March 17, 2014
Any ways

Unless you’ve been away from social media in the last while, you know about the recent video (“First Kiss”) of strangers kissing for the first time that went viral on the Internet. It was later revealed that the video was in fact staged for a commercial. Some of us felt fooled and some simply said “who cares?… should we care?”.

We know advertising does not sell products. It sells beliefs, values, lifestyles. Through stories, it sells a view of the world and tells you how you are to understand yourself as part of that world in question. It creates standards. In this case it is saying: here is a world where strangers meet and kiss for the first time and this is how it usually looks (cute and beautiful).

It can be interesting and even fun to study the ways advertising influences and attempts to deceive the masses. But keeping the discussion focused solely on this would be to distract ourselves from a great opportunity to create the kind of change we do have control over.

TAKE 2 –

A later video emerged featuring actual strangers kissing for the very first time. This video is much more “real” and not as endearing. It is to say the least, a little awkward (watch it below). In it, the camera becomes a mirror for something that is closer to real life. We are watching ourselves -human beings- in all of our imperfect, insecure and clumsy states.

To use an analogy, the first video is like a flawless face full of natural looking makeup. The second is that same face first thing in the morning. Most of us rather look at (and believe) the first. This is the important part.

If you dig a little deeper, you’ll find that how you engage with media is a reflection of how you engage with yourself everyday. Look at yourself (your thoughts, your reaction) while you are looking at those videos not just the videos.

Being resistant towards embracing an awkward representation of how life really is (the second video) moves us to also cultivate resistance towards embracing ourselves as we are in every day life with all our own “imperfections”.

So… what now? 

We know that insight without action rarely yields change.

These five words may not seem like much but they are a powerful place from which to start:

Next time you find yourself feeling less “perfect” than you would hope or not very beautiful as you look into the mirror, ask yourself what representation you are comparing yourself to, take a good breath and say:

“I love you any ways”


“First kiss”

Watch the second video here:

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Thank you so much for this! I love when you say, “Being resistant towards embracing an awkward representation of how life really is (the second video) moves us to also cultivate resistance towards embracing ourselves as we are in every day life with all our own ‘imperfections.'” This is SO TRUE! I find that social media has kept us from being patient about the imperfections of being a human being – the awkward moments, the clumsiness, the embarrassing moments…We really DO need to embrace these once again, and remind ourselves that it is patience with these things that helps to cultivate self love as well. Thanks for giving a real-life scenario to help process this as well;)

Personally I liked both videos for different reasons. It was obvious they chose “professional” people for the first vid, but I still found them awkward and they were still kissing strangers. The second video was just as awkward but more raw and real, there is beauty in that. I do appreciate the second video more, because life isn’t flawless people, the beauty of life is our flaws, its what sets us apart, makes us different. I never thought that how I look at advertising and media is a reflection of how I engage with myself, when I stop to look at it I see I’ve come a long way in the last 10 years.