Historically, the rich memorialized their legacy by commissioning portrait paintings of themselves, which they displayed proudly above their mantles to mark of their conquest. Coco Chanel refused this inspired, arresting portrait of herself by Marie Laurencin, because it didn’t provide the ego boost she sought.
The most successful portrait artists accentuates their subjects best features. In classic portraiture, everyone looks better and more confident than in real life. Portraits were rarely actual or mundane depictions. They were aspirational and celebratory depictions. They picture the subject as they want to be seen, rather than how they actually are.
It takes real strength of character to admit ones faults. In a likeness, extra weight and wrinkles are faults. So painters removed them. As the middle class grew, more people commissioned portraits, some by photographers, but the objective was the same: to idealize a subject.
Today, portraits are snapped daily by smart phone users. With the help Instagram with its filters and effects. Anyone can idealize a likeness and without arranging a sitting. Visual records happen in the course of life.
I’ve never met anyone bold enough to allow any image of themself, regardless of how it comes out, to be uploaded to the social web. Have you? Consider the leading lady who accepts a role where she knows she’ll be required to wear an ugly face in exchange for an Oscar bid. We’ve seen it before. Sometimes, it even works. (Charlize Theron in Monster. Nicole Kidman in The Hours.)
I try to exercise control over the images I collect or upload to the social web. My objective is typically as aspirational as a portrait artist. Only the best of the best make it on my Instagram feed or get uploaded to Facebook. For me, social media has become modern day portrait painting.
Download the Report
State of Traditional & Social Media Monitoring
- Beyond AI hype; state of sentiment analysis
- Overcoming media monitoring challenge
- Features comparison grid
- How to monitor the business impact of PR
- Getting strategic intelligence from media monitoring
- And much, much more
PR Tech Wednesdays
Strategic communicators share insights on where we the industry every Wednesday from 12-1pm Pacific Time
With buyer expectations at all time high, B2B marketing revenue attribution models have become a more popular,…
And I hate self help books. In fact, if there was such a thing as self help…
Everyone in B2B is talking about aligning sales, marketing and customer service to better serve buyers. As…
To eradicate a disease, treat the symptom, but eliminate the cause. For the first time, when it…