This afternoon when I logged in, I had a ton of E-mails like usual. Several of them were to announce new followers on Twitter. The name of one of them was rather shocking, so I went to look at them and see what exactly they were about. It was someone actively hunting down people and slamming the items people make. (I am not going to say their name because I don't believe they deserve views.) I blocked them immediately.
Someone posted a thread about this in the forums. While many people were disgusted, many many others stated that even negative publicity is good publicity and said there was nothing that could be done about it so why not enjoy it. I have to admit I was kind of shocked by their reaction. More shocked in fact than by the person who made the account with the sole purpose of making others look bad. Why would you want your business to be associated with this type of thing? The person who started the thread on the forum was outraged in the first post and by page 18 thought it was a good thing. I am glad I stand by my convictions a little more strongly.
Why are we so permissive of bad behavior? Even more disturbing, why do we encourage it? How can anyone really believe that bad publicity is good? There is so much hate in the world already, do we really need to perpetuate and applaud it? Sure I understand that it means people will look at their items. But do we really want people looking at them in the same way they would a side show exhibit?
Some people even submitted their items to the twitterer. Over the years I have made a couple bears that simply did not turn out, but they didn't see the light of day either. I am not in the business of selling bad products. When you're an artist you aren't going to turn out something perfectly wonderful every single time. As consumers we aren't going to love everything everyone makes. But to go out of your way to make people feel bad when it takes courage just to put yourself out there is mind boggling to me. To make yourself look bad is even more mind boggling. Why would I buy from you if you tell me you think your stuff is ugly? Maybe people do it as reverse psychology or maybe they just want the shock value. I just know that if you don't believe in your own work, I certainly won't.
Negative publicity can be extremely hurtful. People tend to believe what they read. I remember a while back Jennifer Love Hewitt was called fat by the tabloids. She is a size 4 at the most. How can that be fat? So many people parroted what they heard or read about her that she made a long post defending herself over it. It made me really sad that she felt a need to do that. She is a beautiful girl, a thin girl. I should be so lucky to look that good! But that type of publicity clearly had a detrimental effect on her personal outlook. Now I suppose it could be argued that she is insecure and should have tougher skin because of the business she is in, etc. But how would we feel to read something negative about ourselves or our work? Very few people can say that it wouldn't bother them on some level and wonder why they were targeted. While I wouldn't lose any sleep over it, I would still feel a little hurt because I am human. We all are. We live on a very small isolated planet, if we don't take care of each other...who will? So if you're out to make someone look bad, negate their business in some way, or supporting someone who does...all I have to say is think about what you are really doing! You never know when you will be the next victim!
Someone once told me that all things people do stem from one of two things, love or fear. I have come to understand over the years that is true. Are people so afraid of competition and their own inadequacies that they need to be hurtful and support those who are?