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“America’s Tweethearts”?…yeah, not really.

So I’ve waited and waited to chime in on this…

Like most of Twitter, I read Vanity Fair’s nauseating “America’s Tweethearts” article. No disrespect to writer Vanessa Grigoriadis, but who was this article written for?

Words and phrases like “Tweetheart”, “twilebrity”, “tweeple”, “Twitformation Superhighway”, “tweep”, ““Twitterholic” and “Twidower” are as inappropriate as a white person using terms like “fly”, “homeboy” and “brother” to be accepted in a group of a black people. Seriously, who are these people who think it’s OK to add “tw-” to the beginning of words to make them cool?  #notagoodlook

True, the article is written in the voice of a 14-year old fan-girl, but that’s not the point. Here’s my real question:

What the hell do raincoats and stilettos have to do with Twitter? Are they “making it rain”? It’s winter. Surely they should at least be in peacoats. Or, hey, they’re business people? Why not wear business suits or business casual outfits? Isn’t Twitter about being different? Why does this photo make them all look the same?

So I assumed, from the title, that this article was going to be about the women in the picture, but they’re rarely even mentioned. Seriously, was the whole point of putting the chicks in the trench coats and heels just to have eye candy? Would it not have been just as practical, if not better, to have individual pics of each woman, in their own environment that portrayed their life and Twtter-style, so that I could get to know each other them as a human being, and not as another plastic Barbie doll? Like, I don’t follow any of these women, and I don’t have any reason to now, especially since now they’re just nameless mannequins.

Last year, I wrote my article about how “self-hate isn’t sexy” after sitting in a session where a group of women complained that it’s hard to be a woman in the world of social media if you’re not beautiful and blond…and, apparently (since this article has some out), white. At the time, I reacted by writing the “self-hate isn’t sexy” article, saying that there’s no way that anyone can tell a woman what she can and cannot do, and that saying that using one’s womanhood as an excuse to not succeed is a form of self-hate.

Sadly, Vanity Fair’s article only feeds more into the insecurities of women in social media. How can I help to empower women while outsiders, people not even immensely in the world of Twitter, or the “Twitersphere” as they would ignorantly call it, hand down judgments of what and who are “cool” and “hip” in a world that they don’t understand.

I stand by my belief that self-hate is not sexy, but I’ll add that giving in to the media monster and feeding into the stereotypes that keep women behind locked glass doors is #notagoodlook.

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Discussion

4 thoughts on ““America’s Tweethearts”?…yeah, not really.

  1. Thanks for this! I remember your post-PCB4 post.

    I look at the VF article, then look down at myself (jeans, hoodie, scrubby ol’ sneakers, and hair that HATES going to the salon) and wonder where I fit in with this definition of women in the social media universe. I don’t let it get me down — I keep on keepin’ on, hitting up tweetups and trying to build a network and add value to the stream — but it does make me feel like I don’t have a place, since I don’t fit the (no pun intended) model of a woman in this space. And that seems like the antithesis of what social media is supposed to be about.

    Posted by Georgy | January 11, 2010, 9:04 pm
  2. Reason #infinity why we love @rawrmeans143

    Leslie Poston (formerly @geechee_girl, now tweeting as @leslie)

    Posted by Leslie Poston | January 11, 2010, 9:10 pm
  3. Well put @rawrmeans143!

    Its the vapid, say-nothing ‘twilebrity’, the ‘E’ ‘Hollywood’ ‘Sexy’ ‘Cause-driven’ self-indulgent narcissists that detract from the real potential of Twitter and other short-form social networking services.

    In my opinion, the real value is the actual (and potential) human (interpersonal) connections and experiences created by Twitter et al.

    Vanessa Grigoriadis does a dis-service, not only to the women she is promoting in this article – but to Twitter.

    There are Twitter users who do so much good by organizing groups of volunteers or raising money and awareness for diseases and social causes. These are the people that Ms. Grigoriadis should be applauding and promoting, not these women trying to re-live some long-forgotten High School popularity contest.

    Again, this is all just my opinion… 🙂

    Matt Turner (@onMatt)

    Posted by Matt Turner | January 11, 2010, 9:46 pm
    • Exactly! And I have nothing against the women who were chosen, but I do agree that there are other women who should have been promoted. @gradontripp has a great list that I totally agree with. What the writer did was basically turn Twitter into a high school situation where the pretty girls are the prom queens while we look up from the real world and feel “not _____ enough”.

      Posted by rockstarshyne | January 12, 2010, 8:32 am

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