You: an artist. An entrepreneur. A goddess of imagination.
All my friends are creatives, and they do it all: photography, modeling, fashion design, painting, pottery, macrame, graphic design, makeup, yoga, poetry, YOU. NAME. IT.
And one day they get that feeling in their bones. I'm going to share my art with the world. I'm going to share myself and my story.
I've gotten the feeling in my bones, too. I've poured my heart into my hustle and put it right out there on Instagram/Facebook/Etsy/All The Places.
And then it comes. It comes for me and it comes for all of my friends who kiss their art/new businesses and show it to the world:
Some busybody writes "haha lol she's so fake. Who does she even think she is."
The first time, it wrecked me. Then I realized a few truths.
“Fake” doesn’t really mean anything.
I get incredibly frustrated when I hear people use the word “fake” in context of beauty, presentation, personality, or social media, because there isn’t an accepted range of “real” and “fake.” It’s all subjective opinion that pretends to be a moral issue. For example, my mother thinks that hair extensions are “fake,” my grandmother thinks red lipstick is too “fake,” and my best friend believes that breast implants are “irrelevant to what society thinks is ‘fake.’” I will never get these three women to agree on what is or isn’t “fake.” Now, take opinions about creative content on the internet, which is a nuanced and entirely new form of art and marketing, and we have a mess of subjective opinions that accomplish very little.
2. Effort’s nickname is “fake.”
More often than not, “fake” is just a dismissive placeholder for “out of the ordinary,” “talented,” “surprising,” “gutsy,” or “full of effort.” Think about it this way: you are part of a community that has sized each other up and feels comfortable amongst their peers. All of a sudden, one person begins learning and testing new ideas, and like it usually does, that effort begins to pay off. Maybe you’re a beauty blogger doing some crazy things with glitter, or a digital marketer testing some new campaign ideas, or a photographer pushing creative boundaries. The community must re-size this individual. They do not fit it the box they were once cocooned in. Someone with maturity would take notice of this transformative experience and recognize the hard work of this person, and cheer the adventurer on. Someone without emotional maturity will find this confusing, threatening, and odd. It will not appear normal; why would someone go to all this extra effort? Therefore, an immature viewer will call this “fake,” which easily solves all her confusion and negates any guilt she may feel for staying creatively stagnant.
3. Small-minded people often call things "fake" because they can't see the bigger picture.
I've noticed that the entrepreneurs, content creators and artist who reach out for support online often get dismissed as fake, pretentious wanna-be's.
My big hustle the past few years has been bringing on clients and managing their social media marketing for their businesses. I had to advise them that they would run into a few individuals who would be insulted that we liked their accounts. Social Media is chock-full of digital networking opportunities, but it requires stepping out of established circles of connection. And some people aren't ready for new ways of discovering friends or small businesses. Even if one isn’t interested in taking advantage of free marketing for their creative projects or business, there’s networking connections, educational opportunities, and visually-rich content waiting outside their circle of high school friends. When people say, “I was followed by this account but it feels fake because I don’t know them,” they’re missing out of an opportunity to explore.
Your turn. Have you been dismissed as Fake? Share your opinion and experiences in the comments.