LET’S GET the important stuff out of the way first: there are some topics, and celebrities, we shouldn’t be looking to for good advice. Jenny McCarthy has been labeled “a public health menace” for her position on vaccinations by people like Steven Hoffman, who authored a 2013 university study examining why people follow the health advice of celebrities, And Dr. Oz? Some doctors outside of the US claim that sharing his “miracle cures” would be illegal in their countries. I certainly wouldn’t look to Taylor Swift for beauty advice after she used a sharpie marker in lieu of eyeliner while she was on an airplane and “in a pinch.” John Lennon has a lot to say about peace, but tell that to the women he assaulted before Yoko and the son he neglected that “came from a bottle of whiskey,” as he revealed in public. It’s tough to turn to Angelina Jolie for relationship advice when she’s used a public platform to take digs at Jennifer Aniston, saying it’s “worse to leave your partner and talk badly about him afterwards” than to be unfaithful.
So, celebrities aren’t always the wisest. Their lives are drastically different than ours and most of what they advise should be taken with a grain of salt… if not chucked out the window entirely. But, there are some pieces of advice from famous people that are worth heeding.
Get ready for an infusion of wisdom straight to the brain:
“If what someone else says can easily derail you, it means your sense of self isn’t that firmly established in the first place. It’s an inside job. You’re beautiful and worthy and totally unique. People insult each other based on their own insecurities — even though it may feel personal, it really never is. Really.” —Emma Stone
This one was from an interview with Seventeen magazine, but it’s applicable to all ages.
“Never eat more than you can lift.” —Miss Piggy
Eating advice I can get behind. Way better than Gwenyth Paltrow’s “I’d rather smoke crack than eat cheese from a tin.” (It’s trendy to pick on Gwenyth Paltrow, I know, but that one was a doozy.)
“Seven years ago, I was in the midst of adopting my daughter, Harper, and I was worried about everything: I didn’t have the right clothes or all the stuff I needed; my house didn’t have enough space and it wasn’t baby-proofed. My mother said, ‘You can wrap the baby in a T-shirt. You can use a paper towel for a diaper. “Mother” is not what you have. “Mother” is what you do. “Mother” is a verb.’ That calmed me down completely.” —Shonda Rhimes
Shonda is the mastermind behind Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal… anyone that can create characters like Dr. McDreamy and Olivia Pope is trustworthy by me.
“Why do you put your self-esteem in the hands of complete strangers?” —Helena Bonham Carter
“I had a friend who said to me that when it comes time to work, you’ve got to be an adult, but that doesn’t mean you can’t screw up. It doesn’t mean you can’t be childish. But when it comes time to actually do the work, you’ve got to grow a little bit, so there’s always a time in a relationship where you’ve got to work at it. But it shouldn’t be too hard.” —Kate Hudson
Sounds like a smart friend.
“It’s all about falling in love with yourself and sharing that love with someone who appreciates you, rather than looking for love to compensate for a self love deficit.” —Eartha Kitt
Singer, actor, dancer, activist, and incredibly wise woman.
“Do something that, when you wake up every day, makes you smile. Being happy is more important than anything else.” —Beyoncé
Easy to say when you’re freakin’ Beyonce, but there’s wisdom in those words. A positive outlook and meaningful routines can do wonders.
“Some of the most devastating things that happen to you will teach you the most.” —Ellen Degeneres
This was from her 2009 commencement speech at Tulane University in New Orleans. She also included this: “It was so important for me to lose everything, because I found what the most important thing is — to be true to yourself, and ultimately that’s what’s got me to this place… No matter what, I know what I am.”
“As humans, we waste the sh*t out of our words. It’s sad. We use words like “awesome” and “wonderful” like they’re candy. It was awesome? Really? It inspired awe? It was wonderful? Are you serious? It was full of wonder? You use the word “amazing” to describe a g*ddamn sandwich at Wendy’s. What’s going to happen on your wedding day, or when your first child is born? How will you describe it? You already wasted “amazing” on a fu**ing sandwich.” —Louis C.K.
I won’t call this awesome, but it’s pretty great.
“When I was about 10 years old and dreaming of going to Africa, living with animals, and writing books about them, everyone laughed at me. World War II was raging across Europe. My family had no money and couldn’t even afford a bicycle for me. Africa was far away and full of dangerous animals, and, most damning of all, I was a mere girl. Only boys could expect to do those kinds of things. But my mother said, ‘If you really want something and you work hard and you take advantage of opportunities — and you never, ever give up — you will find a way.’ The opportunity was a letter from a friend inviting me to Kenya. The hard work was waitressing at a hotel to earn money for the trip — and spending hours reading books about Africa and animals, so I was ready when Dr. Louis Leakey offered me the opportunity to study chimpanzees.” —Jane Goodall
Not a typical “celebrity”, but, if you don’t know about primatologist and conservationist Jane Goodall, you should.
“You pray for rain, you gotta deal with the mud too. That’s a part of it. I’d be more frightened by not using whatever abilities I’d been given. I’d be more frightened by procrastination and laziness.” —Denzel Washington
Denzel’s abilities happen to be acting in and directing major motion pictures, but this is true for any profession or goal.
“No matter who you are, no matter what you did, no matter where you’ve come from, you can always change, become a better version of yourself.” —Madonna
If you try to forget that Madonna has endless wardrobe options, a full team of stylists, and probably gets botox injections, there’s some important stuff going on here.
And, just in case you’re taking celebrities too seriously, remember these wise words from Matt Damon: “Eventually stardom is going to go away from me. It goes away from everybody and all you have in the end is to be able to look back and like the choices you made.”