‘Victoria’s Secret’ Singer Jax Thinks Outside The Box On Social Media – Forbes
Pop singer-songwriter Jackie Miskanic – known professionally as Jax – finished third on the 14th season of American Idol, and the show certainly launch her career. This summer, social media now has helped her notch her first entry on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for her ode to body positivity “Victoria’s Secret.” In addition, she filmed a flash mob video outside one of the stores, which also attracted attention from the company called out in the song.
Within days of posting the video to YouTube – where it has been seen 4.5 million times to date – Jax even received a letter from Victoria’s Secret CEO Amy Hauk, who said the 26-year-old singer had addressed “important issues.”
The single, which was released in June and has earned praise from numerous celebrities, specifically calls out the Victoria’s Secret brand, and notably company founder and former CEO Leslie Wexner, for profiting off young women while contributing to their negative body issues. Jax has stated that she wrote the song for a girl she babysits as a way to address body issues head-on.
Jax has used social media to promote not only the song but also the message. And she wasn’t actually surprised that Victoria’s Secret responded to the lyrics.
“It should have come way sooner! I am not the first person who has spoken about this stuff,” Jax explained via an email sent from her promotions team. “It shouldn’t take a blue check mark to get the attention of a corporation. I hope to think the overwhelming support and thousands of personal stories is what really caught their attention. It connected with a lot of people who were very vocal. Whether the company actually heard any of it, I guess time will tell.”
The pop singer also added that this isn’t really about a single corporation either, and suggested it was intended to be a metaphor that helped convey a message about the bigger evil: marketing toward people’s insecurities — especially young women.
“This was just my way of telling my personal story to girls, boys, kids, adults, that you are beautiful and you should never compare your body to what you see on media of any type,” Jax continued. “Because most of what you see is fake and made up by some old dude in a conference room somewhere. It’s not real and it’s manipulative. I hate the idea of anybody losing their sense of self-worth while someone else gets rich off of it.”
It should be noted too that a year ago, the Victoria’s Secret brand began a new direction — one that included replacing all the men on the board of directors, with the exception of CEO Martin Waters, were replaced by women. In addition, the traditional Victoria’s Secrets Angles were replaced by the likes of “LGBTQIA+ activist” Megan Rapinoe, plus-size model and “body advocate” Paloma Elsesser, and transgender swimsuit model Valentina Sampaio. However, this summer’s song still has served to further bring body awareness issues into the spotlight.
Flash Mob Goes Viral
The pop singer didn’t expect that her flash mob video, filmed earlier this year, would be seen millions of times, and said that she is always shocked by the response some of her online posts – on TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube – often receive.
“This one specifically blew me away with how many people started sharing their experiences with eating disorders and body dysmorphia. It really struck a nerve,” she added.
The video, which is just under three minutes in length, was filmed outside of a Victoria’s Secret and involved a real flash mob.
“I was sitting around thinking how cool it would be to bring flash mobs back,” said Jax. “They used to be so fun but kinda disappeared. So I called a choreographer and told him what I wanted to do. I told him that I want to spotlight as many body types as possible in three minutes.”
Over the course of just two days, which allowed for a limited amount of rehearsals, Jax learned the moves, while the video was then filmed in a single take. “I still can’t believe I danced through the entire song, with two left feet, surrounded by pro dancers,” she added. “I still smile so hard thinking about it – not to mention it was like group therapy talking with all the dancers. I didn’t even consider how badly dancers go through eating disorders their entire lives and we all shared our stories during the rehearsal.”
Using Social Media to Connect With Fans
Today many young singers are using social media to share their music, but it is also allowing fans to connect directly with the artists.
“Before, you would have to read an article or watch a documentary to follow your favorite artist. Now you can be along for the entire journey,” said Jax. “TikTok has allowed me to reach wider audiences. People love stories and I think that that is the beautiful thing about TikTok. You can follow someone’s journey and in turn, know exactly where the artist is coming from.”
This has also included sharing some personal heartache via the platform, including how she used it to get over a breakup. Jax said that the platforms allowed her to bring some of the baggage into the normal – “stuff” she would normally never consider talking about.
“Talking about these things helps create a dialog with people from all walks of life,” the singer noted. “It kind of feels like one big group therapy session that everyone (including myself) benefits from.”
Today, pop music and social media are so interconnected that it has become a new normal for how artists can engage with fans. Jax said she believes TikTok is now an app that allows for authentic creativity. Even as she is a signed recording artist, Jax still uses TikTok to test out songs to see if it “hits home” or not.
“It allowed me to finally be my goofy awkward self and not some industry made-up persona,” Jax explained, “Which I thought I had to chase my entire life. That’s why this app is so popular because the users scroll right past the ‘BS.’ So now a kid in their bedroom can make a 30-second song and have it heard by three million people overnight. It’s a great time to be an artist because the distance between you and your fans is literally one scroll away.”
Vatican singles out bishops in urging reflective not reactive social media use
VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican on Monday urged the Catholic faithful, and especially bishops, to be “reflective, not reactive” on social media, issuing guidelines to try to tame the toxicity on Catholic Twitter and other social media platforms and encourage users to instead be “loving neighbors.”
The Vatican’s communications office issued a “pastoral reflection” to respond to questions it has fielded for years about a more responsible, Christian use of social media and the risks online that accompany the rise of fake news and artificial intelligence.
For decades the Holy See has offered such thoughts on different aspects of communications technologies, welcoming the chances for encounter they offer but warning of the pitfalls. Pope Francis of late has warned repeatedly about the risk of young people being so attached to their cell phones that they stop face-to-face friendships.
The new document highlights the divisions that can be sown on social media, and the risk of users remaining in their “silos” of like-minded thinkers and rejecting those who hold different opinions. Such tendencies can result in exchanges that “can cause misunderstanding, exacerbate division, incite conflict, and deepen prejudices,” the document said.
It warned that such problematic exchanges are particularly worrisome “when it comes from church leadership: bishops, pastors, and prominent lay leaders. These not only cause division in the community but also give permission and legitimacy for others likewise to promote similar type of communication,” the message said.
The message could be directed at the English-speaking Catholic Twittersphere, where some prominent Catholic figures, including bishops, frequently engage in heated debates or polemical arguments that criticize Francis and his teachings.
The prefect of the communications office, Paolo Ruffini, said it wasn’t for him to rein in divisive bishops and it was up to their own discernment. But he said the general message is one of not feeding the trolls or taking on “behavior that divides rather than unites.”
Russia says U.S. Senator should say if Ukraine took his words out of context
MOSCOW, May 29 (Reuters) – Russia on Monday said U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham should say publicly if he believes his words were taken out of context by a Ukrainian state video edit of his comments about the war that provoked widespread condemnation in Moscow.
In an edited video released by the Ukrainian president’s office of Graham’s meeting with Volodymyr Zelenskiy in Kyiv on Friday, Graham was shown saying “the Russians are dying” and then saying U.S. support was the “best money we’ve ever spent”.
After Russia criticised the remarks, Ukraine released a full video of the meeting on Sunday which showed the two remarks were not directly linked.
Russia’s foreign ministry said Western media had sought to shield the senator from criticism and said that Graham should publicly state if he feels his words were taken out of context by the initial Ukrainian video edit.
“If U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham considers his words were taken out of context by the Ukrainian regime and he doesn’t actually think in the way presented then he can make a statement on video with his phone,” Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a video posted on Telegram.
“Only then will we know: does he think the way that was said or was it a performance by the Kyiv regime?”
Graham’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The initial video of Graham’s remarks triggered criticism from across Moscow, including from the Kremlin, Putin’s powerful Security Council and from the foreign ministry.
Graham said he had simply praised the spirit of Ukrainians in resisting a Russian invasion with assistance provided by Washington.
Graham said he had mentioned to Zelenskiy “that Ukraine has adopted the American mantra, ‘Live Free or Die.’ It has been a good investment by the United States to help liberate Ukraine from Russian war criminals.”
Russia’s interior ministry has put Graham on a wanted list after the Investigative Committee said it was opening a criminal probe into his comments. It did not specify what crime he was suspected of.
In response, Graham said: “I will wear the arrest warrant issued by Putin’s corrupt and immoral government as a Badge of Honor.
“…I will continue to stand with and for Ukraine’s freedom until every Russian soldier is expelled from Ukrainian territory.”
A South Carolina Republican known for his hawkish foreign policy views, Graham has been an outspoken champion of increased military support for Ukraine in its battle against Russia.
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Jamie Sarkonak: Liberals bring identity quotas to Canada Media Fund
In 2021, the Liberals said they would dramatically boost funding for the Canada Media Fund. And they did — but that funding came with diversity quotas and a new emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).
The Canada Media Fund is supposed to oversee a funding pool that supports the creation of Canadian media projects in the areas of drama, kids’ programming, documentaries and even video games. According to its most recent annual report, about half its revenue ($184 million) comes from the federal government through the Department of Canadian Heritage (another near-half comes from broadcasting companies through the country’s broadcasting regulator, the CRTC). The department also has the power to appoint two of the fund’s board members.
The Canada Media Fund is doing a lot more than broadly funding content creation, though. With more federal funding brought in after the past election, it is now responsible for greenlighting projects to meet identity quotas set out by the Liberals.
According to the Canada Media Fund’s contract with Canadian Heritage, which has been obtained by the National Post through a previously-completed access to information request, the number of projects funded with government-sourced dollars and led by “people of equity-deserving groups” will have to amount to 45 by 2024. The number of “realized projects” for people of these groups must amount to 25 by 2024. Finally, by 2024, a quarter of funded “key creative positions” must be held by people from designated diversity groups.
These funding quotas are similar to the CBC’s new diversity requirements for budgeting. When the CBC’s broadcasting licence was renewed by the CRTC last year, it was required to dedicate 30 per cent of its independent content production budget to diverse groups, which will rise to 35 per cent in 2026. While the CRTC is arm’s-length from government, a Liberal-appointed CRTC commissioner appeared eager to impose quotas that were on par with the governing party’s agenda on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).
The government’s agreement with the Canada Media Fund also sets aside $20 million of the new money explicitly for people considered diverse enough to check a box — anyone from “sovereignty-seeking” and “equity-seeking” groups.
“’Sovereignty- and Equity-Seeking Community’ refers to the individuals who identify as women, First Nations, Métis, Inuit, Racialized, 2SLGBTQ+, Persons with disabilities/Disabled Persons, Regional, and Official Language Minority Community,” reads the Canada Media Fund’s explainer on who gets diversity status.
Aside from getting mandatory coverage through the use of quotas, the groups listed above are shielded with “narrative positioning” policies that took effect this year. If the main character, key storyline, or subject matter has anything to do with the above groups, creators must either be from that group or take “comprehensive measures that have and will be undertaken to create the content responsibly, thoughtfully and without harm.” These can include consultations, sharing of ownership rights, and hiring policies from the community. While narrative requirements weren’t mandated by the Liberals in their grant to the fund, they complement the overall DEI strategy.
Storytellers vying for certain grants have to sign an attestation form agreeing with the narrative policy and write a compliance plan if their works have anything to do with the above groups. Plainly, it’s a force of narrative control.
This doesn’t go both ways; women can make documentaries about men consult-free, non-white people can make TV dramas about white people consult-free, and so on.
Statistically, diversity is being tracked on a internal system that logs the identities of key staff and leadership on every Canada Media Fund project. The diversity repository was rolled out this year. Internal documents indicate these stats will be used to monitor program progress and adjust policy going forward.
These changes are all directly linked to a Liberal platform point on media modernization. In the 2021 Liberal platform, the party committed to doubling the government’s contribution to the fund. Since then, the Liberal platform has been cited directly in internal documents outlining the Canada Media Fund’s three-year growth strategy (which explains how the new money will be used, in part, to ramp up DEI efforts).
Together, it looks like both the fund, and the party responsible for doubling its taxpayer support are more concerned about the identities of filmmakers and TV producers than the actual media being produced.
Creators should be able to tell stories about others without the narrative department’s oversight — the more narrative control, the more it starts to sound like propaganda. Good creators wanting to tell an authentic story should conduct research and be respectful of the people they cover — but they shouldn’t be bound to consultations and ownership agreements.
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