Faux Pas (Word For The Week)
A Faux Pas is defined as an embarrassing or tactless slip or blunder in etiquette, manners, or conduct. It is an embarrassing social blunder, indiscretion, or misstep.
I remember when I use to read a lot of Nigerian soft sell magazines and celebrity news from the British press.
These news sources had a field day reporting the faux pas of the biggest stars of the day.
The paparazzi were more interested in a slip-up than in a selfless act. Truly, if it bled it leads.
From bar fight to nipple slips, the front page had it all. DUIs, traffic violations, break-ups, make-ups, break-ups again, it was like they couldn’t have enough of it.
Very few events were completed without one major gaffe or faux pas by a known face.
Publicist and PR agents constantly worked overtime to try to keep these slip-ups out of the newspapers. I heard of cases where these cover-ups were traded for future interviews and event appearances.
In worse-case scenarios, the best the PR agent could get was taking the news off the front page to page three or five.
The worst nightmare for any publicist then was to wake up to images of their clients splashed out on all papers in a compromising position.
How times have changed now.
Since the influx of social media, PR agents and publicists are warier of their clients than any paparazzi or reporter.
Years of hard work can be undone with just one faux pas.
A tweet or a Twitter rant, a nude leak, or a naked person in the background of a picture.
Sometimes, the faux pas wasn’t exactly career-ending. Or it doesn’t go viral. Instead, it is the response of the celeb that caused more damage, rather than provide damage control.
We are into the second decade of social media use, and it seems like there is no faux pas that people can’t recover from. What used to be career-ending can now be spun and made career reviving.
Should I say our collective psychology is changing or is it that we’ve seen it all?
Whatever the case may be, you don’t want to be the one on whom people’s sensibilities will be tested on.
Don’t be that fellow who shoots themself in the foot, then stick the bloody foot in their mouth.