Pop legend decidedly Best Person Ever™
In the wake of the Flint water crisis, a new savior is positioning herself as a champion of the people: Cher.
Cher’s recent water donation to Flint, Michigan, has been the launching pad for the pop star’s rebranding as a major philanthropist. The campaign, titled Cher the Love, aims to help those in lesser circumstances by showing them the power of Cher.
Campaign head Peter Rubbins believes it will have great success. “Cher is a powerhouse. She’s won an Emmy, several Grammys and her Twitter account is legendary. What better way to build her brand than to show how philanthropic she is?” Rubbins said.
“Right now, we want the world to know that Cher matters. We have to share the Cher, so to speak, until the younger generation sees her as the savior of their future.”
Members of the Society for the Imitation of Cher have been vocal advocates for the campaign as well. SIC has national chapters with membership counts ranging from 20 to 300 members, comprising a wide range of demographics.
“Our Queen Mother has spoken, and it’s our duty to help her conquer the world in whatever way we can,” said Delicka Tessen, drag queen extraordinaire and head of the Boise branch of SIC. “The girls and I live for this. It’s our chance to turn back time and bring the joy of Cher to a new generation. Cher has always stood for helping others — now, she just wants to make sure we know that!”
Cher the Love has expanded into the hashtag #ChertheLove, which people have been tagging on photos of their good deeds on social media with Cher spliced into the photograph via Photoshop. SIC divisions have taken to doing their good deeds in full Cher regalia.
One member, Janet Snakehole, served in twenty soup kitchens over the course of a week in varying outfits from Cher’s iconic film Moonstruck. Snakehole reportedly gave out business cards with each meal that read, “Bow to our philanthropic Queen Mother and #CherTheLove.”
“I gave away over two thousand cards, and that’s only the beginning,” said Snakehole. “Cher is the closest thing we have to a goddess in this world. In order to convert people to her worship and praise, we have to hit them when they are most accepting of her message. Nothing says ‘savior of the modern world’ like a bodacious, Emmy-winning superstar.”
On Twitter, Cher is overwhelmed with fans participating in the hashtag. “My BBs R working it !!” Cher tweeted. She followed the words with a knife emoji, a hatching chick emoji and two pink flower emojis.
“The enthusiastic response to Cher the Love is better than we could have expected,” Rubbins said. “Young people are starting to recognize that she is an optimal human being, all because of a little philanthropy. We’ve had nonprofit organizations asking for her to act as a spokesperson because of her recent success, but we haven’t taken any offers yet. Cher doesn’t need to be a spokesperson. Cher is charity embodied.”
A recent backlash has occurred against Cher’s campaign, with critics saying Cher the Love makes philanthropy less about charity work and more about bolstering Cher’s image. Cher immediately took to Twitter to react to the situation.
“I m not PLAYNG wit ur EMOTIONS!!” Cher said in a stream of tweets. “Simply want 2 hlp ppl wit my platform.” The latter tweet was followed by a combination of teary-eyed emojis, dancing women emojis and many heart emojis.
Though backlash is present, Cher the Love continues to grow as a hashtag and a larger campaign. TIME is in talks to make Cher its Person of the Year and premature rumors are circulating about Cher’s potential nomination for a Nobel Peace Prize.
“Cher is a lifestyle,” Tessen said. “Following her is like following a religious deity. We love that she’s helping other people. We love that other people are recognizing her greatness even more.”
There are even rumors that SIC and Cher’s team are working together to found a new church: The Church of Cher. Las Vegas recently announced a massive new architectural development headed by an unnamed celebrity source that may be connected. Recent tweets from Cher’s timeline indicated her presence in Las Vegas and several images of the pop star breaking ground at construction sites.
“HARD WOK is the [key emoji] to success !!! Build urself up and nO1 will tear U DOWN.” The tweet concluded with several praying hands emojis and an angelic emoji.
Rubbins neither confirmed nor denied the existence of the project. “Cher is working on a variety of projects that involve the development of Cher the Love,” he said. “She’s not responsible for the actions of her fans. If and when a church in her name develops, we’ll make an official announcement.”
Some reports indicated that Cher tweeted several stack-of-money emojis and laughing-face emojis, but the statement has since been deleted.
John Jacobson is a junior integrated marketing communications major who knows donations are important because they make you look good on tax returns. You can email them at [email protected].