I was obsessed with lacrosse players in high school—something about their butts? Or my internalized homophobia, perhaps, that made me feel like I needed one, a lacrosse player, not a butt.
I always felt that way, find the most attractive guy, the most fraternity looking one there is, and you’ve won.
What did I win? The narrative of a woman I was sold, perhaps. I was attracted, but only for a brief moment, never love, only enjoyment of personality—if that. I needed their gaze like I needed to breathe.
I tolerated the love I thought I was supposed to want.
Which as one can imagine, led me down a hall of boys who kept lists of women they slept with, swoopy hair blonde boys, and letterman jackets for days.
They didn’t know where my clitoris was, they treated my vagina more like they were searching for keys, rather than pleasure.
We were in relationship, but it was not a relationship.
When I think of the world in which bro marketing lives, and thrives upon, I imagine one of my high school boyfriends.
Says the right thing to get far enough with me, calls it a relationship, but it’s not, and they know. That, is bro marketing.
In business it looks like focused on the sale at any cost. Say’s ‘I’ll meet you where you’re at’, and bypasses someone’s trauma, and consent.
When we look all the way back to the origin of marketing, it began way back with some old white dudes capitalizing on their privilege.
This narrative moved on yet stayed the same.
Bro marketing looks like anyway that an entrepreneur uses shame, privilege or manipulation instead of acknowledging someone’s lived experience, trauma, privilege, or lack thereof.
It can look like:
-If I can do it, you can too, look at my underdog story in which I still held a deep amount of privilege as an example.
-If you really cared about your business/body/life you’d find the money
-This program will work IF you commit today, I need your credit card over the phone.
-Bypassing someone’s trauma and then telling them it’s a mindset block if your program/offer didn’t work for them
-Acting like you have the magical answer, living in extremes. Humans don’t live like this.
I truly believe most folks mean well in business. Most of the time, entrepreneurs start their business because their life changed, and they want others to feel the same. So, they read a bit about business and learn the bro marketing commandments:
-Make them feel seen
-Make them act now
-Don’t let them have a process
-Fit them into a framework
-Bypass all their objections because you know best
-Ignore people’s realities, and assume they don’t care if they can’t access what you have
Bro marketing is harmful because it sees a human, then purposely rejects all the human is in order to complete a mission.
Business can exist beyond this world, and, it’s hard to even capture this truth and hold onto it for more than a minute when everyone else around you is invalidating that with more and more bro marketing, and how effective it is.
Is it though? Is leaving yourself to make your business work, effective?
When you’re living in the state of other, looking out and wondering if you’re doing it right, and you see no one else working the way you do, it makes it really easy to say fuck it, and go back to what it shown as working.
I’ve been behind the scenes of those businesses, I wouldn’t say anything in there is working. I would say it’s sad, it’s lonely, it’s harmful.
I use to toss and turn all night grappling with my desire to not do what I’d been told to be successful, and wanting my business to grow at the same time, willing to do anything.
You are not who those strategies were made for, no matter how warm the invitation seems.
Bro marketing will trick you, and hide in places you don’t even think to look. So, pay attention to where your humanness is ignored, where your truth is held deeply, and where you feel like it’s okay to exhale.