Consumers are taking out a new lease on live, reprioritizing what’s important to them. VML Intelligence wants to know why so many are pivoting their days, habits, and outlook on life, and what that means for brands, new products, and spending habits. First, we’re taking a look at how pop culture icons are re-scripting their careers and life’s work.

In January, Marie Kondo announced that she was embracing the messy side of life. Coming from a woman whose claim to fame was her mantra of sparking joy through tidy spaces and less-is-more aesthetics, audiences took her messy lifestyle change with shock and awe. In her new book, Marie Kondo’s Kurashi at Home: How to Organize Your Space and Achieve Your Ideal Life, Kondo unpacks what her new kurashi, which is “way of life” in Japanese, means at this stage in her life and how her audiences can reinterpret the phrase for themselves. “Up until now, I was a professional tidier, so I did my best to keep my home tidy at all times,” she said at a virtual media webinar and tea ceremony in January. “I have kind of given up on that in a good way for me. Now I realize what is important to me is enjoying spending time with my children at home.”

Brendan Fraser, who won the Oscar for Best Actor as Charlie in “The Whale,” embraced his changed body, career, and self through his character’s struggles with obesity and complacency. “We all grow older, we all change — less hair, different body,” he told The New York Times in an interview in March. Fraser spoke about how he hoped the character’s story might “actually do something to change the culture or to change the way we think” about the way we speak to, or look at others who might not fit our expectations: to be more accepting and less judgmental. “I do feel a sense of redeeming myself for being able to deliver a performance that both reinvents who I am and pays tribute to everything that was overlooked about how I formerly existed professionally.”

Emma Chamberlain, viral YouTuber, now podcast host, coffee-brand entrepreneur, and new face of Lancôme, is also pivoting her quick rise to fame with a new lens on creativity. “Now that I’m older,” the gen Zer told The New York Times Magazine, “I’m more interested in things being more creative rather than just pure entertainment — things that feel more beautiful.”

Even the beauty industry has changed its tune. Coty unleashed its #UndefineBeauty campaign in January, which encourages others to reconsider the way we define and identify what “beautiful” really means. “Seen through the lens of today’s society and values, the definition of beauty hasn’t aged well,” CEO Sue Y. Nabi said in an open letter to encourage dictionaries to review their literal definitions of beauty. “But the implicit ageism and sexism in the examples were born in a different time. We believe it’s time to bridge the gap - time to bring the definition to where society is today.” Nabi stated that Coty’s campaign “aims to ‘undefine’ rather than simply ‘redefine’ beauty, so that no one feels excluded by the definition or examples that accompany it.”

In this mini series, VML Intelligence will shine a spotlight on friends, colleagues, and members of the community who are re-scripting themselves and dealing with change in forward-thinking and positive ways. By rebranding their lifestyles, careers, social lives, and consumption habits, these brave people are rewiring what every day looks and feels like to them. We’ll highlight people who have pivoted in their travel, work, social and personal habits in the weeks ahead.

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