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Nicole Martin
New Jersey
Remixing my wardrobe to create buzz-worthy, office-approved outfits! Find out more at: Creating Panache.
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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Personal Branding IRL: Toy Story Faux Pas

Happy Thursday!  The weekend is almost here, and I am so ready for it!  So it appears that my trend here on EP will be about 3 pretty outfit posts a week and one thought-provoking post.  After all, I’m tying my outfits into personal branding, but my closet can only take us so far ;)  What do you guys think?  I’d love your feedback!

Last week, I was watching a local news station while working out at my gym.  One spot caught my eye: activists were protesting in front of the Times Square Toys R Us because of the use of PVC plastic in Toy Story 3 toys.  The rally was made up by folks from the Teamsters Union, the Center for Health, Environment & Justice, Clean New York, WEACT for Environmental Justice, and more.  The small group of demonstrators wanted to bring awareness to buyers and hopes to phase out the use of PVC’s in all children’s toys.

As I watched, I took notice of who was part of the protestors.  There was this guy:

Picture courtesy of
Mr. Mike Schade from the Center for Health, Environment and Justice.  Very official looking in his suit and black framed glasses.  He definitely looked the part of the expert.  I'm listening, tell me more...

Then there was this group:

Picture courtesy of
NYC school students – innocent children who are sad that the toys from their favorite movie will poison them and their siblings.  Well played, protestors… pull at our heartstrings and remind us that we’re doing this for the children.  At this point, I’m totally on board.

But then, this guy gets some airtime:

Picture courtesy of 
Mr. Mateo Columbi, a Teamsters union representative.  Yes, he’s dressed up as Woody from Toy Story!!!  Suddenly, the protest seems… silly.  And funny, but this is no laughing matter.  The Woody costume is hokey and quite unnecessary.  What does dressing like this accomplish exactly?  Mateo, your passion is obvious just by the fact that you’re there.  Why not wear a Teamsters shirt to represent their support in all this? 

On the other hand, this was a small, controlled group of demonstrators.  Crazy stuff happens in NYC everyday, but most of it doesn’t end up on the evening news.  So did they get media attention because of Mateo’s outlandish costume?  Or is it just the fact that they were in Times Square, where they were certain to get noticed?

What do YOU think?

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