Alicia Silverstone, January Jones and the Weird Things Celebrities Do
I was just sitting in the lunchroom at work the other day, minding my own business, eating my sandwich and watching Fox News. Then they had a story made me nearly lose my appetite. Alicia Silverstone, star of “Clueless” and Subugatory had posted a video on her website showing how she feeds her three-year-old son, Bear Blu. She uses a technique called “premastication”. Basically this means she chews her son’s food and spits it into his mouth! The video has gone viral. (see her website below. Scroll down for the video) This has raised a storm of debate on the Internet and television. Most people are grossed out by this and most doctors agree that the transfer of food from the mother to the child can lead to the spread of disease and tooth decay.
When I got home to write this Hub, I checked the Internet to research this story. It was loud in the lunchroom and I wasn‘t sure I heard the story correctly. I found out it was true. All of it. (and I also found out just how really weird she is). Then I found another story that seemed just as dopey as Ms Silverstone’s.
January Jones, a star of the hit series “Mad Men” has just given birth to a baby. She has had her placenta dried out and made into energy pills!. She had the baby just before taping began for this year’s season of “Mad Men”. She credits these “energy pills” with giving her the strength to overcome the tiredness and stresses that were put on her body. as a result of the pregnancy.
Both Jones and Silverstone have experts who agree with their methods. But many more do not. Both premastication and eating one’s placenta are not new actions. In the past they were both were encouraged in some societies. A common argument made by the (few) proponents of placenta eating claim that humans are the only species that doesn’t practice this. (We are also the only species on earth that does not defecate in the woods either.) I like to think we have come a long way from our ancestors and that in some ways, we are superior to creatures that are lower than us on the food chain.
The purpose of this essay is not to take sides, make fun of or debate the merits of these actions, it is to ask two questions, 1)why do celebrities feel that they need to tell us the most intimate details of their lives and 2)why do we care?
Stars and celebrities are different from the rest of us. In my opinion they exist in a world apart from us. The majority are very attractive people whose lives are sheltered and they are surrounded by people who enable them, and contribute to their inflated egos. At it‘s very core, acting is nothing more than playing dress up and pretending, something most of us left behind in childhood. It’s no wonder that when an actor or actress spends several months on a movie set (or several years on a TV show set) being someone else that there is a fundamental change in who they are. At some point they lose touch with reality and believe that just because they are talented on the screen, or the stage, they are more enlightened than the rest of us and must share their actions, opinions and causes with the world.
However it does seem that only the younger, less distinguished actors and actresses come on record with admissions of strange actions like these. One could never imagine Meryl Streep, or Glenn Close admitting that she had ever done anything like Jones and Silverstone. This leads me to believe that another factor may be involved.
There is a saying in public relations that “there is no such thing as bad press”. Established stars like Streep, Tom Hanks ,Clint Eastwood and many others do not need publicity. (that is not to say they are not strange in their own way, they just don’t feel the need to let the whole world know about their idiosyncrasies.) They have to little to gain by this type of activity. On the other hand, both Jones and Silverstone have reasons to make press.
Alicia Silverstone is best known for her roles in the movies “Clueless” and “Batman and Robin” where she played the part of Bat Girl. These films were released in the mid-1990s. Since then she has appeared in 12 movies, and several Broadway shows. None of the movies were successful. She is set to release two independent movies soon and will appear on the ABC series “Suburgatory” in a recurring role later this season. She needs to promote these movies and TV show and revive her sagging career.
January Jones plays the role of Betty Draper on the AMC series ‘Mad Men”. This series began its fifth season last week. Unlike Silverstone, Jones is not an actress attempting to resurrect a career. She is near the beginning of her career and needs to promote herself and the series.
Staying in the spotlight for doing things that have nothing to do with performing seems to be a common method for Hollywood stars who need a boost in their careers. A good example of this is actress Lindsey Lohan. Lohan’s recent brushes with the law were covered extensively by the press. While no one doubts that she is a troubled person, her handlers manipulated the press beautifully, assuring that she would stay in our minds whether we liked her or not. She made her “comeback” earlier this year hosting Saturday Night Live. Show business pundits have said that this appearance may have saved her career. Her next movie (rumored to be a biopic of show business great Elizabeth Taylor) will likely be a financial success , no matter how bad (or good), it is.
But what about us, the audience. Why do we care? One reason is we like to see a strange story or freak show. It makes us feel better about ourselves. The vast majority of people do not believe that premastication is proper way to feed a child, and the fact that an actress does it amazes us. We revel in the thought that we are different, and more intelligent than a “ditzy” Hollywood personality. While we would never think of imitating her, we enjoy seeing and hearing about this type of thing.
Another reason why we “care” is that we as a society love to see the strangeness and idiosyncrasies of the high and mighty. It makes us feel normal and somehow smarter. A show like TMZ, a network like E! and dozens of websites exist because there is a huge audience for this sort of thing.
These stories are not out of the ordinary nowadays. This is a what passes as “Entertainment News” Next week it will be something else. I have a suspicion we are being manipulated to pay attention to people we have never heard of or we otherwise would not give a second thought. I don’t mind that, though. I always enjoy a good story. After all, that’s what these people are paid to give us . Am I right ?
Alicia Silverstone's web site
- The Kind Life
The official site of Alicia Silverstone. The Kind Life is an interactive extension of The Kind Diet where friends, doctors, experts in green living, and site members share vegan living tips, tricks and inspiration.