Memes are everywhere.
They could be lurking EVERYWHERE in your business.
: In your website template.
: In the colors you choose.
: On your about page.
: In your headshot.
: In the language you use.
And the worst thing? You may not even know it.
Merriam-Webster defines meme: “an idea, behavior, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture.”
So that means that a meme acts as a carrier of popular ideas, which then replicate themselves everywhere in our world.
And since a lot of our world takes place online, those popular ideas and images spread super fast. And push themselves in our faces everyday.
Which is why you suddenly see Barbie Core everywhere. Or handwritten fonts. Or a certain website template.
That seems innocent enough.
Well, here’s where the Body Snatchers come in.
Many of these memes are so subtle that they become part of our daily life without us noticing.
Like the phrase “I know, right?”
(Which I use all the time. Let’s blame it on the 5000 viewings of Valley Girl in the ‘80s. And now I CAN’T stop talking like a Valley Girl, no matter how old I get. Totally, like, you know?)
And even spookier?
We start using memes to represent us––and our online presence––without even thinking about it or questioning it.
You know why? Because when you’re not paying close attention, memes disguise themselves as popularity. As trends. And we like being on-trend.
It feels cutting edge. It’s using this month’s colors, combined with the most popular Canva templates, and a sprinkling of trending fonts. Suddenly you’re IN.
People don’t have to guess what you’re about. They recognize the meme, and accept it as the trend of the moment.
Because they see it everywhere.
Because it looks like everything else.
Because it’s comfortable. It’s familiar.
See, it only feels cutting edge. In reality, a meme makes you part of the crowd. A meme erases individuality––without you even noticing. A meme’s sole purpose is to copy. Maybe with minute variations, but it’s still about copying.
Memes make you think you’re adding something new to the conversation when in reality you’re being absorbed.
Maybe that sounds a little alarmist––but I AM alarmed. I’m always alarmed when people give up originality in favor of mindless copying.
So I’m asking you:
Are you a meme, mindlessly imitating ideas you haven’t even questioned in your personal brand?
I don’t know, Erika, and you’re really freaking me out too! So what do I do to fight the memes?
Don’t worry, there’s a way to escape the memes and stand out from the crowd: EXAGGERATION.
Exaggerating what already exists in you is the key to becoming an epic character that can’t be mindlessly copied.
Take, for example, Salvador Dali, who understood the importance of standing out. He exaggerated his personality, painting, clowning, and showmanship to express the total personality of Dali. He made the work of art indistinguishable from the artist, becoming the artwork itself. His unique style and approach set him apart from other artists of his time, and his success is a testament to the power of exaggeration.
Diana Vreeland is another example of a person who lived by the philosophy of “exaggeration is my only reality.” She believed in living large and breaking fashion boundaries, using unusual models and exaggerated features to make them the ultimate in chic. Her approach to fashion transformed women’s magazines, introducing the first live model on a magazine cover, fashion editorials, and fashion shoots on location.
Exaggeration is not about fitting in or being trendy.
It’s about being true to yourself and standing out from the crowd. It’s about taking what makes you unique and amplifying it to the world.
In a world full of memes, it’s time to be your own character and escape conformity.
Embrace what makes you different and use it to your advantage.
Don’t hold back, exaggerate it. Be bold. Audacious. Shameless. And watch your personal brand transform into something truly epic and memorable.