It’s amazing once you get a group of influential, creative, and (well…almost always) outspoken group of people together for an event in the heart of Los Angeles. You get the Oscars. At this year’s 87th annual event, the world’s biggest celebrities came together and set the social media scene afire. Most of the time, the viral moments that we converse about the next day or week after are about the most outrageous speech or funniest moments of the show. This year’s event, however, had moments that have the possibility to make a difference, especially with Reese Witherspoon, Lady Gaga, and Giuliana Rancic + Zendaya. Each of these stars’ experiences easily provide examples on how social media can create this impact. Reese Witherspoon and #AskHerMore: The Ability to Influence At this year’s Oscars, Reese Witherspoon walked the red carpet with a different mission. Beginning with Joan Rivers’ coverage of the red carpet, every TV host asks women “Who are you wearing?” This catchphrase has become synonymous with red carpet interviews, which has created a large business for the fashion industry. On the topic of social media, various accounts and site links litter followers’ live feed directing them to view, rate, and judge these actresses’ gowns. Reese Witherspoon and others have become tired of this. Launching this campaign, Witherspoon spoke to ABC’s Robin Roberts saying, “This is a movement to say we’re more than just our dresses. There are 44 nominees this year that are women and we are so happy to be here and talk about the work that we’ve done. It’s hard being a woman in Hollywood, or any industry.” Cate Blanchett, Shonda Rhimes, and Lena Dunham also chimed in. These women, while they realize they need to promote these designers, want to support feminism as well, informing our society that women have worked for their place in the industry and deserve to talk about it – just like the men.
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❤️ this movement #AskHerMore..have you heard of it? It's meant to inspire reporters to ask creative questions on the red carpet. I love the Oscars AND fashion like many of you – & am excited to share #WhoAmIWearing later tonight. (🙊not yet!!) But I'd also love to answer some of these Qs….And hear your suggestions?! (Share em below!) There are so many amazing, talented nominees this year..! Let's hear their stories! Spread the word. #AskHerMore #Oscars #Countdown
Lady Gaga and the Sound of Music: The Ability to Revive a “Business”
Before the show, Oscar viewers knew Lady Gaga was performing, but not in such the way she did. In commemoration for the Sound of Music’s 50th anniversary, Gaga stripped most of her theatrics and sang with her classically trained voice – something she doesn’t use as much in performances. Gaga became famous after revolutionizing the pop music industry with her edgy performances and risk-taking fashions. While she had many years of fame, after a less-than-popular 2013 record, Artpop, Gaga’s powerful career started to become unbalanced. To gain control, she decided to pare down her music identity, creating a duet album with Tony Bennett and now this stunning performance. After the performance (see below), most of the feedback was positive. Time Magazine published an article with the title “Lady Gaga’s Performance at the Oscars Could Redefine Her Career”. Social media might have saved Gaga. With the power to spread information, especially positive feedback in this example, one’s career can change very dramatically. This also holds true to businesses. We can use our favorite SM company, JetBlue, for example. With a strong social presence, JetBlue is able to gain trust in followers and create loyal fans, just like Gaga is (probably) hoping for after this performance.
Giuliana Rancic and Zendaya: The Ability to be Make a Mistake Giuliana Rancic made a mistake that she probably shouldn’t have. Being a host of E!’s Fashion Police, a satirical show commentating on celebrity fashions, Rancic and other hosts make fun of celebrities. Yes, some of their jokes are very rude, but they have to be taken in context of the show. One comment she made for their Oscars special, however, caused conflict. Zendaya, a Disney-star made famous, decided to sport dreadlocks on the red carpet. Rancid, on Fashion Police, continuing to joke around, made the comment that Zendaya “smells like patchouli oil … or weed.” As this offensive comment reached Zendaya, the teen star posted this message to instagram:
Other stars, including Kerry Washington, stood in support for Zendaya via social media after her response to Rancic’s comments. Rancid later apologized saying, “I’d really like to address something that is weighing very heavy on my heart. I want to apologize for a comment that I made on last night’s ‘Fashion Police’ about Zendaya’s hair. Now, as you know, ‘Fashion Police’ is a show that pokes fun at celebrities in good spirit, but I do understand that something I said last night did cross the line. I just want everyone to know, I didn’t intend to hurt anybody, but I’ve learned it is not my intent that matters — it’s the result, and the result is that people are offended, including Zendaya, and that is not OK.” Zendaya accepted this apology via Instagram. This Oscars story proves how easily social media can strip your reputation, even after apologies have been given. I believe this is a lesson that anyone can takeaway from this story, even businesses. if businesses aren’t careful about their messaging, they might lose customers and potentially hurt their businesses. It’s that easy. These three Oscars Lessons provide us with concrete examples on how social media can influences one’s career or business. While they are individual situations, we see, especially with the Zendaya/Rancic story, that communities are also affected. We need to be aware that we can make change and improve our careers, but also have mishaps along the way. What do you think of these stories? Do you see any other takeaways? While most see celebrities as totally different than us, these examples prove how similar we really are, using the lessons we learn through social media in a similar way.