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: