The veritable plethora of videos showcasing people dumping buckets of ice water over their heads has recently been dominating newsfeeds across multiple social media platforms. Whether it’s Facebook or Instagram, even celebrities have become a part of the trend.
As random and insane as this “challenge” sounds, the reasoning behind it is touching.
ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is a neurodegenerative disease, which means that it contributes to the death of motor neutrons in the spinal cord and the brain, causing those with the disease to lose control over their muscle movement. To bring awareness to this devastating disease, people began making videos of themselves pouring ice water over their heads and challenging others to do the same. Often in these videos people will talk a bit about ALS and encourage their viewers to visit the official ALS Association website to find out more information in addition to donating to their cause.
After realizing how large this trend had grown, celebrities started to get in on the action, even those associated with the fashion industry. Derek Blasberg, Victoria Beckham, Sarah Jessica Parker and Gisele Bündchen have all hopped on the bandwagon.
While many celebrities probably did this challenge out of the goodness of their hearts, it is safe to say that more than a little PR consideration was a part of the decision.
When you think about it this challenge is a PERFECT PR move, especially for fashion insiders.
First of all: it’s a charitable act, one that so many people are jumping on board with that it’s almost a bit ridiculous at this point if you haven’t made a video. Bringing awareness to a misunderstood disease is about as angelic a cause as one can find, which can help a fashion star ditch a bitchy reputation. Fans like to believe that there’s a little good in everyone, so showing that side of a star will help to reinforce that aspect of their personality.
Second: it’s just plain fun. Everyone wants to watch someone get freezing cold and soaking wet, hence this challenge’s immense popularity. This goes double for celebrities who are often painted in a picture perfect light, seen only on red carpets and in interviews. Ordinary people love to see these facades come down, and the internet just about broke when Anna Wintour accepted the challenge. (P.S. Can anyone else believe how perfectly intact her iconic bob stayed when splashed with a bucketful of water?!)
Third: it gives these people a chance to speak. Those in the fashion industry are frequently quoted in magazines, have their photos taken, and sometimes contribute a sentence or two to an editorial spread themselves, but rarely are their actual voices heard. I religiously follow Cara Delevingne, and I can’t say that before the ice bucket challenge I knew what her voice sounded like ( that makes me decidedly less creepy, right?). It lets fans put a voice to a face, and maybe understand the fashion figure a little better. What more could a PR manager want than a video of their client having fun while supporting a great cause? Personally, the videos that I enjoy watching the most are those that include the celebrity’s family members, or those that get a bit creative with a theme that has quickly become monotonous.
Seeing these people participating in an activity that everyone and their mother is doing makes them seem a little more relatable, a little more real.
Whose video have you most enjoyed watching? Leave a comment below and let me know!