How To Stop Envying Your Favorite Celeb's Life
"Jealousy is an ugly emotion, but it tells the truth. You mostly envy those who have what you desire."—Susan Cain
Whether you quietly or openly envy a certain celebrity, while that's not exactly a healthy thing (more on that in just a sec), it's also not totally your fault. The media makes billions of dollars off of promoting the lives of people who may be rich and famous but, at the end of the day, are still just people.
Why do I say that it's not a good idea to be jealous of famous folks (or anyone for that matter)? Well, let's explore what envy and jealousy does to our health, for starters. One study reveals that it decreases the quality of our mental health while another states that it heightens stress, anxiety, passive aggression, depression and even causes us to age at a faster rate. Then there's what it does to us spiritually. An author by the name of Harold G. Coffin once said that "Envy is the art of counting the other fellow's blessings instead of your own." It's like telling God that he loves someone else more than you.
Oh, and the damage that jealousy and envy can do to one's self-image? Don't get me started. Why a lot of us will go to great lengths and expense to look like someone else is beyond me (an interesting roundtable discussion with Black men and women on this very issue is the 50-minute video "The Pressure to Be Curvy").
Unfortunately, we are so inundated (some might even say berated) by celebrity culture that, when a lot of us hear, "Live your best life", we automatically insert someone else's face rather than our own into our mental picture and personal standards.
But really—what kind of sense would it make for me to talk about how counterproductive to envy a celeb if I'm not going to at least try and provide some tips on how to break the toxic habit? If you know that you are tired to opening up your laptop or smartphone and wishing that you had the life—including love life—of someone you don't even know, here's how to get on the road towards changing all of that.
Factor in Their BackstoryHarley Quinn Problem GIF by HBO MaxGiphy
When it comes to this point, the first person who immediately comes to mind is the late and great Prince. Anyone who's watched Purple Rain before knows that it's a movie based, in part, on Prince's life; a life that was no cakewalk. Fantasia's story (Life Is Not a Fairytale: The Fantasia Barrino Story), Tina Turner's past experiences in the classic What's Love Got to Do with It? and even the VH1 article "These Celebrities' Horrific Childhood Stories Will Make You Hug Your Parents Tightly" are all real-time examples of strength and triumph. They're also reminders that we shouldn't idolize anyone's life. For one thing, we only know a part of it. Plus, there are probably a ton of things that many of them would exchange all of the money and fame in the world to not have gone through if they could.
Remember Celebrities Only Post What They Want You to See
Definitely, one of my favorite Kev On Stage videos is when he was venting (or was it ranting?) about how much he hates the hashtag #relationshipgoals. He starts the video off by saying, "Not to be a jerk here guys, but I hate relationship goals. I hate the pictures. I hate the man leading the woman down to the beach. You don't know where they're going. He could be leading her down the path of destruction." Hilarious and indeed. He later says, "You know what real relationship goals are? Hand me some soap because I got in the shower and the soap was little and I couldn't get a good lather…I ran out of toilet tissue and 'cause I had more poop coming than I thought, can you grab it? And it smells awful in here and I shouldn't have had Chipotle, I know what Chipotle does." Kev's point?
The social media world is a mere fraction of what's really going on; some of it is not even as "real" as you think it is.
Listen, I used to do some social media branding for a few folks and when I tell you that their Instagram is very different than their real life? People would be floored if they knew what was really going on. Back in the day, folks had PR people who kind of "controlled" their image. Now there are filters, along with them deciding what part of their life they want to share or not. That's certainly their right, but as you're scrolling down their accounts, just know that the same kind of "editing" you're doing so that people will know more of the good than the not-so-good, celebs are putting 10 times more thought into what they are presenting on their IG and Twitter. (Well, at least most of them are.)
Ask Yourself If It’s Admiration or Jealousy That You’re Feelingthe real housewives of atlanta jealousy GIF by Bravo TVGiphy
Jealousy. It's so toxic and counterproductive. It reminds me of a quote that I once read by an author named Erica Jong—"Jealousy is all the fun you think they had." Preach.
Besides, jealousy is super unhealthy because there is research that points to the fact that it's rooted in low self-esteem and/or neuroticism and/or feelings of inadequacy. Not only does this mean that being jealous of someone is only making you feel worse about yourself, but the time that you're spending wishing you had someone—someone you probably don't even know and won't ever meet—else's life is the time that you could be working on developing your own gifts and talents, putting a life plan together and getting the relationship that you so deserve. Then you could start turning the jealousy that you're feeling into admiration. You could respect the accomplishments certain celebrities have made and use that as inspiration to do great things as well.
Not only that, but rap artist Lecrae once tweeted a great point about jealousy that all of us should keep close to heart; especially if your jealousy has you out here being a hater (or troller)—"Jealousy will have you gossiping about people you should be learning from."
Admiration is what fuels you. Jealousy is what drains you. Remember that.
Keep in Mind That Envy Is So Beneath You
The first step out of something that isn't serving you well is to admit that you are struggling in that particular area. Let's begin by tackling the difference between jealousy and envy. Some believe there is a clear distinction in the sense that if you're jealous, you're consumed with thinking that someone will take something (or one) that you already have while if you are envious, you're out here coveting what others have. Then there are those who think that envy is a more intense and destructive form of jealousy.
Personally, I think it's a little bit of Column A and a little bit of Column B. What I can promise you is if you don't get a hold of this green-eyed monster, in any form, it can start to take over your entire life. Next thing you know, you'll be out here being the living definition of the Mark Twain quote—"Man will do many things to get himself loved; he will do all things to get himself envied." In other words, since envied motivated you do/be/get more, you'll think that you need to be envied to stay motivated.
It's exhausting to be out here always wanting what someone else has and/or always trying to top the next guy; especially some guy who has no clue who you are. Those of us who grew up in church, we heard, at least a dozen times, that what God has for us is for us. Rather than spending/wasting hours each week looking at what celebrities have and envying them because of it, why not be grateful for what you have and figure out what else would complement your life and lifestyle instead? God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34). He doesn't love you any more or less than anyone else. Trust that what he's got for you, he'll get to you. And what he has for someone else? The same points apply.
Know There Are Probably Things YOU Have That THEY Wantstrength confidence GIFGiphy
I know someone who is constantly comparing her physicality with famous women. She's constantly talking about how much better her life would be if she had hair like so-and-so or a shape like such-and-such. I'm not gonna give y'all the exact thing that I said because…that's not important (wink), but the gist was, "The very women you wish you looked like are always getting left by some dude. Clearly looks are not what holds a relationship together."
At the end of the day, all of us are just people. Some of us have more money or are more well-known, but we're all fallible and battle with insecurities. Believe it or not, there's a huge chance that if you sat down with your favorite celebrity and compared notes, there is at least one thing in your possession that they wish they had too.
A philosopher by the name of Peter Deunov once said, "You are jealous because you are unaware that everything you need is inside you." To that, I say, don't sell yourself short. All of us have things that someone wishes that they did. Celebrities are not exempt from this point.
Focus on Your Purpose, Not Others’
Before I started mostly writing in the relationships lane, I was an entertainment writer. A lot of the people I met? I can honestly say that I wish I never had because who and what I built up in my mind was so much better than the real thing. Don't get it twisted. Being famous is not automatically synonymous with being happy, polite or self-fulfilled. Anyway, if there is one takeaway that I got from most it's that putting time into one's purpose will always pay off.
I might be in the minority when I say this, but I think one of the reasons why a lot of people are envious of celebrities is because they aren't aware of and/or fully invested in their purpose. The reason why they aren't is because they aren't clear on what exactly their own purpose is (check out "5 Signs You Are Living Your True Purpose" when you get a chance). If they were, I'm not sure how much room jealousy and envy could take up in their world.
There are some celebrities that I dig. No doubt about it. But I'll be honest with you—my life is so full that there isn't a lot of time to be out here wanting what they have (or what they appear to have). I'm trying to maintain my own.
Your purpose is just as relevant as the next man and woman. Honor this fact by choosing not to envy anyone. Including a celebrity. Your purpose, your life in general, deserves so much more than that. So do you.
Featured image by Giphy
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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at email@example.com. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
Exclusive: Gabrielle Union On Radical Transparency, Being Diagnosed With Perimenopause And Embracing What’s Next
Whenever Gabrielle Union graces the movie screen, she immediately commands attention. From her unforgettable scenes in films like Bring It On and Two Can Play That Game to her most recent film, in which she stars and produces Netflix’s The Perfect Find, there’s no denying that she is that girl.
Off-screen, she uses that power for good by sharing her trials and tribulations with other women in hopes of helping those who may be going through the same things or preventing them from experiencing them altogether. Recently, the Flawless by Gabrielle Union founder partnered with Clearblue to speak at the launch of their Menopause Stage Indicator, where she also shared her experience with being perimenopausal.
In a xoNecoleexclusive, the iconic actress opens up about embracing this season of her life, new projects, and overall being a “bad motherfucker.” Gabrielle reveals that she was 37 years old when she was diagnosed with perimenopause and is still going through it at 51 years old. Mayo Clinic says perimenopause “refers to the time during which your body makes the natural transition to menopause, marking the end of the reproductive years.”
“I haven't crossed over the next phase just yet, but I think part of it is when you hear any form of menopause, you automatically think of your mother or grandmother. It feels like an old-person thing, but for me, I was 37 and like not understanding what that really meant for me. And I don't think we focus so much on the word menopause without understanding that perimenopause is just the time before menopause,” she tells us.
Photo by Brian Thomas
"But you can experience a lot of the same things during that period that people talk about, that they experienced during menopause. So you could get a hot flash, you could get the weight gain, the hair loss, depression, anxiety, like all of it, mental health challenges, all of that can come, you know, at any stage of the menopausal journey and like for me, I've been in perimenopause like 13, 14 years. When you know, most doctors are like, ‘Oh, but it's usually about ten years, and I'm like, ‘Uhh, I’m still going (laughs).’”
Conversations about perimenopause, fibroids, and all the things that are associated with women’s bodies have often been considered taboo and thus not discussed publicly. However, times are changing, and thanks to the Gabrielle’s and the Tia Mowry’s, more women are having an authentic discourse about women’s health. These open discussions lead to the creation of more safe spaces and support for one another.
“I want to be in community with folks. I don't ever want to feel like I'm on an island about anything. So, if I can help create community where we are lacking, I want to be a part of that,” she says. “So, it's like there's no harm in talking about it. You know what I mean? Like, I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change. I'm just getting better and stronger and more intelligent, more wise, more patient, more compassionate, more empathetic. All of that is very, very welcomed, and none of it should be scary.”
The Being Mary Jane star hasn’t been shy about her stance on therapy. If you don’t know, here’s a hint: she’s all for it, and she encourages others to try it as well. She likens therapy to dating by suggesting that you keep looking for the right therapist to match your needs. Two other essential keys to her growth are radical transparency and radical acceptance (though she admits she is still working on the latter).
"I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change."
Gabrielle Union and Kaavia Union-Wade
Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images
“I hope that a.) you recognize that you're not alone. Seek out help and know that it's okay to be honest about what the hell is happening in your life. That's the only way that you know you can get help, and that's also the only other way that people know that you are in need if there's something going on,” she says, “because we have all these big, very wild, high expectations of people, but if they don't know what they're actually dealing with, they're always going to be failing, and you will always be disappointed. So how about just tell the truth, be transparent, and let people know where you are. So they can be of service, they can be compassionate.”
Gabrielle’s transparency is what makes her so relatable, and has so many people root for her. Whether through her TV and film projects, her memoirs, or her social media, the actress has a knack for making you feel like she’s your homegirl. Scrolling through her Instagram, you see the special moments with her family, exciting new business ventures, and jaw-dropping fashion moments. Throughout her life and career, we’ve seen her evolve in a multitude of ways. From producing films to starting a haircare line to marriage and motherhood, her journey is a story of courage and triumph. And right now, in this season, she’s asking, “What’s next?”
“This is a season of discovery and change. In a billion ways,” says the NAACP Image Award winner. “The notion of like, ‘Oh, so and so changed. They got brand new.’ I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
"I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
She continues, “So I'm just trying to figure out what's next. You know what I mean? I'm jumping into what's next. I'm excited going into what's next and new. I'm just sort of embracing all of what life has to offer.”
Look out for Gabrielle in the upcoming indie film Riff Raff, which is a crime comedy starring her and Jennifer Coolidge, and she will also produce The Idea of You, which stars Anne Hathaway.
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Feature image by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images
If you haven’t scrolled upon Olivia McDowell's TikTok famous dinner parties, you may need to reconfigure your "For You Page."
What began as a passion for hosting aesthetically themed meals for her closest friends has quickly become a viral sensation. With an astonishing 12 million viewers, women describe Olivia’s picturesque dinner parties as the “dream girls' night,” complete with classy cocktails, beautiful table settings, elegant outfits, and, most importantly, food plated to perfection.
Seemingly reigniting the feminine urge to host fancy dinner parties, Olivia has perfected the finer details. Overlooking the skyline in her beautiful NYC apartment, she never fails to make her signature handmade pasta dishes while simultaneously looking effortlessly chic in the wardrobe of dreams while doing so.
Replying to @nara0630 what should the theme of my next dinner party be? #minivlog #nycliving #dinnerpartyideas #caviarinnewyork
What I love most about hosting intimate dinners for close friends are the connections and relationships that form over food. They don't require a caviar budget with a high-rise apartment, it just takes determination and a little creativity. Watching Olivia’s journey inspires viewers to be a part of a community of positive and uplifting women who share common interests and tastes in food, fashion, and decor. Simply stated, she’s raising the bar of friendship goals.
If you’re aspiring to host a holiday-themed dinner party this season, check out the four tips that will guide you along the way.
Choose Your Theme
Replying to @emz.life.tsv what was your fav part? 🤍 hope this gives you some inspiration to host a fancy friendsgiving too! #hostingtip #dinnerparty #pastamaking
Set the ambiance with a thoughtful theme, which will indeed be your guiding light for less stress during the planning process. Establishing a theme sets the tone for everything else to fall in place, such as menus, table design, and presentation. For example, a holiday-inspired dinner party is a perfect occasion for elegant all-white decor paired with draped table cloths, pillar candles lit atop luxe holders, floating floral arrangements, and, for a personal touch, handwritten place settings.
Utilizing free resources such as Canva for menu templates and creating a “Dinner Party” moodboard via Pinterest is perfect for gathering dinner inspiration for themes, decor, and recipes for the special occasion.
Simplify the Menu
How to host your own pasta making dinner party — part 1: pasta making from scratch 🤍 Hosting dinner parties has become my favorite thing to do this year. More goes into it than you expect, the prep, planning, guestlist, tablescape, etc. but it’s always worth it in the end. What do you guys want to see next? #hostingtips #dinnerparty #pastamaking
Don’t overcomplicate the menu. A simple dinner party formula to use as your guide to making sure your guests leave full of food and joy is appetizers, salads, entrees, sides, desserts, and beverages. As a starter, assemble an aesthetic spread that your guest can nibble on while awaiting the main course with starters such as bread, cheese, jam, nuts, and fruit. A simple salad will do, complete with a light dressing right before your entree. For a main dish, pasta recipes always go a long way and also allows your guests to interact with one another, which leads to McDowell's third dinner party hosting tip.
Include an Interactive Element
Replying to @itstai.tv 🖤 #girlhood
To break the ice and encourage guests to get to know one another, introduce interactive elements to the evening. Moments of interaction allow everyone to connect, like capturing content for social media or memorializing the essence of the night through fun Polaroids. Olivia also encourages her guests to participate in the pasta-making dinner process as a group, or if hosting a brunch, her friends indulge in building their own coffee bar as an opportunity for forming connections and conversation starters. Group board or card games are also great for laughs and healthy competition to help get the vibes flowing.
Don’t Forget the Dress code
Replying to @samantha_mendiz when all of your friends are the main character 🖤🥂 #dinnerparty #nycfashion
Tis’ the season for glamour and sparkles, so why not go all out with a super chic dress code? You can’t have a picture-perfect holiday dinner party without the coordinating attire to match. When planning, make sure to make the required attire specific yet broad enough for a range of personalities and preferences to comfortably partake while looking stunning doing so.
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Featured image by Justin Lambert/Getty Images