Tag Archives: Celebrity

Staying Strong: Our Favorite Quotes from Demi Lovato’s New Book

Demi TattooMost people know Demi Lovato from her stint as a Disney Channel princess (no really, she did play a princess in one of their Disney Channel original movies – Princess Protection Program) or you recognize her as a judge on FOX’s X-Factor. What you might not know is that a couple of years ago the pop singer entered a rehabilitation clinic to battle her issues with self-harm and an eating disorder. When she emerged from treatment she had the words “Stay Strong” tattooed on her wrists to help remind her of the strength she has to overcome the personal demons she was battling.

Demi has been vocal about her struggles, sharing quotes and advice to her 20 million Twitter and Facebook followers. She’s an advocate against bullying and works constantly to provide support services and positive outlooks for young people that struggle with the same issues that she has had to face. Her latest effort to bring support and positivity into the lives of teens dealing with depression and eating disorders is a new book “Staying Strong” which is a collection of 365 quotes and meditations that Demi has personally used to help motivate herself and bring her out of dark places. We are giving out five copies of the book this week from Intent Blog and Intent.com so make sure you comment below for your chance to get one!

In celebration of Demi’s recovery and in honor of her work in trying to provide a bright light for those struggling with the same things we have compiled a few of our favorite quotes from “Staying Strong.” We hope that if you are dealing with any darkness that they empower you to seek help and your own light to find your inner strength.

On sharing and communityListen to other people’s stories and find the strength and beauty in their actions

Demi: I love to hear my fans’ stories because they are so inspiring. They tell me how they have overcome bullying, eating disorders, addictions, cutting and it’s amazing how much strength we each have inside us. I also believe that when you share your story the strength in you grows and the inspirational effect you have on others multiplies. It takes courage to open up to others.

On positive influences: “You’re only as strong as your weakest member; you’re only as positive as your most negative friend” – Kelly Rowland

Demi: It’s important to remember how our friends have such a powerful influence on us and vice versa. This can be a great thing as long as your friends surround you with love, loyalty, respect and positivity.

On jealousy“Don’t torment yourself with jealousy. It’s a silly illusion that someone’s life is better than yours when the truth is that each one of us is on a different path.”

Demi: There are times in my life when I let myself get consumed with jealously for someone else’s life, their body, their wardrobe, their talent. They call it the green-eyed monster for a reason. It’s a self destructive and when it’s in the room, it consumes you. Be strong and don’t focus on what other people have.

On giving: “Give what you want to receive. If you want happiness, make others happy.” – Russell Simmons

Demi: It’s a simple law of attraction that you get back what you put out into the universe. The more love you give, the more love you attract. The more love you attract, the more love you receive. WHen we put good energy into the world, we feel good. We make those around us feel good.

On peace: “If you and I are having a single thought of violence or hatred against anyone in the world at this moment, we are contributing to the wounding of the world” – Deepak Chopra

Demi: Violence is the easy way out and it only leads to more violence. We need people in this world who are willing to find solutions through peace, through communication, honesty and diplomacy. World peace may seem impossible, but it’s worth aiming for.

On creativity: “And all the colors I am inside have not been invented yet.” – Shel Silverstein

Creativity is so much more than just producing art. It also allows you to purge toxic emotions and thoughts in a positive, healthy way. For me, it’s singing and playing music. When I perform I’m able to express my emotions without engaging in self-destructive behaviors.

On fear“I am not fearless. I get scared plenty. But I have also learned how to channel that emotion to sharpen me” – Bear Grylls

Demi: All fear has ever done is hold me back. I have so many things I want to accomplish in my life. For myself and for the world. Fear is useless; it just gets in the way of accomplishing everything Overcome fear today and and confront one of your phobias.

If you have a favorite quote share it in the comments below!

Demi Lovato’s “Staying Strong” was published via Macmillan Publishers on Nov. 19, 2013. Comment below to win a copy or purchase from any major book retailers. 

A Happiness Lesson from Claire Danes

danesThe September 30, 2013 issue of the New Yorker had an interesting piece, John Lahr’s “Varieties of Disturbance” about actor Claire Danes.

Though I’ve never watched My So-Called Life (yes, I know this is unacceptable, and it’s on my to-do list), I do love Homeland, so I was interested to read the profile.

Danes was quoted saying something that really caught my attention”

“One of the lessons of her adulthood, Danes has said, was ‘that there is real honor in being a total goofball.’”

This struck me, because I’ve really worked hard, myself, to embrace my inner goofball. Not to worry about seeming dignified, or sophisticated, or knowledgeable, but to Be Gretchen.

In this respect, one of my patron saints is Julia Child, and of all the posts I’ve ever written, one of my favorites is my encomium to her. She was goofy yet masterly, light-hearted yet authoritative.

Enthusiasm is a form of social courage.

Realizing this was part of my embrace of my love for children’s literature. And therefore it’s especially appropriate for me to quote, in this context, a great master of children’s literature.  In his brilliant essay, On Three Ways of Writing for Children, C. S. Lewis wrote:

When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.

Yes, there is real honor in being a total goofball.

Agree, disagree? In what way do you allow yourself to be a total goofball?

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Blatant self-promotion: You’ve probably been asking yourself, “Hey, should I read Happier at Home?” Of course you should! Here are some reasons why you should pick up a copy. For one thing, my sister the sage says it’s my best book.

Lamar Odom and His Reported Addiction to Cocaine

GTY_lamar_odom_serious_nt_130826_16x9_992The Kardashians aren’t strangers to headlines and media coverage. From Kim’s sex tape with Ray J to Kourtney’s son Mason not being Scott’s biological son to the media’s blatant insensitivity by continually calling Khloe the “ugly Kardashian.” The media has been as harsh to this family as they have been kind.

If we thought the headlines stating that O.J. Simpson is Khloe’s biological father was as bad as it could get, we were wrong. With an attitude of being able to roll with the punches, the latest headlines about Khloe’s husband, Lamar Odom, having a substance abuse problem is the type of attention this family does not want. Lamar was arrested for DUI and is reportedly addicted to crack cocaine.

He was arrested last week, and has a court date on September 27. He was lucky that he only spent 3 hours and 31 minutes in custody. The harshest consequence that Lamar faces is not a hefty fine or jail time, it’s the possible loss of his career and his marriage to Khloe.

Odom’s DUI came shortly after headlines surfaced stating that he had a substance abuse problem with cocaine. According to the LA Times, if Odom does sign with a team and is convicted of a DUI, he will face mandatory evaluation by the director of the NBA’s anti-drug program, according to terms of the league’s collective bargaining agreement.

Allegedly, Odom has an addiction to crack cocaine. Khloe has tried repeatedly to help get him clean and even arranged an intervention. Reports say the intervention took place last week and resulted in Odom storming out of the couple’s home. Drug addiction always ends with extreme consequences. In the case of Odom, seeking treatment would be the best thing that he could do at this time. He cannot be focused on saving his career or saving his marriage; he must be focused on learning about his addiction and embracing the tools necessary for a successful and healthy recovery.

I have worked with numerous couples and celebrities, and unfortunately they aren’t always ready to peel off their celebrity status and be humble enough to take their recovery seriously. My hope is that Lamar Odom takes these wake-up calls seriously. He still has time to recover.

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Sherry Gaba LCSW, a psychotherapist and life, love and recovery coach, is featured on Celebrity Rehab on VH1. Sherry is the author of  The Law of Sobriety, which uses the Law of Attraction to help people recover from addiction; she is also a contributor to Conscious Entrepreneurs, and to several e-books: Empowerment Manual: Finding Purpose with Intention, Filling the Empty Heart: 5 Keys to Transforming Love Addiction. The e-books Relapse Prevention and Eliminate Limiting Beliefs can be downloaded free of charge at www.sherrygaba.com. Contact Sherry for webinars, teleseminars, coaching packages and speaking engagements.


Photo credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Beyoncé Cuts Her Hair: World Overreacts

By Yael Kaufman

If you’ve turned on your T.V., opened your web browser, listened to the radio, or (let’s be honest) just walked down the street for a cup of coffee, you’ll have heard the big news: BEYONCE CUT HER HAIR OFF.

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Wait guys, this isn’t just something small, she cut it all off. It’s a pixie cut. WHY AREN’T YOU MORE ENTHUSIASTIC? WHY AREN’T YOU UPSET? WHY. DON’T. YOU. CARE?

Because it’s a haircut. People can cut their hair any way they would like to. We know this. It’s a personal decision. For some reason, when celebrities become involved, though, we feel the need to comment (sometimes rudely). It’s almost like we take it personally. In fact a lot of Twitter has done just that.

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Our society is obsessed with celebrities’ lives—their fortune and fame, their families and partners, their good deeds and mishaps, their…haircuts. This isn’t new, but the issue is worth raising every once in a while so that we prevent it from achieving a spot of normalcy in our lives. Somehow we’ve become so engrossed in the lives of these celebrities that we feel the need to mourn the loss of something so minor as a head full of hair. (Seriously-hair). It does sound a little ridiculous, doesn’t it?

Beyoncé is a stunning woman, and we think she is ROCKING that pixie cut. It’s fierce and beautiful, and not just because of the way it looks, but because of what it stands for: she is an individual, she makes her own decisions, and she’s not an idol–she’s human. This type of mania has probably affected all of us at some point in our lives, so there’s no need to feel ashamed. We just have to make sure that we check ourselves—that we take time to reflect on the important things in life, and try to refocus our priorities.

After all, these celebrities are as human as we are.

That being said, if you need to kill some time (in a completely non-obsessive way) check out these crazy celebrity haircut transitions. Some of them are fairly entertaining.

We would ask how you feel about Bey’s haircut in comments, but that would be hypocritical. So let us know about something you’ve done recently to empower yourself. We support you!

Photos from Beyoncé’s Instagram.

Dustin Hoffman Breaks Into Tears Discussing Society’s Pressures on Women

Screen Shot 2013-07-09 at 10.22.16 AMThe notion of ‘beauty’ in our culture tends to be more limiting and shame-inducing than cathartic. What should be a soul-expanding experience of aesthetic pleasure gets confined to a manufactured pill box, forced down our throats by television, magazines, advertisements, the porn industry – you name it. We all suffer from this together as a society, but women, most of all, bear the brunt of the abuse.

In preparing to make the 1982 film Tootsie, Dustin Hoffman was determined to look as much like a woman as possible. If the audience had to suspend disbelief to follow the story, Hoffman explains in an interview with AFI, then it wasn’t going to work. It wasn’t until he looked at himself in the mirror, fully costumed as a female, that he realized the reality women live with every day. If Hoffman saw his female self at a party, he confesses, he wouldn’t give her the time of day. The realization brings him to tears. Take a look:

This might seem overly tidy. “Hey, Dustin Hoffman, try being a real woman for even a day and you’ll experience some truly gnarly things. And before you whine about not making an attractive woman, let’s think about what beauty really is.”

But his emotional response is more nuanced than that. Hoffman bemoans the socialized notions of beauty that kept him from approaching women who might have otherwise added to his life with wit, intellect, and grace. How many women, he wonders, did he miss the opportunity of knowing, just out of prejudice?

The question we would add to that is: Why do we as a society continue to let anything but our own hearts dictate what we find beautiful?

What do you think? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below!

Paula Deen’s Public Apology – Will Her Public Shaming Transform a Larger Racist Society?

Screen Shot 2013-06-24 at 5.04.48 PMIn a recent deposition for a lawsuit on charges of racial discrimination, celebrity chef Paula Deen shocked the public by admitting to using racist slurs. The ongoing controversy surrounding this revelation has starkly countered the welcoming, motherly persona she embodies on her show. Is it all a lie, one might ask? Can she really be so unconscious and insensitive as to believe her comments might be remotely acceptable?

First it’s important to understand exactly how this story unfolded, as many sensational headlines about the events might be misleading. According to CNN, Deen and her brother have been involved in a civil lawsuit in which a former employee of one of their restaurants has charged the pair with racial discrimination. In the deposition, recorded in May, Deen admits to using the “n-word,” as well as to planning for a “very southern-style plantation wedding” for her brother. You can see more of her statement in the video below:

A cascade of scandals have followed the distribution of the deposition last week, including Deen’s “no-show” on the ‘Today’ Show and the cancellation of her own Food Network show. Many of Deen’s other sponsors have also cancelled their contracts with her, and many others are bound to follow. With her life as she knows it falling apart, Deen released a public apology to account for her actions. Watch the video her and see what you think.

It’s remarkable to see one woman so publicly shamed and condemned – particularly interesting that racism is the cause of this uproar. It seems in some ways like a big step forward for so many to band together against discrimination. In another light, though, our collective anger toward Paula Deen might misdirect progressive energy that should be focused on the larger, systemic channels of racism present in our society. By joining forces to condemn Deen, we’re able to feel satisfied and confident in our own freedom from racist beliefs and in our own “goodness.” But is Deen the anomaly or rather a symptom of a larger racist system in place in our society? Deen’s lack of awareness might encourage us to examine our own beliefs and actions, and the ways we can promote thoughtfulness, love, and equality that don’t involve shame and destruction.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, though! Keep the conversation going in the comments section below.

Watch Russell Brand Give MSNBC Anchors a Piece of His Mind and Lesson in Manners

Russell Brand, comedian and star of such hits as Get Him to the Greek and Forgetting Sarah Marshall, has been the brunt of many tasteless jokes since he rose to fame. Let’s face it: he’s an attractive guy, with a raunchy sense of humor, and a history of escapades. What many don’t realize, though, is that Brand is also a committed yogi, meditator, writer, activist, and more. His real interests and intents, though, are apparently too “serious” for this group of MSNBC news anchors to explore. So they decide to comment, instead, on his appearance, his accent, and what they see as his inherent silliness. Expecting Brand to dance and sing for them like a good celebrity puppet, the anchors get quite a shock when he turns the joke on them and gives them a piece of his mind.

The confrontation is subtle and never fully explodes, but there does appear to be some tension around that table. After Brand’s lengthy explanation of the examples and global situations informing his upcoming stand-up tour, “Messiah Complex,” one of the anchors can do nothing more than comment on the thickness of the comedian’s accent. More than once Brand has to remind the anchors that he is sitting right there and would prefer not to be referred to as “he” and “him.” Basic manners, people. In the final climactic moments, Brand shows them what real, relevant news-casting might look like, taking over reporting duties altogether.

Sex, drugs, and celebrity aside, there are some basic courtesies we would expect professional news-casters to show their guests. We’re glad Brand had the presence of mind to stand up to them, especially as playfully and endearingly as he did.

What do you think? Does Brand’s response seem reasonable to you?

“Suite Life of Zack & Cody” Star Dylan Sprouse Discusses His Decision to Leave Disney

enhanced-buzz-6400-1325188412-27The rhetoric surrounding fame and fortune in our culture tends to say: everyone wants to be rich, everyone secretly (or not so secretly) wants to be in the spotlight, and if you have the option to become a superstar, why wouldn’t you take it?

In some case, though, as with child stars, fame develops as a condition of life, and the individual has little say in the matter. In such a situation, stardom may actually turn out to be the last thing that person wants or needs. Case in point: the Sprouse twins.

Born August 4, 1992, Dylan and Cole Sprouse (a.k.a. Sprouse Bros) began acting at the age of 8 months. By the time they appeared in Adam Sandler’s Big Daddy in 1999, the brothers were no strangers to entertainment. You probably know them best, however, as the Disney stars from The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, from which they became the fourth highest paid child actors in the world. That is, until the twins decided to walk out on Disney altogether, pursue college, and pave their own paths.

In this candid interview, Dylan Sprouse discusses his and Cole’s decision to leave Disney and the silver platter of child stardom behind:

Given what many child stars have to endure as a cost of fame and over-exposure, it makes sense the Sprouse brothers might want to leave that world behind. Now in their early 20’s, the challenge will be developing lives for themselves that transcend the tidy career and identity compartments child stars inhabit. What college, adult life, and future creative pursuits hold for Dylan and Cole stands to be seen. But we wish them the best of luck!

What do you think? Are you a “Zack & Cody” fan? Tell us your thoughts!

Watch the Amazing 1-Minute Painting!

Sure, we could all throw a painting together in a minute and a half – but there’s no guaranteeing it would be anything worthy of praise. What you’re about to see, though, will knock your socks off – we promise! (And stick with it because you’re not going to know what you’re looking at until the last possible moment.)

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The clip featured on the Anderson Cooper show, “Anderson’s Viewers Got Talent,” and the artist is speed painter/performer D. Westry. Nicknamed “The Talent Show King,” Westry is known for his high-energy, often themed entertainment, particularly specializing in patriotic and celebrity iconography. It may seem gimmicky, but it takes a high level of perceptiveness and artistic prowess to produce the likenesses Westry is able to capture in a matter of minutes. And his performance wows not only Anderson, but the other judges, the host, and the audience alike!

What can you paint in a minute and a half or less? Try it out and send us your results!

What Angelina Jolie Left Out About Her Preventive Mastectomy

Angelina-Jolie-13As you undoubtedly read earlier this week, Angelina Jolie published a profound and honest article through New York Times on Tuesday announcing her elective double mastectomy. The decision arose out of the 37-year-old’s fear of developing breast cancer, which seemed likely given that she carries a faulty BRCA1 gene and had an 87% risk. Her mother also died of ovarian cancer just in her 50’s, and Jolie wisely did not want to go through the same agony, nor put her family through such pain.

It was a brave and noble move on her part – not only to undergo the invasive treatment, but also to announce her decision publicly in the attempt to raise awareness and start a dialogue. But as H. Gilbert Welch points out, there is one major thing left out of Jolie’s article: Less than 1% of women are at risk of carrying the BRCA1 gene – or its sister BRCA2 gene – so Jolie’s story is only relevant to a very small minority of women. In most cases, Welch (a professor of medicine at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice) says, breast cancer incidence is sporadic and unconnected to BRCA1.

Should all women be tested for BRCA1, then, in the off chance that they do have it? Not necessarily, Welch cautions. A strong family history of cancer may be indication enough, and across the board testing can carry its own problems. The moral of the story, according to Welch? Angelina Jolie made an extremely courageous and, for her, probably necessary decision to have a preventive double mastectomy. A small number of women may benefit from a similar course of action. In general, though, other measures, in addition to regular screenings, can be taken to reduce cancer risks, and Jolie’s decision need not set the standard for all women out there.

What are your thoughts on the preventive double mastectomy? Let us know in the comments below!

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