April 29, 2010

Lessons to Be Learned from Celebrities: Don’t Make a Sex Tape

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Sometimes celebrities can be used as road maps as what not to do. Let them make the mistakes that are splashed all over magazine covers for the public to revel in them and then say to yourself  ‘that’s something I’d never do.’

I have compiled a list of 10 mistakes celebrities have made that you can learn lessons from.

10. Getting 10 plastic surgeries in one day is not the key to beauty (Heidi Montag).

9. Marrying your childhood friend when you’re bored in Vegas will not lead to marital bliss. In fact, it will most likely lead to an annulment (Britney Spears).

8. Going to sex rehab will not always repair your marriage (Jesse James).

7. Cutting your hair may lead to your hit television show being cancelled (Keri Russell).

6. Complaining about your job and leaving it does not insure future career success (Mischa Barton).

5. Taking advantage of your doctor and getting them to write you endless prescriptions is not a recipe for success for either of you (Michael Jackson/Dr. Conrad Murray).

4. Having a large lunch may lead to people assuming you are pregnant (Angelina Jolie).

3. Married men sometimes lie when they say they aren’t married or when they say their marriage is a sham orchestrated purely for PR (Tiger Woods/his whores).

2. Driving in the wrong direction on the highway may lead to a very long time in driving school (Nicole Richie).

1. Your sex tape will always come out (too many to name).

The lesson it seems that a lot of people really need to learn is #1. This sex tape problem is on the rise — and is only getting worse with all those silly tweens sexting each other.

A casual conversation about this sexting/sex tape epidemic between my friends have led to anecdotes of: some girl who is unfortunately known as Swiffer girl (use your imagination because I don’t want to), a girl who just wanted to send something special to her boyfriend and it ‘accidentally’ got disseminated to every boy within a ten mile radius via an email password exchange after they broke up, and my personal favorite story told to me by my wonderful high school French teacher. Madame told us about a girl who got wasted, had a frenemy take naked pictures of her, send them to her future college (who promptly revoked her admittance) and somehow ended up with the image on a postcard in Italy. Are these urban legends? Fabricated gossip? Or stories told by Catholic school teachers made to scare every single girl at my high school senseless?

Regardless of what the truth about these stories are, the problem is ubiquitous. Perez Hilton, my favorite love-to-hate gossip blogger always reminds celebrities that sex tapes/images always get out. The lesson has yet to be learned. So some celebrities deny the existence (Lauren Conrad), some make a profit off of them (Paris Hilton), and some get so embarrassed that they have a baby to reassert their loveable/innocent image (Rebecca Gayheart and Eric Dane).

Some of the public sex tape offenders aren’t incredibly surprising. Paris Hilton got her start being a wild-child on the NYC party circuit; in fact, the way she handled One Night in Paris made her the celebrity she is today. But the most recent offender, Chelsea Handler, is a bit of a shock.

As of recently Chelsea Handler was dating Comcast (which includes her network, E!) CEO Ted Harbert. So when I heard about the sex tape initially I was shocked — although not as shocked as I was by the Sandra Bullock People cover (AMAZING!) — that this bigwig exec would let a tape even be recorded. But it wasn’t him. And in fact, he is probably getting some ex-boyfriend schadenfreude out of all of this.

True Chelsea is an author of a book about one-night stands, and she has never framed herself as innocent, pure, or chaste — but it’s still shocking. Chelsea is the kind of late-night host that would frankly ask someone “why are you so dumb?” about their sex tape. Granted Chelsea’s sex tape was recorded before Twitter, Facebook, TMZ, and the procurer of the sex tap, Radar, even existed and she was certainly not a celebrity when it happened. Therefore the fear of sex tape star fame was not a threat. But that’s the problem and this shouldn’t be an excuse (unless you’re looking for a Jenna Jameson-esque future). Sex tape leakage whether it be on some teen’s cell phone, Entertainment Tonight, or my high school’s photo sharing website where one such incident went down, worldisround, it is detrimental. Careers are ruined, people move or transfer schools, families are mortified, and a whole other slew of bad things happen.

The funny lady fittingly claims the tape was a “joke” but Radar listed reasons why it was pretty damn real. You should be able to figure out what makes a sex tape “real.”  What was a joke was that Chelsea’s scandalous activity was sandwiched between a stand-up video. Which begs the question — did she purposely record this, between the stand-up to get the producer’s who she distributed the video to, to get more attention and jobs? Well it didn’t work; ten years ago Chelsea was a nobody. Sad.

Chelsea addressed the tape on her show Wednesday night: “I would like to say to RadarOnline.com, thanks for ruining my surprise Christmas gift to my staff, and number two, it was made as a joke. I put it on an audition tape for a comedy club, because I’m a comedienne.”

Joke or not, Chelsea has been exposed. So next time you’re looking to be absolutely hilarious, get your boyfriend back, make some guy like you more, or any combination of the three — think about this. It will always get out. The truth always comes out. Especially if it’s related to sex. And while this may be trite: next time you do something questionable, think about what your grandma would say if she saw it.

Original Author: Cara Sprunk