Brands belong on asses.
Brand implies ownership, a mark seared on the skin. In order to claim your ass I have to hurt you first, but it will get better. Eventually, you won't even remember it's there. But everyone who sees it will know.
Today's branding isn't on your ass, it's on your brain - which honestly for some people really is pretty much the same thing.
I understand the concept of branding, I just don't know that I can do it - I don't know that I want to do it really. I learned about it in school, studied the media structures for major entities, learned about personal branding and things like marketing, and the clever use of adjacent content to boost one's personal vision statement.
Creating a brand is bullshit, it's all bullshit. You should not have to structure who you are and what you stand for in advance of your personal development.
Who you are is organic, not planned and that's what you should be putting out to the world - not a sequence of photo ops and text bites from a carefully curated life that only supports a carefully researched, socially acceptable series of topics.
Why can't you be angry, vulgar, or messy? We all are.
I do not want to take away from people who hustle, who are doing what they think is best every day to achieve their personal goals - but brands are bullshit. The visionaries, the icons, the standalone ... they didn't market a mission statement, they were themselves, all messy and vulgar and driven, and their personal vision imbued itself into their work and their legacies, not the other way around.
Sand castles are tenuous creations that are compromised by the first brush of a sea breeze, and decimated by a slap from the infinite sea.
I need to be flawed and make mistakes. I need to be the person who shatters privately at the adversity her children must face. I do not want to be a role model in photo op only, you can only achieve that by doing the actual work you claim expertise in. That means pain, physical and mental, it means good days and bad, doubting yourself, and catching your breath after long laughs or painful calls.
When you find a character flaw in someone you respect it is said that they have "feet of clay." Today we put our bar across those same feet and say, "It's OK if you can't pick it up - after all, look at your foundation." Bullshit.
I do not miss my mother. I believe in the death penalty. I believe we will never have racial harmony because no race is capable of it. I do not believe marijuana to be harmless. Vaccines do not cause autism. There is a direct correlation between the quality of our food supply and environmental controls with the development of sensory processing disorders of all types. Do not discuss addiction with me.
I believe all history is necessary. There is no difference between tearing down a statue and burning a book. The same media you are reading this on is responsible for destroying the
the resilient fabric of personal experience and replacing it with the external validation of insincere people who were on your periphery for a reason - before media brought them back into daily contact with your life ... or you gave them open access to your everyday.
When people get shot with a gun, they generally aren't told about it in advance so that they can avoid it - if they did, I might not have a job. Stop turning to the internet for solace.
You should be able to read my stuff and get a feel for who I am, not who I want you to think I am. If you think my media footprint represents what goes on in my head, then you aren't paying attention. You might want to find your safe space before you enter that zone because it has more rage and judgment and passion than ever bubbles to the surface.
Museums should be curated, not your life.