Although most social media platforms are shaped around pop culture and celebrity, LinkedIn is one of the exceptions. So when someone noticed that Bridgit Mendler was on the professional networking site, they tweeted a screenshot of it, and it became the talk of my Twitter timeline:
she's booked and busy I fear... pic.twitter.com/MoerOjdmB0— sÃ¸cks (@thegoodwar) December 13, 2021
I grew up during Bridgit’s rise to fame (Good Luck Charlie is easily one of my top 5 Disney Original shows), and felt proud of her when I saw on her LinkedIn page that she is pursuing a PhD at MIT and a Harvard Law School JD. Although she isn’t necessarily in the spotlight based on current acting or singing projects, she is still a celebrity, so being able to juggle that while also in two of the top universities out there is notable. In usual Twitter fashion, lots of people expressed the same feelings in a funny way:
Me going to sleep knowing that bridgit mendler is enrolling in two phd programs pic.twitter.com/LeKcPSwL4j— ð—› (@husseiiin97) December 14, 2021
bridgit mendler is fr a real life barbie this girl is a doctor, a law student, an actress omfg what job is next— polly pocket Ëš à¼˜â™¡ â‹†ï½¡Ëš â€ (@babooshke) December 15, 2021
i really do aspire to be like her but also what possessed this person to search up bridgit mendler linkedin https://t.co/Fmkqnpk0B5— Lord Grompulus Kevin Ribbiton of Croaksworth (@soeunbit) December 14, 2021
working on a phd in philosophy at MIT and a jd from Harvard at the same timeâ€¦ i want to girlboss as close to the sun as bridgit mendler— DACE (@woopsiedacey) December 14, 2021
We also saw a celebration of celebrity education with Megan Thee Stallion when she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in health administration from Texas Southern University. Meg shared pictures from the exciting event and even tweeted a link to her fans to livestream the ceremony so they can see her walk across the stage. These are big accomplishments and they should be celebrated just as anyone else would want to celebrate. (And these are not the first celebrities to do so – Jodie Foster, Natalie Portman, Emma Watson, they pursed post-secondary degrees while super famous.)
But as cool as it is for famous people to pursue educational goals, are we as a society glamourising it because they are celebrities? I don’t want to take away the fact that this is a lot of work and something that should be celebrated, but there are lots of non-celebrities juggling multiple full-time jobs while also pursuing an education. Is it just another symptom of celebrity obsession that has caused us to put them on a pedestal of greatness when there are many examples of this success around us that we’ve turned a blind eye to?
On the other hand, maybe it is more impressive because they are standing out from their celeb peers by pursuing an education. Most people associate going to school with wanting to make money, so if you are a celebrity who is already making bank and you decide to go to school anyway, it puts you on some other level of genuinely wanting to learn and grow as a person. It also doesn’t hurt at all that Bridgit and Megan have made it public that they are pursuing education because they have fans that look up to them. Although I’m a firm believer that going to college doesn’t define success, it's the work ethic aspect that makes it so important for their fans to see. There are also a lot of negative stereotypes that are connected to Black people and education, so I love how Megan has taken this moment to celebrate her success and be another shining example of Black excellence.