Back of a man's head watching a train go by. Photo by Ashik Salim on Unsplash.

There are a lot of white guys in my head

By Dan Ayer
PRSA Pittsburgh Vice President
[Originally published by Oyster Creative Co. on Medium]

I read a lot. Watch even more movies. And have a scary ability to Shazam most songs in my head faster than the app.
I was lucky. I grew up with a bookcase directly above my pillow (safe sleep be damned). I would devour books when I couldn’t sleep. My parents had an insane record collection from the late ’60s and early ’70s that would be the envy of any audiophile. And movies? Like any thirty-something white male, my brain is 72 percent movie quotes.
That love of story and art led me to become an English major. But— plot twist — one that actually found a career using that degree.
However, that’s not the point of this article.

At Oyster Creativewe’re starting a series on Medium called “Pearls,” all about creative inspiration. Where it comes from, how to come up with ideas and how they come to life. The goal is to highlight people who inspire us with art, music, writing, film, and whatever else that drives us to be creative.
I’m director of PR and Content, and I drew first straw. So, I sat down to write my list of people I wanted to highlight.
And want to guess what they all had in common?
Y-chromosomes and a skin tone that lacks a lot of melanin.

My list made #OscarsSoWhite look like a United Nations Convention.
Listen, if you look at my bookshelf you’ll find Ta-Nehisi Coates, Damon Young, RBG and B.I.G. If you look at my Netflix watched list you’ll see Chappelle, #blackaf and a shocking amount of Nora Ephron films.
It’s not that I don’t expose myself to art created by women, Black, Latino, Asian, and LGBTQIA artists, it’s that occasionally my comforts too often take me back to an Apatow movie, Bill Simmons podcast or Ben Folds album.
Are those guys not deserving of praise? Do they not inspire me to create?
Absolutely not. But as a creative, it’s my job to develop voices and messages that bring brands and stories to life.
And honestly, I can do better.

That starts with exposing myself to more work by people who don’t look, talk or think like me.
So, I’m making a goal. For every piece of content, art or music I consume created by a white dude, I’m going to make sure that I continue to make an effort to include just as much content created by people of color, women and members of the LGBTQIA community.
I don’t think it will be a problem. I’ve never turned down a good book or binge.
And as someone who’s always loved a good story, I can’t to wait to see what’s on the next page.

Oyster Creative Co. is a full-service advertising and marketing agency. The best way to shuck an oyster is to come at it from every angle. And that’s how we approach marketing. We find the right way to attack your individual challenge. Visit PRSA Pittsburgh’s jobs page to consider joining the team as a public relations and social media specialist.

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