When this poster first started popping up around the internet, I really loved it. First of all, the typography is perfect, and that little crown is so Sparlke, Sparkle. It's hard to go wrong with a clean, simple graphic on top of a single bold color. No need to complicate things all the time. However, as it became overused and cliche, I got a little bit tired. Maybe there was a little hipster sitting on my shoulder saying, "Ugh, everyone likes that print? DON'T LIKE IT ANYMORE." At any rate, it really fell off my radar of images that I enjoyed because I really didn't think it meant much of anything.
But this video rekindled my love for the print. I didn't know it was originally a motivational wartime poster. I just figured it was some witty graphic designer who really hit the jackpot. Sometimes I think we tend to glamorize World War II by concentrating on the home front efforts (victory gardens = cute!), the great graphics of propaganda posters and of course, the fashion. (Because what would the WWII era be if it didn't include those A-line dresses made out of fantastic prints?) But it was still a war, and it was still horrifying, and it was very much a crisis that I don't think we can understand. The thing about this story that really resonates with me is that someone out there in history thought the best thing they could say was the simplest: Keep calm and carry on.
What can you do when the world is falling apart? Not a whole lot, sometimes. But we don't have to add to the chaos by freaking out and throwing in the towel. By now, I'm sure there are a ton of people (girls, mostly) who have gone through a breakup and seen that poster and thought "Yes. Tacking this up in my bedroom will be a daily reminder that I can survive this." And I don't want to trivialize things like breakups or any other personal problem, because I don't want to be a hypocrite. As someone conveniently said to me this morning, "You might be having a big crisis, or you might be having a small crisis, but it's still a crisis." Whatever thing is making you anxious or sad or tired may not seem legitimate to everyone, but if it's legitimate to you, then it means something. And in those moments, I think this poster is great advice. What can you do? You can start by taking control of yourself. Take a breath and do your day.
Whether your crisis is an international crisis or a 10-minute "I'm gonna be late!" crisis, it's usually best to keep calm and carry on. And if you really want to be an overachiever, you will Keep Calm and Sparkle On.