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Poster Child

You can’t represent what you haven’t become

By Chardonnay Beaver

As a product of the early to late 2000s, I remember when kids plastered posters all over their bedroom wall.

One of my older cousins loved the boy's R&B group B2K. Hanging their concert poster on her bedroom wall signified her fandom and deepest admiration for the group.

When my sister and I would visit this cousin's house, each of us would point out who our favorite members of the group were. Our favoritism was measured by cuteness rather than their singing ability. Nostalgia is truly precious!

This form of fandom seems like an ancient practice since social media tore the veil of privacy between celebrities and fans.

Another way posters were used in the 2000s were in advertising campaigns. The image of tennis legends Venus and Serena Williams with milk mustaches, for the Got Milk campaign, is forever imprinted in my mind.

What makes campaigns most effective is the element of authenticity the poster child models. Their authenticity and swagger compelled us to plaster these posters throughout our workplaces, schools, cities, and bedrooms.

According to Merrium-Webster, poster child is defined as a person having a public image that is identified with something (such as a cause).

The best poster childs are one of two things: personally impacted by the cause they represent, or are active contributors to solving a crisis. The prerequisite to being a poster child, in my opinion, is authenticity.

You might be wondering, ‘how does this relate to my everyday life?’

Many of us enjoy being poster children for lifestyles we don’t actually live. Many of us say we’re one thing, but our life exhibits the complete opposite. For instance, someone can’t be the poster child for hope if they’ve never been hopeless. Someone shouldn’t be the poster child for successful business if they're exploiting their customers.

Words of Wisdom by Char of the Week: Authenticity is one of the greatest virtues. You can’t represent what you haven’t become. “Better to be a nobody and yet have a servant than pretend to be somebody and have no food” – Proverbs 12:9



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