DailyRi 022: The Business Case Against Being “Everybody’s Type”
I AM NOT FOR EVERYBODY.
in “nice” by the carters, beyoncé says “i’m everybody’s type.” & sure enough, out came all of the glamorous IG pictures with captions or hashtags reciting this line. don’t get me wrong, beyoncé definitely made it sound good (at this point she can say whatever lol).
STILL, YOU WOULD NEVER SEE ME PROUDLY PROCLAIMING THAT I’M EVERYBODY’S TYPE.
in fact, i’m really proud of the fact that i am not & will never be everyone’s cup of tea. i honestly don’t think i could do it if i tried. i am blessed with a personality that is far from lukewarm, and well, some people can’t do a boiling cup of tea. that said, i definitely had my moments trying to be “just right” for everyone. maybe if my hair is straight? if i talk like this? if i lose a little weight? if i smile all the time? maybe then i’ll be “just right.”
as you may have guessed, these bursts were never sustainable because i liked myself the least during these times. the relationship i have with myself dictates the health of my relationships with all else. so you can only imagine how “blah” my relationships with others were during that time. thankfully, my opinion of myself always mattered at least a little bit more than others’ opinions of me. that was my saving grace: loving myself first, even at the expense of losing relationships. scratch that. especially when my self love stood at the expense of losing others. i’ll explain that point in a bit.
when i removed myself from this preoccupation from others’ opinions of me, i realized how many forces pressure us women to live our lives for others. to be everybody’s type. to tend to our physical appearance, our demeanor, our style of speech, our professional pursuits (or lack thereof) in such a manner that it pleases everyone else around us. i think a lot of us allow ourselves to adopt such people-pleasing behaviors because we believe this is a temporary thing, a means to an end, that after we go to school or get married or have kids, we’ll be able to live our lives for us. but something tells me this habit will only snowball over time. which is why i decided to quit it. cold turkey.
there is nothing wrong with wanting those around us to be comfortable, but only if it doesn’t come at the expense of our own comfort. if i have to be in discomfort to make those around me happy, then i’m just going to be okay never being those people’s “type.”
in my marketing class last quarter, we talked about how brands position themselves & segment certain markets. we discussed the “niche” market & how, sometimes, the fact that certain demographics NOT being interested in a product speaks to a strong brand identity. for example, the fact that a white woman would never look twice at a hair care product for women with thick, curly hair texture (clearly targeted towards minority women) reinforces this brand’s strong identity. farmersonly.com is clearly targeted towards farmers looking to find a romantic partner - it’s no surprise i have zero interest in using their services.
my point is that this level of exclusivity makes these brands more attractive to their target consumer & enables them to create more utility for the populations they are trying to serve. how annoyed would you be if you were perusing farmersonly.com only to discover that the person you matched with couldn’t tell you anything about farm life? or if you were using an ethnic hair cream only to discover that a straight-haired, white woman created it using her favorite hair care products? (i would be pissed af).
i think we should be equally unapologetic & clear about our “target consumers” through our character. our character is how we express our values, & i can tell you right now that my values are not for everybody. but those who do happen to appreciate my values & character are going to realllllyyyy appreciate it. because it’s real. it’s raw. it’s authentically me.
& I’M NOT EVERYBODY’S CUP OF TEA.