“Celebrities Give Too Much Advice, and People Listen To It Too Much”

Graduation season is my favorite time of year. Not because I’m getting a diploma (haven’t since Northwestern 2004–Go U NU!), but because in an effort to seem hip, prestigious universities invite funny celebrities to give commencement addresses. I’ve enjoyed plenty of wisdom dispensed via YouTube from the likes of Stephen Colbert, Amy Poehler and Ellen DeGeneres, and I love it.

You see, I’m the kind of person who loves a good life lesson. I relish hearing how other people tackle their day-to-day—celebrities especially, because then maybe I can incorporate their rituals into my own daily life, and seem almost as put together and glamorous as they are.  In my upcoming book, Jennifer, Gwyneth & Me, I spend nearly a year trying to better myself by emulating the lives of the celebrities that I admire. Jennifer Aniston’s body? Tina Fey’s work ethic? Julia Roberts’s zen? I want it all.

One of the celebrities I admire most (as you know) is actress and writer Mindy Kaling. This year, she gave the commencement speech at Harvard Law School. In her speech, she deals with people like me, who want answers and advice from A-listers like her.

“Celebrities give too much advice, and people listen to it too much,” she says. “Actresses can become nutritionists, experts in baby care, or in environmental policy. Actors can become governors, pundits or even high ranking officials in religions made up a mere 60 years ago.”

It’s true that the Gwyneth’s of the world are no longer just actresses, but lifestyle experts with million dollar brands. It’s also true that I, and sometimes even Mindy, eat it up. Who can resist?

To see Mindy’s take on celebrity advice-givers, go to 12:45 on the video at the top of the page. Or watch the whole thing because, well, it’s fantastic.

Is she right? Should we quit taking advice from celebs? Or is a role model a role model,  famous or not?

Jennifer, Gwyneth & Me is out in three weeks, and I need your help! Pre-order sales are vital to a book’s success–all early orders count toward the first week’s sales, which is the most important week.  I would be so grateful if you might:

Pre-order the book 
Read an excerpt
Follow me on Facebook or Twitter

Thank you!

2 Comments

Filed under The Search

2 responses to ““Celebrities Give Too Much Advice, and People Listen To It Too Much”

  1. Emily

    I completely agree with Mindy. Celebrities are not experts on topics simply because of their social status or profession, and people should not rely solely on their advice. I do, however, read/listen to a celebrity’s motherhood advice the same as I would anyone with parenting experience; I might read Gwenyth’s book on gluten-free cooking just as I would read one written by another author with experience in GF cooking. I think celebrities are welcome to give as much advice as they want, just as you and I can give advice. It’s up to those of us who read/hear it to take it with a grain of salt and not use that celebrity as the sole source of expertise. Just like dieting, moderation is key. :-)

  2. Dwayne Harmer

    Just as we are passionate about more than just the career we have chosen— if we are lucky enough to be in that career— Actors can be passionate about other things. Also, an actor only works on set 9 months a year if they are lucky. So they have time to be experts on other things.

    I don’t believe that you should take anything at face value though. You need to look at the source, or your source’s source. Always look deeper, because if you aren’t, then prepare to look the fool when the next big fad comes out.

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