The poem tells the story of women in her family who for generations have been taught to unconsciously shrink while making space for the men in their lives. It garnered 3+Million hits and counting, proving that while female empowerment is on the rise, we can never underestimate the power of accidental inheritance.
An excerpt below by Paul Ford and Matt Buchanan, for The New Yorker highlights a key aspect to the way we are shifting our process of mourning death enabled by the collective spirit of social networking:
"In the pause between the initial news and the more detailed reports, social media began to hammer out its own narrative of what had happened and what Hoffman’s life meant. On Twitter and Facebook, there was a flood of images, video clips, and animated GIFs, as well as quotes from past interviews about fame and craft and addiction. In the absence of aready-made narrative about Hoffman, Twitter supplied one through the piecemeal brute-force chronology of the cascading timeline; every second or two, a new piece of content arrived. Gradually, the stories provided by media outlets grew denser. A few filled in the details of his death and reported that a drug overdose was involved; many more focussed on the highlights of his life.
Finding the right image meant more attention, more favorites, and more influence. In the currency of social media, black and white trumped color; pensive, vulnerable expressions won out; content about Hoffman’s addiction was more relevant than that without; and a scene from “Almost Famous,” in which Hoffman’s character dispenses practical wisdom about being “uncool,” became the video clip considered the most illustrative of his life.
Twitter participation makes you a node in a network, passing news to your followers; it’s peer-to-peer grieving. Twitter binds the process of informing to the process of emoting, a result of the truncated nature of the medium and of its reward system. However, as the graph below shows, this pathos turned to bathos. The number of tweets about Hoffman surpassed the number of tweets about the Super Bowl less than thirty minutes after the news of his death broke, but within ninety minutes, by 3 P.M., the Super Bowl had regained supremacy on Twitter.”
By Paul Ford and Matt Buchanan, Writers, The New Yorker
Bubby’s Restaurant Menu via itsakilahobviously
Social responsibility and transparency is something businesses large and small have to pay close attention to. In addition to social good becoming tablestakes for brands at this point, Corporations are even beginning to reveal their Natural Capital in P&L (profit & loss) reports which focuses on Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability (CRS). Not to long ago, Puma revealed theirs.
Responsibility however, is not just about having an obligation to sustain our environment, it’s the new form of personal self expression. This is why it’s essential for brands to share this side of their business with the public. The options to participate in causes are a dime a dozen now, and with choice comes personal identity. Just like music, movies, lattes, and even the toilet paper industry has proved; choice is something that is personal, it’s expressive and it’s something we have attributed all brands to; by the way in which they’re expressed by us.
Knowing where everything comes from and providing a purpose with a purchase was an idea that was spear-headed at Tom’s shoe’s. A brand that drove the one-on-one model to the masses.
Recently, their new Marketplace launch, which allows users to shop by cause and region, opens its virtual doors to a new way of shopping and it’s not just about the clothes you buy or the cause you support. it’s about geographical location where the user now finds their personal philanthropic preference.
Marketplace and others are essentially changing the way we purchase. Our identities and the way we choose to express ourselves to the world is no longer just reflected by the brands we choose to buy, but we are also starting to identify ourselves by the philanthropic causes we choose to support.
Call it —Philanthropy à la carte.
Sourcing product is evolving in its commercial definition. This could mean that even that “made in China” tag in your sweater doesn’t sound half as bad anymore, as long as the product you’re wearing is benefiting the community somehow from which you’re buying the product from.
Other apparel and fashion brands like Maiyet, Everlane, and Zady.com have also emerged as global curators. They all emphasize the support of global craftsmanship while simultaneously providing you with the sourcing information of each thread that make up that pair of socks you just bought, and introducing you to the person that made them (something Etsy started doing a few years ago).
Lastly, transparency in process is just as important as the community in which products are made.
To illustrate this point further and show just how ‘on-trend’ this all is, Performance Art is also taking a piece of this pie. In a recent exhibit in Paris, Tilda Swinton and Oliver Saillard perform the “Creation of Fashion; ‘Eternity Dress’, where the viewer watched a dress being made from start to finish while Tilda plays the mannequin.
Brands that share their values are linking people to its brand, which provides a dimension to ones own identity; both for people and for the brand. Brands that are sharing their responsibility capital aren’t just showing off that they’ve checked off that box but they are actively bonding themselves with their people and their purchasers. Brands have become a huge part of our self-expression and self-actualization, and philanthropic choice is no exception.