As a writer, interacting with other people has always come with a certain amount of hand-wringing. Will they like me? Will I make them laugh? Will they laugh too much, or at me? I think it often ended up being a Catch-22: I was too invested in what other people thought to make a good impression.
Growing into 2020, I had to leave a lot of that behind. There just isn’t time anymore for wondering or worrying behind the scenes — if I stopped to do that every time I took a risk, reached out, or tried to make a new friend, I would have been out of the game back in April.
In place of this fear and worry is what I’ve always thought of as ugly swagger. You know the kind, when a guy is not conventionally attractive, but owns it, and is so charismatic and lovely and funny that they end up being way more attractive than any pretty pair of biceps on a magazine cover. (I’ve noted a positive correlation between ugly swagger and a UK accent of any kind, strangely enough.)
Seeing this growth in myself, it’s hard to not see it in branding and copywriting and marketing. Brands that come in and seem to disregard positioning rules, or the shy humblebrag of a landing page that’s just a bunch of features. These days, I like a brand that makes bold statements and doesn’t care if they’re throwing a match on how things are usually done (Talking to you, Xperiencify). Or who appear not to care who gets the final sale, as long as they get the final word (Burger King for the win here, this year.)