Are there limits to using celebrities to discuss race and mental health?

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I think celebs are an easy lens into human behavior, as there’s a select few of them when compared to the rest of the population.

What that means is that it’s a lot easier to group them together than say, the other 99% of people living on this planet.

They’re high-profile human beings who live their lives out in the open and their actions and behaviors are absolutely prone to public scrutiny. This includes their feelings towards race as well as their struggles with mental illness.

Unfortunately, there’s this thing called stigma, which is very real amongst us 99%-ers, and even more unfortunate is the fact that it usually takes someone very high-profile to speak out against stigma for the rest of us to follow suit.

In the case of mental illness, you’ve got celebs like Kanye West (bipolar) or Britney Spears (mysterious head-shaving incident et. al) who are examples of people living with mental illness for the world to see.

However, they have done very little in terms of advocacy and erasing stigma… Which is fine in a way, as it’s not necessarily their job to do so. But, it would help greatly, as they’re A-listers in the public sphere.

So I suppose the argument is: is it a celeb’s responsibility to “normalize” mental illness for the rest of the world? Or do they just deserve to live their days in peace with their condition?

…Tough to say.


If celebrities want to mention their mental health problems that’s fine by me. It’s not their fault that it doesn’t tend to lead to a better attitude towards those ordinary people with mental illnesses.

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It can help put it out in the open and normalize the struggle some, so it doesnt seem all bad. Alot of people would keep us stigmatized if they dont hear about mental ill highly successful, well-respected people, such as Micheal Phelps, Osaki. Same as with other groups. It could ad to motivation as well.

I think in some ways it’s become ‘fashionable’ to declare that you have a mental illness.

But all of us here were ‘in style’ long before any of these celebrities. We’re the real deal…not bandwagoners.


I dont know if they are bandwagoners any more than we are. It just proves that being successful isnt without struggles as well. A problem occurs when we get wrapped up in celebrity instead of focusing on our own life. Its probably a disorder if you do that alot. Become so enamored and arent dealing with your issues.

Yeah, it can be dissociation if you fall into following celebrity and not your own issues.

Yeah. Celebrities have their lives scrutinized, not by choice, but because that is the way that humanity functions. Everyone famous have a lot of paparazzi following them because celebrity sells. For me that would be a nightmare to be a celebrity. They are brave people to be celebrities knowing that whatever move they make might be hit by the press.

I dont know why osaki taking a tourney off is such an issue. They are acting like its some huge dishonor.

It can blow up in your face. AA goes out if its way to NOT use celebrities because it can reflect poorly on the program when said celebrity later crashes and burns badly. One of our Traditions deals with this directly as it became a huge problem in the past at a time when AA was a popular fad. Actor John Laroquette definitely took some heat in the meeting rooms when he outed himself so publicly many moons ago.

Tradition Twelve: Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.

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