Alicia Silverstone has written a guide. A guide to fertility, pregnancy and birth. A guide to conceiving, birthing and raising a baby.
Her new book “The Kind Mama” makes some enormous promises in its sub-title: “A Simple Guide to Supercharged Fertility, a Radiant Pregnancy, A Sweeter Birth, and a Healthier, More Beautiful Beginning”
Respectfully Alicia, I’d like to call bollocks on your claims that your ‘guide’ can boost fertility, make birth “sweeter” and babies “healthier”.
Because the word ‘guide’ implies advice and advice implies a level of credibility on the subjects about which you are speaking.
This book is not being marketed as a memoir nor as opinion. It is being sold as practical, factual advice.
Which it is most certainly not.
So I’d also like to call bollocks on your publisher for giving you money and a platform to spruik your opinions – and in some cases outright lies – as credible advice for vulnerable, gullible or ignorant new mothers.
For the rest of us, I have a question: when did we began to confuse fame with knowledge?
It started out harmlessly enough. Famous people are often interesting. Special. Sparkly. At least they used to be.
In the olden days, celebrities had a skill. That’s why they were famous. They acted in movies and TV shows. They played music or sang songs. They were really, really good at something.
When they appeared in the media, it was to talk about their latest project. “Tell us about the character you play in this movie, Julia.” “What inspired you to create this album, Bob?”
But around the 90s, as our collective gaze focussed on fame, we became interested in celebrities’ lives, not just their work. First it was just fluffy stuff; beauty routines, diets tips, where they went on holidays, how their relationships worked, where they shopped, what their homes looked like.
But then, as our appetite for celebrity increased, the media began probing famous people for their opinions on other things, often, with wildly amusing consequences.
Justin Bieber was asked by Rolling Stone about his thoughts on the 2010 Presidential election: “I’m not sure about the parties,” Bieber told Rolling Stone, “But whatever they have in Korea, that’s bad.”
For reasons that shall forever remain unclear, they also asked him for his thoughts on abortion, to which he replied: “I really don’t believe in abortion. It’s like killing a baby.” And on rape: “Um. Well, I think that’s really sad, but everything happens for a reason. I don’t know how that would be a reason. I guess I haven’t been in that position, so I wouldn’t be able to judge that.”
When Britney Spears was asked about politics on CNN in 2003, she replied: “Honestly, I think we should just trust our president in every decision he makes and should just support that, you know, and be faithful in what happens.”
Britney was also confused about geography, telling another journalist, “I’ve never really wanted to go to Japan, simply because I don’t like eating fish and I know that’s very popular out there in Africa.”