Sometimes, people get bitten by the writing bug and feel compelled to express themselves on the internet. Sometimes, these people are celebrities. Celebrity op-eds are fun to read because most of the time, they offer unique perspectives on everyday topics I can somewhat relate to. For that three to five minutes, I have something in common with fame: the power of words. I know James Franco sat at his laptop for at least 30 seconds, brow furrowed, struggling to find an alternative for the word “excited” at least twice. Celebrities: They’re just like us! After Taylor Swift’s recent op-ed about the music industry, I got a wild hair, went on a celeb op-ed binge and thought I’d share. Let’s get intimate.
For Taylor Swift, the Future of Music is a Love Story by Taylor Swift
“My hope for the future, not just the music industry, but in every young girl I meet…is that they all realize their worth and ask for it.”
In her Wall Street Journal op-ed, Taylor Swift points out that people are still in fact buying music, just not that much of it—only the music that really, really empowers them, or strikes a chord with them, for lack of a better metaphor. She’s made it clear she isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, but rather sees the state of the industry as a challenge. Taylor will rise to the occasion, continue to create music her fans love and find ways to connect with them and keep “surprising” them (her words). Not that we would expect anything less.
My Medical Choice by Angelina Jolie
“On a personal note, I do not feel any less of a woman. I feel empowered that I made a strong choice that in no way diminishes my femininity.”
Angelina Jolie surprised the world with a beautiful, moving piece in the New York Times about her personal history with cancer and decision to get a preventative double mastectomy. Three months and three surgeries later, she lowered her chances of developing breast cancer from 87 percent to less than 5. This op-ed served double duty: to share a personal story, and as a reminder to women to get tested to see if they are carriers for the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes.
Why Actors Act Out by James Franco
“Our rebellion against the hand that feeds us can instigate a frenzy of commentary that sets in motion a feedback loop: acting out, followed by negative publicity, followed by acting out in response to that publicity, followed by more publicity, and so on.”
Focusing on Shia LaBeouf, whose antics were consistently bizarre and relevant at the time (remember the paper bag incident?), James Franco used the New York Times as a megaphone to explain the frustration actors often feel when people too closely link their public persona to their private lives. And I think he offers a great perspective.
“Eventually this all passes. The public horrors of today eventually blow away. And, yes, you are changed by the awful wake of reckoning they leave behind. You trust less. You calculate your steps. You survive. Hopefully in the process you don’t lose your ability to throw your arms in the air again and spin in wild abandon. That is the ultimate F.U. and—finally—the most beautiful survival tool of all. Don’t let them take that away from you.”
In this piece published in the Daily Beast, Jodie Foster stresses the importance of maintaining a private personal life as a celebrity. She doesn’t defend Kristen Stewart’s cheating scandal per se, but in her own way, she was letting her know this particular media frenzy wouldn’t last forever. After all, they are old friends and colleagues from Panic Room.
There’s No Such Thing as a Wasted Opportunity by Eva Longoria
“Stereotypes are constructed and perpetuated by those who believe in them. I choose not to. As an executive producer, I choose to break the cycle of ignorance by bringing to light something we have not seen before, a deeper, more complex side to the women who live beyond the box that some choose to put them in.”
Eva Longoria is the Executive Producer of Lifetime’s TV show Devious Maids, and wrote this op-ed piece for the Huffington Post in response to a blog post called “Eva Longoria’s Devious Maids Is a Wasted Opportunity.” While the women on the show are maids, the show manages to debunk the stereotype that the only thing Latina women can do is become a maid. Sounds like a great opportunity to me.
Why Our Children Should Be Off Limits to the Paparazzi by Dax Shepard
“We aren’t asking you to ignore a man on fire for this cause, but after you’ve helped extinguish him, there’s no reason you can’t whisper in his ear, ‘Hey, don’t buy US Weekly. They display photos of children being stalked.’”
The award for father of the year goes to: Dax Shepard. Since becoming parents, he and Kristen Bell have become big advocates of protecting children of celebrities from the paparazzi, and California Senate Bill 606 in particular, which makes it illegal to photograph a child because of their parent’s employment. What I found most heartfelt (and heartbreaking) about his Huffington Post piece, though, were the anecdotes about the couple’s need to break personal information about their daughter’s milestones themselves—not because they wanted to, but because they didn’t want to give the press the satisfaction of doing it first. Bummer.
Romney Wrong to use “Clear Eyes, Full Hearts” by Connie Britton and Sarah Aubrey
“What would the women of Dillon think about this? Dillon is a classic American town filled with hard-working, middle-class Americans, who just want to lead productive, healthy lives. And the women we represented on the show—the women we are in real life—are like the millions of women across the nation. Women who want to make our own health care decisions. Women who want to earn equal pay for the work we do. Women who want affordable health care.”
Is there anything Tami Taylor can’t do? Naturally, I read this USA Today op-ed in the voice of Mrs. Coach. The op-ed is an empowering piece written by strong women, for strong women, encouraging us to educate ourselves on issues and to take action. Regardless of your political affiliation, that’s something all females (and people) can appreciate.
Also, if for some reason you’ve never watched the Friday Night Lights TV series (which is something you NEED to do), the piece does contain series spoilers.
And the Oscar Goes to… Hell by Jamie Lee Curtis
“I was offended last week. As an Academy member, as the child of former Academy members and as a woman, I expected more from the best that the movie business has to offer. The Oscars are about honoring art and artists. It is not supposed to be a cheesy vaudeville show.”
Remember when Seth MacFarlane hosted the Oscars? Everyone had an opinion about it, especially Jamie Lee Curtis, who took to the Huffington Post to air her frustration. It’s a fast read, but it sums up what many were thinking, even in the title alone..