extreme political statements are another's extremely oversized lips. And that sells today just for the mere fact that it stands out. Because in our world with such a plethora of info, we now know for a fact that only 10% actually gets to be seen: 10% on either side of the spectrum, whether it's the best or the worst. We all remember the "better people talking shit about you than not talking at all" quote or the memorable "bad publicity is still publicity" kind of attitude.

So with that in mind, it shouldn't come as a shock that extreme political, overpassionate behavior is more common than not. But this means trouble because as the Charlottesville events proved is that this 10% of extremists can also create the biggest drama as they have the biggest of drive. 

Unfortunately I do not have a solution, other than urging that the ones in economic or media power (beyond a biased government) raise awareness and educate the people of today's reality. Cause while we are out there enjoying avotoasts in millenial pink tees, there is people in torches parading on a tune of hate.  

 

 

 

Chapter 05 - Facetune made me do it

Long story short, earlier today one of the influencers I follow asked his community to "caption this selfie" and my cynical side wrote "facetune made me do it" which at the time seemed hilarious to me. Naturally,  my comment was shortly deleted. 

Here is the ugly truth: we all use Facetune, Photoshop, Youcam, VScocam etc to beautify or embellish, if you like, reality. And that is ok, cause aesthetics come first on a visual platform like Instagram. However in this same world, there's no laws to date that legislate or control any kind of visual modification to a full on extreme retouching.

Ironically, today's laws on tv are harsher than our daily feed.

Ironically, today's role models idolize supersized bodily features on superskinny bodies. And we thought Barbie's proportions were inhumane.

Ironically, today's travel destinations and tourist places on our feed seem to be empty,  beautifully decorated locations with no one but us, however last time I went to the Taj or the Eiffel Tower I could barely see the statues. 

And here's the trap: we all know, or at least people with photography or graphic design skills know that we are just being exposed to a daily fantasy. But what happens when a naive, unexposed crowd perceives this as his or hers daily reality and lifetime goals? What happens when the young girl sees the facetuned selfie of her favorite icon as the quintessence of real human beauty? What happens when plastic will no longer be fantastic? 

Goodnight millenial folks sleep well beauties xx

 

 

 

Chapter 04 - August & Chill

It's 3am and I can't sleep. No it's not because there's an excess amount of alcohol or other recreational substances in my body nor cause it's too warm too function; it's cause I just watched yet another episode of the extraordinary series The HandMaid's Tale. And I'm only at episode 3...

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Long story short, tv series and Netflix rule. At least a selective bunch of them that is. Literally for the first time on TV, or better yet on my Iphone I can binge watch quality tv. And the options are plenty. From the extremely dystopian sci fi Black Mirror (I mean the social media episode is about to come true like tomorrow), to the teenage drama 13 Reasons Why (teen suicide from bullying is at record high among millenials), the anorexia centric teen movie To The Bone (just realized a few dear friends are actually suffering of), they all have something in common: they make you stop and think beyond the pretty picture. And that gives me hope that our generation still has brains and beliefs - we just need to use them more often than taking selfies.

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However, the best of the best this season is definitely the Hulu series - inspired by my all favorite woman author Margaret Artwood and the series Handmaid's Tale. Seriously. This hunger game mood/sepia shot series hits so close to home and given the current political situation, it is a fantasy not that far from a terrible reality. I mean from the way the new form of patriarchy is portrayed, the gender (in)equality, to the subliminal references of eastern religions and the complexity of the woman psyche, it's all too real and hard to swallow.

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But in a good way. In a way that keeps you awake at night. In a way that makes you want to stand up for women's rights, trans rights and oppose tyrannic behavior. And that is the power of visual arts. 

So if you have nothing better to do this summer, be healthy, stay home and watch something that will provoke your brains, stimulate your guts and make you be passionate about other humans.  

Sidenote: For those moments when it gets all too real, I hear Riverdale, Sense8 and Twin Peaks are not that bad ;) 

 

 

CHAPTER 03: AN EDUCATION

Since there was nothing better to do on a cloudy Saturday night in Paris, why not write about a subject that can raise some questions in our educational system. It might be a boring subject for most of us, but still something to think about. For years now we are expected to finish school, then enter university where we are supposed to learn most of our analytical, critical skills to move on and become full grown citizens ready to enter the workplace and work a 12h day work so that we can pay off our student loans, Netflix subscription and the occasional splurge on that Gucci tee. However, I have been recently bombarded by millenial cases in which, despite the average norm or the so called "Average Joes" that we all so love or used to love, have never stepped a foot on a university campus. And, what is crazy, is that these "Self Made" Ygeners also tend to be making quite a plausible career, despite their almost rebel attitude towards the system. In fact, they are making more money at a younger age, at a better speed, with full financial responsabilities and under better conditions than some older ones under their 30s. They made something out of nothing and that's with no questioning, pure GOALS. 

Come to think of it, my father never made it to university. He built his very own business model out of nothing and turned it into something sustainable enough to support a more than healthy lifestyle for me and the rest of my family. So, here's the million dollar question, TO WHAT EXTENT IS UNIVERSITY REALLY NECESSARY THESE DAYS? To some it might come as a shock, or an absolute outrage but here's the thing (doctors & scientists & lawyers etc aside): why would someone that is into marketing, consulting, advertising, communication and the fields around be obliged to follow a full on education that he will have to repay for a certain amount of years in his adult life, only to get paid an average salary? Is going to uni (when relevant to the beauty/fashion/Advertising domain) something for the average and not for the 10%? Is the old school system of coming out of a good Ecole De Commerce even relevant on today's workplace? And should the leading business men of tomorrow be judged by a simple graduation paper or their capacity to have built their own empire from scratch?

 Let me know your thoughts, for those still brave enough to read xx

 

PS1: In case you are wondering, at the time when I was a student ie 2008, going to uni was not even a question but more of a pure given, especially for a straight A student. Having been myself to university for 4 years somewhere in the United Kingdom far far away, I must admit that my experience was outstanding and full of life experiences when it came to bonding with other people, learning to stand on my own two feet and exploring who I am as a person. Do I regret it? No. Would I have prefered to already built my own empire instead though? Definitely.  

PS2: promise the next chapter will be a bit sexier ;)

 

Chapter 02: Pretty Hurts

While I was driving* down Malibu beach the other day, there was one thought that kept on coming back on my mind (just like a commercial song that you love to hate and end up listening to again and again and again):  Thank god I am not a teenage girl or boy at our era. I can't even begin to imagine how terrifying that must be and what a source of infinite insecurities and trips to the local therapists our current beauty stereotypes have been causing those parents. I mean think about it: in all due respect to the industry that I truly adore and that has provided me food, shelter and a full blown career, we are basically saying to these young kids in more than one cases: plastic is fantastic. Literally.  Whether is complete face alteration, synthetic hair, body enhancements or overphotoshopped pics, artificial reality seems to be the ordre du jour. No wonder Selena's 13 Reasons Why and all these teenage drama paraphernalia hit so close to home. Cause well, let's face it, being in a high school sucks for most of us. But being in a high school during today's artificial world must suck extra hard. And even if we are all human beings with a brain, we tend to forget that we are still driven by emotion and not by reason. And emotion can only create more insecurities, more anxiety, more of all these things that keep us awake at night wondering what the f to do next. So, I couldn't help but wonder, just like Carrie Bradshaw would occasionally say while typing on her iconic Mac somewhere in a studio far far away, whose responsibility is this and will it ever stop? Will natural be sexy again beyond a Glossier balm? And is having partially given into this world on several occasions make me a schizophrenic millenial on the verge?   Simple thoughts, no simple answers. For what is worth, at least we are here to discuss. Keep on sending me your thoughts. Bonne nuit x 

 

*: correction, I don't actually drive, i am driven to places - never touched a stirring wheel in my life - guilty as charged, it just sounded more poetic, get with it 

the unbearable lightness of (not) being an influencer 

(a millennial essay from a millennial boy to his fellow millennial friends )  

Chapter 01 or who knows

What did just happen? How did we allow ourselves to change values so fast? Since when having a six pack, a surplus of unknown followers and an insatiable desire for vscocam perfectly curated pics became an end life goal? Since when did we think it was ok to replace our interest in arts, literature, honesty, unconditional love by a mere number at the bottom of yet another selfie? Since when did we decide it is ok to fixate our sight on a tiny screen, leaving life around simply pass us by? It came as a shock to realise that more than 2 years of my life i was stuck in a virtual box that i signed up for. I, voluntarily, like the majority of my generation, opted for virtual interactions rather than face to face conversations. I, like my millennial compatriots, chose to live my most precious vacation moments through a screen because suddenly the captures in my memory seemed to be outdated. They say a picture is worth a 1000 words, but whatever happens when that picture has nothing left to say? These were the questions that started crawling into his mind, on a Saturday afternoon somewhere under a perfect, #instafriendly sunset in Paris. 

 

PS1: sorry there won't be any pretty pictures to distract you from reading.

PS2: the title is an homage to one of my favorite books of all times, hope you ll appreciate this. 

PS3: below all the messages i ve received so far, thank you for the love and open discussion.

 

 

Travel Diaries: Etretat bound

Who knew that the North of France could be so dead drop gorgeous? I mean call me a city slut and anything but bucolique, but this scenery was to die for. I'm not giving you any tips cause frankly I was trying to survive on Stella McCartney platform shoes - not a great idea but a great look to stir some local stares and the anger of my german boy.. #oopsididitagain. However I can testify that this place is worth visiting if Paris feels like a bad hangover on a summer weekend and you need a detox time out. Don't worry there's no anal cleansing treatment like those in the modern day beauty camps - at least I didn't find any. 

enjoy the view xx

 

Pretty please! 

Pretty please! 

Blame it on Stella

Blame it on Stella

That german boy

That german boy

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Behind Closed Doors: Tsarina Maryna

So last week i had the honor to be working with a very cool girl, miss Maryna, in one of the most iconic places in Paris, the Plaza Athenee. Trust me, it was intense but it was all worth it. We wore labels, we had champagne and most of all we made some magic. Below an insider's view in how it went down in the DM. Enjoy xx

Paris Je T'Aime.

Call me cheesy but I do love Paris. Especially when it isn't raining. Or snowing. Or so grey it makes you wuestion why you were bitchin about London town the other day. Anyway, cheers to gorgeous Paris. 

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You Cannes Sit With Us

I am 99% certain that there must be an official disease called the post Cannes depression syndrome, if there's not, we need it. ASAP. For those who didn't see, care or know what happened in Cannes, take a look below. It was a hell of a ride for yet another season. Oh btw, I also had the honor to takeover L'Officiel Brazil and show my view on the whole thing, for those who speak that sexy language click here for the article.

Lesson Of The Day: Be Direct.

Life is short. You are getting older, I am considering Botox. Never forget, the best way to get what you want is to say what you want. Simple pimple. 

 

PS: that guy is hot. You should follow him. 

matthieu

Tropic Like It's Hot

i met Manu through Instagram - it does go down in the DM after all.. A personal stalker and a big fanatic of his southern beauty, I was awed by his immediate enthousiasm to collaborate together and show a more tropical side of the otherwise classical Paris. Enjoy xx

 

 

Source: http://iamconstantin.com/work-avenue/#/tro...