The First Flood of Criticism
As the premiere of Project Runway: Threads (on which I am a featured designer) approaches, it seems that everyone is excited and has something to say. I was pleasantly surprised by how positive the initial response was. Then a couple of days ago, a little clip from the show was posted on Facebook and the not-so-positive words came flooding in.
“UGH another Dance Moms.” “I don’t even like dealing with kids in real life.”
Things like that. There were also some rude comments directed toward the young designers that are just not worth repeating. As Lori Matthews (Alaska’s mom from Toddlers & Tiaras) would say, “You can’t fix stupid.”
I sure did try though! The comments about the show itself didn’t bother me at all but I was (excuse me) pissed at the people who were saying rude things about the designers and then gave me a free speech lecture when I defended them. One of the obvious arguments made was that if they (we) hope to break into the industry, they (we) need to toughen up and take the criticism. I can see the logic there but in this case, it was really just an excuse to for adults to say nasty things about kids online. I’m sixteen years old, one of the oldest designers, so I know there will be quite a bit of criticism coming my way and I’m okay with it because I’ve anticipated it all along. I’m not sure the other designers have though. The youngest is ten (she’s a cutie!) and I sincerely hope she does not see or experience the negativity that’s coming from people, specifically on the Project Runway Facebook page. There’s no way that’s what she signed up for! I always say, “There’s brutal honesty and then there’s just plain brutal.”
Yes, I am of the opinion that at a certain point, you ought to learn to suck it up and deal with harsh words especially in tough business like fashion. However, for most people, age 10/16 is not that point. We’re young and we’re still growing as artists and as people- how are we supposed to reach our full potential if complete strangers are belittling us?
My hope is that once people actually see the show, they’ll realize that the designers are real people and so are the assistants. I’ve talked to almost all of the other designers and they are very nice. The levels of experience vary but there is a lot of talent, passion, and potential there. So if picking on kids make people feel good about themselves, I feel deep sorry for them. They can think whatever they want but I don’t want to see such negativity publicly displayed. Overall, there has been a lot of positivity and support of the show- I refuse to let unpleasant people ruin that.
Here’s my question for you: How do you handle criticism? Do you feel differently when it’s being directed towards a friend rather than yourself?
PC: Judges of S01E01
Don’t forget, Project Runway: Threads premieres October 23rd at 10:30pm/9:30pmC on Lifetime! My episode airs December 11th.