The pointless publicity of Beautiful Existence


Where do I start with this?

One of the early-in-the-year puff pieces being rolled out across the country features Beautiful Existence. By the way, that’s a person’s name, not a movie, business or book. It’s the actual, legal name of a woman from Washington.

If you’re wondering what Ms. Existence, a 40-plus mother of two, did to deserve TV news coverage, as well as stories from the New York Daily News and Business Insider, be prepared for the Earth-altering reveal.

Existence ate food from only Starbucks or Starbucks-owned chains for every meal of 2013.

Beautiful completed the challenge, blogging about it along the way. So I guess she deserves kudos for sticking with it, but seriously, what is the point?

I tried to do some digging on her blog. Was she a corporate shill, spending $500-$600 per month at the coffee shop out of brand loyalty and love of their product? Or did she just have A LOT of scripts to work on? I sort of found my answer by reading an early blog entry about the “challenge.”

“So again, WHY? am I doing this challenge? Or WHY? will I do any challenge in the future? Because I LOVE being human and I LOVE the privilege of being able to ask the question WHY? in the first place! I love the question WHY? because sometimes I find that the answer leaves me with even more questions about life.”

Does that make sense to anybody? So there’s no point other than getting people to ask, “why?”

I tried to read some more blog entries and the comments below, but I just found myself getting angrier. Ms. Existence has done three of these year-long challenges, with the first coming in the form of buying clothes only at Goodwill and the second being taking all of the advice from a parenting magazine.

Apparently people like Beautiful who “love being human” do this sort of thing. I mean, I enjoy being human and all. It certainly beats being a house fly or dung beetle, but I missed the course in science class where we learned this was reasonable human behavior.

Look, I’m sure I don’t need to tell you why she did this — to get noticed. She LOVES being asked “WHY?” She loves posting photos on Instagram of her muffins and scones and cappuccinos. A “like” on Facebook or a favorited tweet brings her one step closer to her goal.

Of course the goal is nothing. There is no point, no social statement (despite Ms. Existence likening herself to a female version of documentarian Morgan Spurlock), nobody wins or loses or learns anything. This was not an amazing physical feat or transformation or lifestyle overhaul.

It simply gave Beautiful Existence a short stint in the limelight. That’s it. She can try to write a narrative of it being part of a grand human experiment, but in the end, she’s really begging for attention.

Even worse, she’s getting it. And some people are even treating her like she DID accomplish something.

So for 2014, if you really want to make a name for yourself, just do nothing, apparently it’s what all the beautifully existing people are doing.


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