Yes, you read that title right.
My first reaction after I watched that explosion of pink and cupcakes was: Um. What did I just watch?
Yes, I was rendered speechless. Yes, I was mildly horrified at the fact that it was an actual song. The “Minna saiko arigato. Ka-Ka-Kawaii” made me raise my eyebrows. Yes, the cultural appropriation did make me twist my lips a little, but then again, she’s not the first artist to have done it. (cough, Gwen Stefani cough, Katy Perry cough, Selena Gomez, cough.)
So what can you learn from 3 minutes and 18 seconds of cupcakes, pink, and robotic dancing?
- It doesn’t matter what your career choice is; you’re not going to be able to please everyone.
Actually, this goes beyond career choices; we don’t have to be Emma Watson or one of the boys from One Direction to be judged by the public. We’re all being judged every day; I don’t care how many social media accounts you have.
But you’re also learning and growing every day.
- Everyone responds to criticism differently.
Avril Lavigne took to Twitter to address the backlash by posting the following:
(Do I think there’s a better way to handle criticism? Yes.)
It’s hard not to be emotional when something you’ve put your time, love and energy into gets ripped apart. Getting emotional about it is easy. But the reality is that no two people respond to things the same way.
The trick is not to let yourself take the naysayers so seriously that you let it stop you.
I recently admitted that one of my biggest mistakes as I tried to get over a block was to take criticism so seriously that I treated it like it was blood on the Rosetta Stone.
It took distancing myself from my blog and distracting myself by doing other things (and a couple days) before it clicked in my head.
Taking criticism seriously is not a bad thing. It means you want to improve. It means you’re willing to grow. Personally, I’m not a fan of staying stagnant.
Some people won’t waste their breath (or brain) worrying about controversy, but I’m not here to tell you whether or not you should worry.
- Focus on the positive
Okay, I don’t have 20 million people following my every word on social media, but celebrities do have a point when they mention that for every spite-filled threat they get, they get more than 200 other comments saying that they’ve saved lives, asking for their hand in marriage, and other generally positive things.
This isn’t to say that criticism doesn’t hurt. I mean, come on. We’re all human. Sometimes we smile, but we’re not really happy. We say okay when we want to say no.
You get the idea.
Some of us may not have 20 million followers (raise your hand if you also hate that word, by the way) on social media, but focusing on the little things that make you happy, the things you’re grateful for, can help you make peace with the fact that your choices may not win you Best Child of The Year award.
I don’t care if you’re grateful for a birthday text, your adorable puppy, the roof over your head, the food in your stomach or all of the above. Start small if you have to and work your way up.
Try to shift your perspective.
Controversy is controversy. Not everyone is going to want to know both sides of any controversy, not everyone is going to believe everything you say. Avril said her video was not racist, but that doesn’t stop people from believing that it is (or isn’t).
Controversy gets attention. Your product doesn’t have to please everyone, and sometimes it’s not meant to. You just have to go to bed at night knowing that you believe in the product. And if you believe in what you’re doing, suddenly the weight of people’s opinions doesn’t feel like a boulder.
So ask yourself: Do I believe in what I’m doing?
Are there any other recent controversial issues that you’ve learned a lot from?
Screenshots are taken from Avril Lavigne’s official Twitter account and VEVO Youtube account. All credit for the images in those images go to their rightful owners.