As I had the chance to work with Magatte this summer, I knew I wouldn’t only be learning about her company and achievements but also about myself. With my internship this summer, I have the chance to learn all about social media, as I am currently looking to change my major. I work to create posts to really display the authentic character of Tiossan.
What inspires you differs from person to person. Myself, I am a huge Michael Jackson fan. My mother played his music as the soundtrack of my childhood. Growing up, I never stopped listening. When the day came for me to graduate high school, I even rounded up ten friends to dance to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” at graduation with me. So, it is safe to say I am quite the fan. I like to incorporate Michael Jackson into anything I can. When I showed Magatte a picture of Michael with a quote from a song of his, she kindly explained to me why she doesn’t relate him to her company.
“I love his music, I do. But we want people who are authentic. Michael changed himself with all of his surgeries to conform,” she explained.
She had a point, Michael always wanted to fit in. He has a skin condition called vitiligo which changed his dark skin to dark skin with blotchy, white spots. As everyone knows, he eventually dyed all of his skin white. After friends and family made fun of his big nose throughout his childhood, Michael got surgery when he was old enough to. It’s hard to admit that there is nothing authentic about Michael Jackson as a person. But, I will stick up for him right now and say, everything was authentic about him as a musician and a performer.
“Okay,”- I said understandingly, “I’m sorry.”
“Don’t say you’re sorry! Never apologize for something you believe in!” Magatte exclaimed. I can only imagine the surprised look on my face as she told me not to be sorry. I was shocked with myself that I did apologize for wanting Michael Jackson to be apart of something I was working on. I wasn’t actually sorry, so why did I say it?
At that point I had been working with Magatte for a little over a week. I just wanted to do my best work and show her that. I didn’t want to mess it up just because I was a fan of Michael Jackson. But was I sorry for trying to incorporate an inspiring Michael Jackson quote into my work? No. But I still apologized. The truth is, we apologize all the time for things we aren’t actually “sorry” about. If we are talking about authenticity, saying sorry for something you don’t mean only hinders your own authenticity. After just a short conversation with Magatte, I was left analyzing authenticity in general. She couldn’t have been more right when she said, “never apologize for something you believe in.” Are you really sorry when you apologize for something you believe in? Or are you just sorry that the other person doesn’t agree with you?
I now understand that it is fine that I love Michael Jackson – that is an authentic aspect of who I am. At the same time, I also understand that he is not a good symbol for Tiossan, for the reasons Magatte provided. But there is no reason for either of us to apologize. Our truths can both co-exist respectfully.