Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Misplaced Trust and the Fallacy of Celebrity Expertise

Just because a person is a proven expert in a subject and generally a trust-worthy individual doesn't mean that all of their opinions are valid or important.  Why does anyone care what Anthony Bourdain or Tavi Gevinson think about music? Being a food expert or a fashion blogger doesn't really qualify you as an authority on anything other than food or fashion. But Tavi's blog includes her monthly playlists and Anthony Bourdain is constantly tweeting his caustic opinions on music. I'd posit that they might both be the kind of people who do a fair amount of research about bands and the like and Bourdain at least has some years under his belt but they are pretty obviously only out to validate their own opinions rather than potentially challenge them. Of course for every one person who asks "why should we care what he or she thinks about music?" there are a hundred people thinking "I want to know what he or she thinks about music!". It's natural and I do it all the time but I've been thinking about how weird it is that we put our trust so willingly into the hands of people who have no credentials whatsoever.

Actors and super-famous musicians are probably the last people on earth that anyone should ever listen to when it comes to anything. First of all most of these people are barely experts at the thing they're famous for. A good portion of our most famous actors are really just professionally good looking people who somehow faked their way on screen. Who knows how much the average pop star actually knows about music. Half of these people are in their late teens or early twenties, never finished high school, and have never had a normal social life. They have millions of dollars and personal trainers. Even if they are talented their lives are not fit models for the average person unless you aspire to literally do exactly what they do. So Blake Lively is a vegan (I think I've heard that) and Angelina Jolie only shampoos once every month (I made that up but I'd believe it). First of all Blake Lively is just...terrible. Second of all even if she weren't her eating habits are just like every other stupid fucking shrubs eating habits in that they are HERS and she is not a NUTRITIONIST. Just like Angelina Jolie isn't a hairdresser or whatever else it is she seems to feel so self-important about. She's an actress. Her life experience is 80% irrelevant to the average person.

I'm really writing this to make myself feel better because sometimes it upsets me when celebrities I like express opinions about random things that don't line up with my own. I can only hope that someone out there really trusts my opinion and really feels that celebrity opinions ARE valid and that they're crying about it.

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