The other day I was thinking about what it means to be unapologetically authentic, as a person and as a brand. Why do some sway, while others hold steadfast, meaning they don't sell out, are incredibly picky and remain true to the person or brand that they originally intended to be? What sparked this wonder was something that I saw that left me feeling unsettled and albeit angry. I was flipping through a recent issue of a women's fitness magazine and came across a partnership that the magazine had with a drug company and select lifestyle bloggers. A few of the sites featured were blogs that I used to read, the operative word 'used' to read. The drug company was for a medicine for people with MS. The bloggers, who did not have MS, were giving advice on how to lead a productive life. The thing here is that I have MS and was seriously offended. How can someone without this disease, tell a person with this (awful) disease how to live a better life, like by making lists and getting more organized, when they have NO idea what it is like to have MS?
My immediate question was, did they know that they were being featured in such an odd capacity (blogging with drug companies, this is a stretch, no?)? Or worse, did they know and do it anyway for some sort of compensation? Regardless, it was poor taste, especially when there is no type of advice on organization that can make me, or anyone else with this disease feel better, especially on those bad days when simple tasks like running errands or pushing a vacuum seems impossible.
I rarely share a personal point of view in this space. What I am trying to say is that this site has a lot of heart. There is so much work that goes into producing content (blood, sweat and tears) and while money is important, it isn't what drives this site. I aim to produce content that is beautiful and inspiring. I get approached by a lot of brands and companies that just do not fit with the brand aesthetic. I say 'no' more then I say 'yes'. Staying authentic IRL is also very important to me in all areas of my life, being real is so important and holding steadfast when it comes to pretty much anything. So let me ask you, how do you stay authentic in a world that is trying to make you into something else?
Image via FGR