I'd like to think I'm too
old sophisticated to keep up with celebrity gossip, or that I have way too much integrity to stoop so low as to help perpetuate a business that exploits famous women, thereby damaging the self-esteem of young girls in the process, as Jennifer Aniston pointed out recently.
But clearly I'm brimming with neither refinement nor virtue because I do, in fact, eat up the offerings on sites like People, Us Weekly and TMZ. What's changed, though, from when I started reading the tabloids years ago is instead of imagining my life like the celebrities I read about, I now imagine what it'd be like to be their mom. And man, I don't envy many of their moms.
Take Taylor Swift, for instance. There was a time when she could do no wrong. As if her music wasn't enough of a gift, it was revealed she'll stay after her concerts for hours upon hours to meet and greet her admirers. One holiday season she personally researched the interests of select fans, and then bought and wrapped presents that she surprised them with. She's charitable, witty, beautiful and gracious. Her mother must be seriously proud.
Well, her mother was probably proud before. Now? Maybe not as much.
Unless you're living under a rock, or you're my dad, then you know Taylor broke up recently with Calvin Harris and, like a minute later, started Tom Hiddleston. Despite now being together for about four minutes, Hiddleswift is all over each other, the world and the internet.
You can't really blame Calvin Harris for being upset after her very PDA with his replacement. But what's even sketchier is how she had her reps make it known that she was, in fact, the writer of his song with Rihanna, "This Is What You Came For," even though it was she who initially asked him not to give her a songwriting credit. In his Twitter tantrum on the topic, Harris also reminded us that this isn't the first time Swift has taken the low road (ahem, Katy Perry).
Taylor, here's a lesson parents usually impart unto their children: Plenty of people might love a winner, but pretty much everyone will loathe one who doesn't know enough to be more gracious in their victories.
Another one in need of his parents appear to be Justin Bieber. Once upon a time the 22-year-old singer seemed to have it all, until puberty struck, that is. Since getting a little older and a lot more famous, he's gone off the Hollywood deep end between brushes with the law, relationship strife and even lashing out at his fans.
Most recently, he dressed down a concertgoer who had the nerve to throw a hat on stage during a performance, and yelled at them, "Take this moment to listen and try not to give me a hat or whatever you're trying to throw onto the stage right now, because I probably don't want that s--t."
Most kids learn about gratitude starting in preschool. Technically Bieber is too old for building blocks and Play-Doh, although his parents might consider giving him a refresher course on what even most 4-year-olds know to be true: Don't bite the hand that feeds you.
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Then there's Lindsay Lohan. Oh, Lindsay. The latest is she allegedly threw her fiance's phone in the ocean after seeing a text on it that upset her. He reportedly retaliated by throwing a drink on her. The
girl woman just turned 30 and has been tabloid fodder since her first arrest nearly a decade ago. Surely it's not easy for the parent of an adult child to swoop in and give them what for, but if any parent ever needed to have done it, it's Lindsay's.
Despite Lindsay's advanced age, it's not too late for her mom to step in. I know this, because my mom. And it's never too early to teach your kids exactly how to stay out of the gossip pages, which I know, too, because my kids.