Recently, I have been thinking about cutting off my support for a certain company (which will go unnamed) because of many problematic things they have done. I don’t know that I have officially decided not to support them, but it is definitely an idea I am toying with, if such a heavy thing can be toyed with. I realized I already own a lot of products from this company and I decided, well hey, if I already bought it and I really like it, I’m certainly not going to throw it out. This of course raises a little problem when I think about people saying where I got the stuff. Do I have to just give the truthful answer and then proceed to say I don’t support certain things the company has done? Do I have to get out a powerpoint with bullet points? Does it work the same way that supporting celebrities works?
I have heard that you can be a fan of a celebrity who does something problematic, as long as you don’t defend what they did and you in fact acknowledge the fact that it was problematic. I stand by that belief, mainly because most celebrities do problematic things. If you don’t believe me, visit the tumblr “Your Fave is Problematic”. Not only did I realize I was a fan of a lot of people that have done some messed up things, but I also learned about things that I should avoid doing that I didn’t before realize were offensive (I’m trying to stop repeating the word “problematic” here, I promise). This got me thinking, I am at an institution where I try to get a broad education and I am constantly clicking on articles on my newsfeed to learn how to be openminded, and even I don’t know half of the things I shouldn’t be saying and doing. So to some extent, how can I hold it against these various celebrities? Note that I am speaking about less extreme cases because there are certain cases and offensive behavior that are inexcusable. But overall, I think the real problem comes in when the person-celebrity or not-refuses to acknowledge their mistake and instead defends what they did with a bunch of ignorant excuses for an argument. Everybody makes mistakes, we just need to admit we’re wrong. Albeit a bit of a tangent that I just went on, this connects to companies as well. At what point do I draw the line and decide not to support a company anymore? After all, there is a difference between just liking a celebrity and actively shoveling your money over to a company so they can produce more questionable stuff.
The problem also arises because I am on the staff of an online college women’s magazine where I photograph pictures of my classmates’ outfits. I go up to someone who is wearing an outfit I like (usually a colorful one, knowing me) and then say “I love your outfit and I was wondering if I could take a picture of it for this magazine, etc.” Then I ask where they got their clothing and start making a note of it in my phone. Whenever they mention a company that I think I shouldn’t support, I have a twinge of doubt that I shouldn’t be posting support for the company online, but what can I do? They’re telling the truth and I already said I liked the outfit. I went to a lunch where an alum of my university spoke today and he said that if you’re writing about something you disagree with, make “interventions” (aka assert your opinion). But if I did that this time, I would be appearing to be vilifying the wearer whom I originally set out to compliment. Not to mention being a hypocrite since I still wear their clothes too.
This was just a bunch of musing with no particular conclusion but there it is. I actually wrote this over a month ago and am just getting back to it because I’m so perplexed about where to go with it, but here it is. If I disagree with it one day, then I guess I’ve grown.