I’m not saying I’m above buying a celebrity-endorsed product. I have no idea what Spareavtale is, but I’d eagerly acquire it by the bushelful if it meant I, too, could inexplicably wake up with a 10-carat diamond ring that my über-sexy, affectionate and adoring new husband, George Clooney, furtively slipped on my finger right before giddily surprising me with images of the cozy and charming 10,000-square-foot house he bought for us to live in — just like in the Norwegian commercial for some product named Spareavtale in which he appears.
Celebrity endorsements must translate into real dollars because otherwise it wouldn’t make fiscal sense for companies to shell out big bucks to people like Beyoncé (L’Oreal), Natalie Portman (Dior) and LeBron James (Nike) to shill their products. It seems as though the philosophy behind endorsements is that some celebrities are so admired for their talent, grace or athletic prowess that their legions of fans are anxious to buy what they can to look, smell or dress like their favorite stars.
But here’s what I decidedly am above: turning to a celebrity for parenting advice based solely on the fact that I admire their talent, grace or athletic prowess. Or because, you know, I fantasize about waking up beside them in the morning. Even if the thread count on the sheets on our bed is in excess of 1,500.
I might like a song you sing, a movie you star in or how you brought a team I root for to victory. But what, exactly, does that have to do with how you raise your family, and why am I supposed to care about or copy your parenting style?
Mayim Bialik, who starred as a grounded yet eclectic teen in the ‘90s on NBC’s “Blossom” and was recently seen playing a lesbian on HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” is the author of a new book, “Beyond the Sling: A Real-Life Guide to Raising Confident, Loving Children the Attachment Parenting Way.”
That she’s apparently a neuroscientist in real life makes her seem marginally less crazy for thinking anyone will give a damn about how she thinks children other than her own should be raised. That is, if neuroscience plays any part in your decision-making process if you are among the vast minority who actually consider wearing your baby like a fifth limb, or breast-feeding until your kid hits puberty.
But what seems even more bizarre is that some people probably will buy her book and take her advice based solely on the fact that she starred as an adolescent girl known for wearing a flower in her hat or as the daughter of Larry David frienemy Marty Funkhouser. (By the way, if you actually take her advice, will you one day tell your kids that their childhood was brought to them in part by the co-star of Joey Lawrence, the guy known solely for repeating “Whoa!” over and over?)
Alicia Silverstone, who hasn’t done much of note since starring in the film “Clueless,” is making headlines, too, because she recently released a short video online that showed her chewing food and then gleefully depositing it from her mouth directly into that of her baby’s like a mama bird would do to her baby bird. Except when Alicia does it, it’s much more disgusting considering how Vitamix machines, Cuisinarts and blenders in general are readily available for purchase by actual humans.
Then there’s January Jones, the former Mrs. Betty Draper from AMC’s “Mad Men,” who gushed to People magazine about how her placenta was dehydrated and made into vitamins after she gave birth — and she now consumes them.
“I suggest it to all moms!” she said.
And I’m supposed to take her advice because she attractively chain-smoked on camera while letting a pre-adolescent boy kiss her inappropriately? Does starring in a movie or TV show in which you play a kid or have a kid mean you are eminently more qualified to raise one in real life — and have people follow your lead?
If so, does that mean that I should also turn to the cast of “Grey’s Anatomy” for medical insight? Should I try to track down Raymond Burr the next time I find myself on the wrong side of the law? And if I’m struggling in the boudoir with my real-life husband (or my pretend one, George Clooney), is Kim Cattrall the go-to gal for tips on how to spice things up?
If I want eyelashes like Beyoncé’s, I might seek out the mascara brand she endorses at the drugstore’s makeup counter. But if she ends up writing a book on how to give birth like she did, which is in a hospital suite that she allegedly had made over to the tune of $2 million, you can bet I’ll be ignoring it in the bookstore.
And as much as I enjoy the fantasy of George Clooney, I wouldn’t even take baby-rearing advice from him. Although if he were to offer baby-making advice, I’m all ears.
More at www.meredithcarroll.com.