Monday, January 31, 2011

When celebrities speak truth...on accident

Here's my disclaimer. I have no idea who Chelsea Handler is. None. The article says she's a comedian and an author. Okay, sure. We'll go with that. The two books she's listed as writing are, "My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One-Night Stands," and "Are You There Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea."

I'm sure she has a very promising career ahead of her.

A quote she gave in a recent Glamour Magazine article caught my attention. It was so accidentally honest, I simply can't help repeating it. So here it is.

In regard to promiscuity, in my book [My Horizontal Life] I actually have sex with a total of eight guys in the entire thing. But the fact that I discussed it at all led people to believe that I was some big trollop. I think it’s OK—that’s what your twenties are for. Now that I’m in my thirties, that’s over. If there’s a message that I can’t say loud enough, it’s that it’s OK to be who you are. I don’t want to be one of those girls who is like, “Oh, I didn’t do that. I’m not like that.” Because those girls make girls like me feel bad about ourselves. And we should be bringing each other up, not putting each other down.

Real mental meat here. The girl's a thinker.

What I don't understand is, if the message she "can't say loud enough" is that it's "OK to be who you are," then why can't girls who don't have one-night stands, why is it not okay for them to be who they are?

You can only be who you are if you don't make Chelsea Handler feel bad about who she is?

Maybe it's me, but it loses something in the translation.

That brings me to what really got my attention. The truth I'm not sure she realized she was speaking.

So your twenties are all about casual sex. She says it like it's a given. Of course you sleep around in your twenties. That's what "your twenties are for".

In other words, it's normal and healthy and nothing to feel ashamed about. It's the whole purpose of an entire decade of your life - having meaningless sex with strangers. It's so great, in fact, you stop doing it in your thirties?

Again. Maybe English isn't her first language. Maybe it's not mine, if she's speaking it.

So if casual, meaningless sex is such a healthy, beneficial, glorious lifestyle, then how do women who abstain make Chelsea Handler feel bad about herself?
It's normal, right?
It's great fun, right?
There's nothing wrong with it, right?
No regrets. No mental baggage. No self-esteem issues. No negatives at all. Just not good, not clean, not fun, fun.
I don’t want to be one of those girls who is like, “Oh, I didn’t do that. I’m not like that.” Because those girls make girls like me feel bad about ourselves.
How is that possible Chelsea Handler? Either it isn't possible, or you aren't being honest...most likely with yourself. Casual sex isn't casual. It never was. And for you, it's created a division in your mind between girls who abstain and "girls like me."

If there's nothing more to casual sex than an evening's worth of entertainment, then it shouldn't have the power to divide you from "those girls" or any girls. Period.

When you protect yourself physically, you are, in turn, protecting yourself mentally and spiritually and personally and other '"ly"s, too. When you are doing what is right for yourself, what is right morally, you don't need an agreeing consensus to confirm those choices. It's worth the disagreement. And when you are being more than just "who you are", but actually being the best version of you, no one can make you feel bad about yourself. Their opinions simply don't matter.

Chelsea Handler, if you want to be honest, maybe your next book should be about your regrets.

7 comments:

JG said...

Good word. Her show was almost always on at the gym when we would go (back in the day, when we went at like 10:00 at night) and trust me, you aren't missing much. That's pretty much the substance of her shows, too. Talking about Betty White's sex life. That was a good one. :/

Tara Lynn Thompson said...

Which is Betty White's favorite topic, too, isn't it?

SLM said...

Hello!! I'm a new follower, just wanted to say hi and I love this post!! Everyone talks about how funny Chelsea Handler is, I even read her book (the vodka one) to see what the big deal was about. I have a pretty healthy sense of humor but I definitely didn't laugh!! I don't get it. :-) I look forward to reading more!

Michael said...

Funny. A friend and I were recently talking about the lack of real heroes in today's Hollywood offerings. Practically every protagonist is a serial killer, mob boss, meth dealer or serial cheater.

I wondered about this all day and it occurred to me that perhaps it's simpler to have crappy protagonists as it makes people feel better about being crappy. "At least I'm not as bad as that guy!"

And here comes Ms. Handler to confirm that it is a viable hypothesis: "I don’t want to be one of those girls who is like, 'Oh, I didn’t do that. I’m not like that.' Because those girls make girls like me feel bad about ourselves."

Hannah Noel said...

There have been times when she's made me laugh while watching her show in the past, but for the most part, she is just raunchy, vulgar and completely inappropriate. She will be the first one to tell you that, too!

Tara Lynn Thompson said...

First off, welcome SLM! And all new readers, great and small.

I think you are actually spot on, Michael. It's living life on a curve, only striving to be as good or not look as bad as the person beside you.

That's like living under a ceiling. I'm not much for ceilings. Give me wide open spaces. And then challenge me to find out if there's a world beyond the horizon.

Whether they realize it or not, challenges in our mental capacity, physical endurance, personal weakness and even failings, are what make us feel wholly alive.

There's a reason why God designed us to take in more oxygen when we physically exert ourselves.

In truth, I often wonder if these celebrities, by aiming so low, are really beyond bored with their lives. Maybe, like you said Hannah, that's why Chelsea resorts to vulgarity, like many of them do. They are trying to make waves without splashing their hands and feet around.

That would take too much energy.

Lindsey said...

LOVE this post, Tara Lynn! Especially this quote: "And when you are being more than just "who you are", but actually being the best version of you, no one can make you feel bad about yourself." Amen to that!!