Nicki, Mariah, and Image...Oh My!


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Today everyone is using nontraditional ways to get more media exposure. The constant surge of new reality television shows has now allowed celebrities to increase the amount of exposure they receive in between personal projects. But sometimes less is more, and some celebs need to remember that their heightened status need not be an excuse for poor behavior. In fact, heightened status means that they need to pay extra attention to what they say or do.
The latest Celeb/Reality TV stars to get entangled in a web of media mishaps are Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey; both musical entertainers with large fan bases. The two were recently added to the cast of judges on American Idol, and it seems the sparks have begun to fly even before the show has had a chance to air. On a recent taping, the two got into a heated debate in which Minaj proceeded to curse out her co-star and express her disdain for “herRoyal #$%% Highness”. Although the stories are conflicting as to who initiated the argument, people automatically began to side with Madam Butterfly Mariah and immediately criticized Nicki for her outburst as the video showed Mariah sitting there quiet and demure. The recent events now have some people wondering what this will do to Nicki’s image, but not many are questioning what Mariah may or may not have done to Nicki to send her into a rage of fury.
For those of you who may not be familiar with Nicki Minaj, the Pop Culture phenomenon emerged on the scene as a rapper, and has enjoyed an immense amount of crossover appeal in the last year or so. Known for her eccentric outfits and flamboyant personalities, it is safe to say that she’s not necessarily a role model for the masses. However, in spite of her controversial image, she is also not necessarily known for her threats and outbursts. So now that the star has been caught on film behaving badly, where does she go from here? Well, most people would say that the first thing she needs to do is hire an image consultant and issue a statement to the public. If she has any chance at salvaging her reputation with people who are not familiar with her she definitely needs to tread lightly and express a tad bit of remorse. People love a good heartfelt apology; and whether the person means it or not is often irrelevant. A good apology shows that you are human, and often will result in an actual increase in support. People want to know that stars are human and make mistakes just like they do. They will be a few onlookers out there who may actually appreciate Nicki a little more after an apology is issued.
Reality TV star Evelyn Lozada is no stranger to a good PR campaign. The ‘Basketball Wives’ star is known for her role on the show as the feisty, spicy Latina with a no-nonsense attitude, and is often the topic of controversy. Multiple episodes featured Lozada engaging in heated arguments and even physical fights with other ladies. After her much publicized (and short lived) marriage to former football star Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson, Lozada sat down with Inspirational Lifestyle expert Iyanla Vanzant on Oprah’s OWN for the show ‘Fix My Life’. The show features conversations with Lozada and Vanzant regarding her previous behaviors on and off screen, as well as details about her past and her upbringing. Lozada attributes her “bad girl behavior” to her upbringing and tumultuous past relationships. Even with the amount of backlash she had received in the past, appearing on nationwide television and shedding tears and declaring her desire to change boosted her fan base, and had many people feeling sorry for her instead of disliking her. Her recent split from her husband of ___ days Chad Johnson has also boosted her appeal, as she shows her commitment to breaking away from drama and cleaning up her image.
Whether her campaign is heartfelt or not, one thing is for sure-Lozada has definitely mastered the art of PR. On the episodes of ‘Fix My Life’ Lozada appeared much more demure and low key. She wore very minimal makeup, and outfits that showed her soft, subtle side instead of her usual curve hugging sex kitten attire that many have come to love. When you are trying to bring forth a message, it needs to be believable, and everything about you needs to change. Social Media addicts may also notice the change in her presence on Twitter. Where Lozada would usually not censor herself and come across as a “no-holds-barred, say what I feel, keep it real” type of girl, her Tweets are now much more soft and sensitive and have much less profanity than before. As for whether or not Lozada will appear on ‘Basketball Wives’ for another season is yet to be seen. But I’m sure that if she does appear, we will see a completely different person than whom we’ve seen in the past. Branding is everything; and with the amount of new products she has on the market, she definitely needs a complete image overhaul.
With ‘Big Brother’s lens’ following their every move, people in the public eye need to be concerned about their image at all times. Not everyone is blessed to have a PR genius on their team, but there are certain things that go without saying when it comes to your public image. Posing for inappropriate pictures is never a good idea when you run the risk of having an intrigued viewer leak those photos to the press. Making inappropriate comments in front of people you don’t know is also the kiss of death for your image. Just ask Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney about trying to overcome comments that are less than sensitive. You can’t show the public one face, yet expect them to believe that you are someone else. We should all take a few cues from these celeb mishaps and file them in our memory under ‘What NOT to do’.
What celebrity do you think has had the biggest image overhaul? What celebrity do you think needsan image overhaul?