Alright alright alright… that’s enough

August 20, 2015 14:03:03 Posted at August 20, 2015 14:03:03
Maria Posted by Maria
Derek Storm/ Splash News

Is it lifestyle season? Is there something about the end of summer/impending school year that drives everyone to suddenly become obsessed with coconut oil and mason jars?

Yesterday, US Weekly posted an exclusive story on Camila Alves’s favourite lunchtime recipes, dubbing her a “lifestyle expert.”

Um, how is she a lifestyle expert?

I know she’s a model, and her Wiki page tells me that she has a line of handbags and she has appeared on The Talk to cook things like chili. I took a look at the recipes posted to The Talk’s website. They are pretty basic.

The Talk also refers to her as a lifestyle expert.

Again, how is she a lifestyle expert?

People (celebrities?) who don’t understand the nuance of lifestyle treat it like an entry level job because no one tells them they shouldn’t. There’s no set guideline for what makes someone an expert on anything, but come on— there is more to lifestyle than this.

Just because you like to cook doesn’t make you a lifestyle expert. Can someone who likes to cook call themselves a chef? No, of course not. That’s a profession that requires training and skill. If you like the gym, do you consider yourself a fitness expert? If you like Law & Order, do you consider yourself a legal expert? (Ok maybe yes on the last one.)

Lifestyle comes from experience, whether that experience is in editorial (digital and/or print) or retail or television or a combination of those things. It also comes from access – something people are born with or have to fight for. Camila doesn’t have to fight for access, I’ll give her that.

I have worked in this industry for a long time, writing about fashion, beauty, travel, food, entertainment and parenting. I’ve tested cellulite wraps and cheap noodle bars. I’ve attended a bazillion boring launches for products I wouldn’t recommend. I’ve taken amazing (free!) luxurious trips to some of the best hotels in the world on an editor’s salary. I also worked a fair amount, researched diligently and seriously considered each and every recommendation because if you are going to take my advice, I want it to be a good experience. I want to tell you things that you can’t find out from Google. I can find about a million chili recipes on Google.

There is nothing – not one thing – that Camila says in this US article that I haven’t heard a million times over. She recommends seaweed, the most popular snack at my son’s preschool. Everyone is doing bento box lunches. She chops up fruit because it’s full of vitamins. Turkey and cheese sandwiches cut into fun shapes. It’s almost offensive how little thought and effort went into her choices and how easily she can secure a standalone article whilst saying absolutely nothing of value.

Oh but maybe she’s learning. Maybe she wants to launch a lifestyle career and I need to give her a chance. Fine, learn the ropes. But don’t do it while calling yourself, already, a lifestyle expert.

Click here to read the US Weekly post.

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