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Keepin’ It Real: What I Learned From Chewbacca Mom

If you been online recently and especially on Facebook you’ve probably seen the video of Candace Payne now forever known as the Chewbacca Mom.  In the off chance you haven’t here it is for your viewing pleasure:

When I saw the first saw the video I thought she was entertaining and funny but it wasn’t as funny as she was expressing.  But as my lovely wife would say, “G why’s everything have to be about you.” and she’s absolutely right (just this time though) it’s not about me but about her. 

What stuck me about this video is her authenticity and pure joy – nothing phony or pretentious about her. She’s comfortable with who  she is.

Candace is a big woman or in politically correct terms she’s horizontally challenged. She mentioned she went to Kohl’s to return some clothes that didn’t fit. I immediately assumed because the clothes were too small but she cheerfully corrected those of us thinking that way. 

She goes on to say she’s in the parking lot where people are watching her, but she didn’t care. I can say with confidence what you see from her is truly what you get. What we see in the video is what we get if she was there in person. 

Her subsequent videos bear this out. This four minute video has reached over 140 million views setting the Facebook record for the most watched Facebook Live video ever. Since posting her video Candace has

  • Been on The Late, Late Show with James Corden where she met Star Wars producer, J. J. Abrams
  • Interviewed on Good Morning America
  • Visited Facebook headquarters where she met her favorite Wookie and the people behind Facebook live. She also received a Facebook Star plaque engraved with her name.
  • Increased her Facebook profile to over 750,000 followers

While some of us are attracted to her video because of her contagious laughter and child like happiness with a mask that made Wookie noises, Candace Payne has tapped into something we all yearn for – authenticity. 

Authenticity with ourselves and others. The ability to

  • Be transparent and vulnerable with no fear of judgment, shame or criticism. 
  • Live life without pretense and hypocrisy. 
  • Speak truth in all areas of life.
  • Pursue what bring us joy.

This desire for authenticity is why Presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are enjoying such strong and emotional support among their followers.

We want authenticity yet many of us wear a mask in our daily lives, hiding who we really are out of fear. Many of us wear a mask online, always presenting ourselves in the best possible light.

The irony of this video is we usually wear masks to feel less vulnerable and empowered but when Candace put on the Chewbacca mask it was the complete opposite. She continued to show us who she really is.

Candace Payne was keepin’ it real, sharing without a drop of embarrassment that she’d bought this silly mask not for her kids, but for herself. She sat there in her car despite onlookers laughing her ass off.

Candace restores our faith in the belief it doesn’t matter what other people think and say.

When you are judged and criticized, remember it is frequently done because it gives your critic a feeling of importance. It often means you are accomplishing significant and worthy of attention. Dale Carnegie said it best, “No one ever kicks a dead dog.”

About The Author

Gerardo Campbell is a Nebraska native who now calls Silicon Valley, California home. In 1995, Gerardo married his wife Roberta aka the Pretty Lady and became the stepdad to her two children. In 2011, he started the website Support for Stepfathers in an effort to reverse the nearly 70% divorce rate for blended families in the United States. His website is to help and inspire stepfathers, aspiring stepfathers and the women who love them worldwide. You can follow Support for Stepdads on Twitter @support4stepdad and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/resourcesforstepfathers.




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