Each month I give my verdict on who has shown the world an interesting and distinctive brand. My latest Personal Brand of the Month goes to…
After picking up five Grammys, landing the coveted James Bond theme (the youngest singer to get the gig) and sending it straight to #1 in the charts, Billie Eilish is having a moment.
Her hauntingly beautiful voice, unique personal style and refreshing authenticity certainly make her brand a distinct and memorable one.
But what caught my attention this month was a recent interview with Louise Minchin on BBC Breakfast.
In the interview, Eilish spoke out about the impact of social media on her well-being, particularly the negative comments on Instagram, where she has around 55 million followers. She shared that she made the decision to no longer look at her followers’ comments. “I stopped reading comments fully because it was ruining my life,” she said. “Once again.”
She continued, “It’s weird, the cooler things you get to do are, the most people hate you. It’s crazy.”
Eilish was being interviewed alongside her brother Finneas O’Connell, who co-wrote No Time To Die, the new Bond track.
“The internet is a bunch of trolls. A problem is that a lot of it is really funny. I think that’s the issue, I think that’s why nobody really stops.”
Eilish highlights a growing concern. We’ve recently seen how the toxic side of media has impacted Meghan and Harry, and more tragically, Caroline Flack. While the media’s invasive and negative side has long been a societal woe, social media opens up a whole new can of trolls, cyberbullying, fake news and witch hunts. It’s now well known that young people and those with underlying mental health issues are particularly vulnerable.
Given that social media is an important part of personal branding, how do we stop its dark side?
The first step is for us to raise awareness around these issues and do exactly what Eilish did, speak out.