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Bullying in all forms!

Hey guys and gals – it’s Carissa.

Happy Holidays! I love the holidays - with all the cheer and love you know :-) Of course, for businesses, the holidays are the perfect time to push more marketing on you. The extra dose of marketing really isn’t the issue at all - hey, run your business. Also, I think all this extra marketing coming at us from all directions makes it even easier for us to recognize the marketing strategies being directed at teens and specifically black teens. Picture a walk in your neighborhood, a drive to the mall, or even just going online, you can see how much stuff is basically being forced down your throat when it’s everywhere you go or look and in most cases the only thing affordable to buy. When I think about how many ads I see for food and beverages I don’t really want and I don’t need being EVERYWHERE, in my opinion, this is a form of bullying!

Like a bully who takes your lunch money every day, you have the choice to give it up or fight back. Bullying isn’t funny or cool so why is it okay for these big food and beverage companies to bully us? It’s NOT! Bullying is all about power. The bully thinks they have it and the person being bully doesn’t recognize the power they have to stop the bully. When I think about food and beverage companies’ bullying propaganda it’s like they already have our whole future planned out. They think they know us. They’ve decided all black teens like salty, fried or sweet things so that is all we really need to make available in their communities. I for one don’t think that’s right, we should have options. Sure, we have the right to spend our money on whatever we want. However, when all you have in your neighborhood is unhealthy and affordable vs. healthy and affordable what choice do you really have?

Have fun shopping and enjoying your favorite holiday goodies, but keep an eye out for clever marketing aimed at getting you do what food and beverage companies have pre-determined they can get you to do (spend all your money on unhealthy foods and beverages) because they think they have all the power.  Don’t be a victim of bullying in any form!!

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Carissa, SHIFT Crew Leader

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