#CircusForum: Ecole Weinstein

Subhead: Girl Power, Bitches.

Ecole Weinstein, CD at Havas Chicago, kept it 100 today as she revealed to us freaks 5 nuggets of wisdom she learned as a professional in the ad biz. But it was more than that. Whether she knew it or not (and I like to think she did), her entire forum was about women in advertising. Even when it wasn’t.

Yes, of course, everything a woman in advertising does is a direct reflection of women in advertising. Shit, everything a woman in the world does is a direct reflection of women everywhere. Not that every woman is out to make a statement. The opposite actually. It is because in our global, yes global, society, woman are looked at through a very particular filter. We are seen as weaker, more emotional, less logical, and held to ridiculous standards for beauty. Therefor, in order to even be considered an equal, a woman must be stronger, colder, smarter, and more attractive than her male counter part. See also, Megyn Kelly is the Worst.

Weinstein is a woman in advertising. So everything she does is a direct reflection of women in advertising. True, this may be inevitable and unintentional, but I very much doubt that. Why? Thank you for asking.

Because this bitch is fierce, that’s why. Because she is unapologetic and creatively charged. Because every single nugget she shared was linked to her personal experience in the industry and as such, it was insightful, creative, witty and yeah, feminist AF. Don’t believe me? I have proof:

1. Fuck Fear: It’s easy to get caught up in the intimidation game, but you have to let it go. You’re up against hella dudes. Many of whom have been in the industry a lot longer than you. But guess what? You don’t want to be “good for a girl,” you want to be good. If you come into that presentation or team meeting all shy and meek and looking for validation because you think your shit sucks, they’ll think your shit sucks too. Ya gotta lay it all out there. Be bold. No matter how great the idea, ya still gotta sell it.

2. Be You: Know your [female] voice. Develop your [female] voice. Do not lose your [female] voice. Meet all kinds of people. Learn how to think from different perspectives. Be a collaboration of all the best qualities of everyone you cross paths with. A mosaic personality. Just make sure you don’t shy away from what makes your female perspective unique.

3. Hey Ladies: Okay, so this one is pretty obvious but – As advertisers, we are purveyors of cultural and social stereotypes. If you don’t like something, change it. Write your characters differently, ignore the gender norms, break the molds of conservative and timid thought. We have the power to change the social perspective. Use it. Also, Cindy Gallop. Also, 3% Conference.

4. $: Be proactive. Be thoughtful. Be smart. Know your worth. If you want more money (and you deserve it), ask for it. You can’t wait for your boss to evaluate your performance and decide they’ll finally reward all your hard work with more money. It just won’t happen. Do I really need to say more about equal pay for equal work? I thought not.

5. Passion is Everything: Be relentless. Be relevant. Push the envelope. Write in ways they never saw coming. Experience life. Guide the sheeple. Shake things up. Stay hungry. Make time for the people and things that inspire you. Keep fighting the good fight, ladies. Remind yourself why your female voice matters.

Weinstein ended with one more nugget that I wouldn’t dare leave out. I think it applies to us freaks right now, but all the old pros out in the industry too. Maybe you’re feeling burnt out, defeated. Maybe that side project you’ve been working on just doesn’t have the legs you thought it did. Maybe your cousin just performed her first open heart surgery and you’re thinking “what the hell am I doing with my life?” Well, remember this:

You’re lucky. You get to wake up every day and be creative. You get to think of weird, funny, emotional ideas. You get to influence the social perspective. You get to transform the norm. Do not take this for granted. This is a great power. Use it for good.

Peace, love and EcoleSelfie

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