Book Review of “The Mirror Effect: How Celebrity Narcissism Is Seducing America” by Dr Drew Pinsky

The Mirror Effect: How Celebrity Narcissism is Seducing America [Hardcover]

by Dr. Drew Pinsky and S. Mark Young

288 pages, $26.99

ISBN-13: 978-1616794309


Andy Warhol certainly earned more than his “15 minutes of fame” as a filmmaker who helped pioneer and popularize pop art. Warhol venerated Hollywood by saying, “I love Los Angeles. I love Hollywood. They’re beautiful. Everybody’s plastic, but I love plastic. I want to be plastic.” Certainly all would agree that it takes a special caliber of person to rise to stardom in today’s media frenzied world. It might take someone who is pretty much in love with himself.

A few decades later life confirms that everyone is in love with celebrity – especially celebrities. In fact, celebrities demonstrate extremely strong narcissistic personality traits – which can be classified as a type of personality disorder known as Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). It is probably safe to assume that a strong desire for celebrity lurks within each of us. Is that a problem? Does the reality of various celebrity scandals which run rampant over the news wire set up increasing levels of narcissistic tendencies in those who are lured by such behavior?

Dr. Drew Pinsky, a board certified psychiatrist who has a lot of experience speaking with celebrities on VH1’s Celebrity Rehab thinks so. He works with Mark Young to produce a detailed analysis to illustrate how celebrity narcissism is actually luring America into a vicious trap.

Since technology has given anyone with a video camera the ability to have instant fame through venues such as YouTube, being obsessed with celebrity can lead to dangerous mimicry of the worst celebrity behavior. Celebrities seem larger than life and can be especially unsympathetic to anyone hurt by their strange behavior. Copying celebrity behavior can lead to problems for everyone in society.

Who is most prone to ape such behavior? Teenagers…since they have the greatest exposure to and encouragement to acquire technological goodies. When teenagers see body-image obsession, sexual acting-out, drug use, and diva behavior they can be programmed to inadvertently impersonate bad celebrity behavior.

Pinsky’s examination skillfully delves into a few well-known celebrity lifestyles to illustrate how vapidly this disorder is manifested. Rather than providing the negative aspects of this personality disorder exclusively, the author ends with expert instruction to illustrate how parents can raise their children to prevent narcissistic tendencies.

As a special bonus, the author includes the Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI) so the reader can see how narcissistic he truly is…

If you enjoy the intersection of science and celebrity – this book is for you!

Review by Steven King, MBA, MEd

Beauty: Choosing Nature Over Danger

Human beings have been fascinated by the concept of beauty since time immemorial. What is considered beautiful differs between societies and cultures. However, individuals will still work hard to appeal to the visual senses of everyone who beholds them. In the past, before the onset of cosmetic products, women used crude ingredients to make themselves fairer and more appealing. In modern days, individuals are willing to spend thousands of dollars in an effort to make themselves more beautiful.

Unfortunately, women all over the world became obsessed with beauty and the power associated with it. Beautiful women were more likely to get married to wealthy men who will take care o them. Also, beautiful women are more likely to get employment in certain industries. This obsession led to the notion of ‘no pain, no gain’, in which women were willing to go through extremely painful and dangerous procedures in order to become beautiful.

In the past, women were made to believe that a small, wasp-like waist is beautiful. These women often tied corsets tightly around their waist. This would make it difficult for them to breath properly and most women suffered fainting spells as a result of this. In ancient China, women were made to believe that big feet are ugly. These women would therefore tie their feet when they are young in order to prevent them from becoming bigger. This procedure is extremely painful, and activities such as walking would be excruciating. Women in other parts of the world applied toxic mercury on their skin in order to make them fairer.

These days, women have been made to believe that skinny and tall is beautiful. Young girls all over the world are trying out dangerous diets and diet pills. Others have developed unhealthy eating disorders such as anorexia. Women have died on the surgeon’s table while trying to get liposuction in order to remove excess fat from their bodies. Others have gone through a painful procedure that involves breaking the bones in their legs in order to make them taller.

It is quite sad that people have resulted to such extremes in order to look beautiful. What most of these people do not realize is that beauty also has a psychological aspect. This aspect involves loving and accepting oneself. Most men will agree that there is nothing as beautiful and as attractive as a confident woman.

Furthermore, there are a lot of natural tips that can help an individual to look more beautiful. Drinking plenty of water can help to make the skin more radiant and it will definitely help the individual to age gracefully. Fruits and vegetables are essential for firmer and healthy looking skin. Individuals should also get plenty of rest at night as this will keep their skin looking younger and they will also feel better.

There are also a lot of natural products that use safe ingredients. Such products are available in various stores and websites and they can help a woman to have beautiful skin, hair and nails without causing them any pain. Women should always remember that though beauty is desirable, they do not have to risk their health or lives in order to achieve it.

Pearl Valuation: A Pearl Buyer’s Guide

Understanding how pearls are graded and valued is crucial before making a pearl jewellery purchase. This guide provides information consumers can use to compare and evaluate pearls and pearl jewellery.

So what is pearl valuation? Simply put, pearl valuation is the term used to describe the quality and value of a pearl or pearl set. It is determined by seven key pearl attributes: type, size, luster, inclusions, shape, matching, and nacre:

Type: – There are many different types of pearls, but the most popular, in order of value, are Freshwater, Akoya, Tahitian, and South Sea.

Size: – Pearls range in size from a couple of millimeters to over 15 millimeters depending on the type. The larger the pearl, the more rare and valuable it is.

Luster – is the brightness or radiance of light from a pearl. A high quality pearl will be brilliant and bright, and you should be able to easily see your own reflection in its surface.

Inclusions – sometimes called blemishes, are imperfections in the surface of the pearl. These may be cracks or bumps in the surface. The fewer imperfections, the greater the quality and value of the pearl.

Shape – pearls come in a number of different shapes including round, off-round, oval, baroque, and ringed. Round pearls are the most desired and valuable.

Matching – the ability of a set of pearls to resemble or harmonize with each other is referred to as matching. The greater the matching, the greater the value of the piece of pearl jewelry. Of course, matching only applies to multi-pearl jewellery.

Nacre – is the layers of aragonite and conchiolin that form around the pearl’s centre. The thicker the nacre, the longer a pearl will typically last.

All of these attributes are used to determine the quality and value of pearls and pearl jewellery. By knowing and understanding these, you are in a better position to know what to look for and what you are purchasing.

Of course, many people ask: “What about the rating?” Most pearl jewelers offer a single rating for the pearls they sell. The most common rating scale used is A, AA, and AAA, but other popular ones include “good”, “better”, and “best” and A, AA, AAA, AAAA, and AAAAA. As you can see, because there is no standard rating scale for pearls, the actual rating only has meaning at a single jeweler. What results is an AAAA pearl strand at one jeweler is equivalent to a “good” strand at a second jeweler which is equivalent to an AA strand at a third jeweler. In other words, what is important is not the rating scale used by any particular jeweler but how the actual attributes compare across jewelers. That is the key to buying pearls and pearl jewellery.

Online Holiday Shopping Tips – How To Stay Safe When Shopping On the Internet

Every Christmas, more and more people give up the hassle of doing their holiday gift shopping at the mall or big box department stores, and turn to the ease and convenience of the Internet to find the perfect gifts for everyone on their shopping list. Internet shopping is safe, simple, and direct. Here’s how to get the most out of your online holiday shopping experience.

Internet Safety

One of the major concerns keeping many people from shopping online is the threat of a cyber-thief getting a hold of their credit card or checking account information. The best way to protect yourself from this type of fraud is to make sure that you use reputable online retailers only. The online websites of major real-world retailers typically offer the same security as buying something in the store, and large web-based retailers like Amazon and Yahoo! Shopping take great care to ensure that their transactions are secure.

A reputable retailer will use some sort of encrypted transmission to carry your credit card information from your computer to their server. Check your web browser for the indication that your connection is secure. This is usually a padlock, an eye, or some other security-related icon.

If you find yourself connected to a website that looks suspicious, do some research on the retailer before typing in your credit card information. This can be as simple as opening up a new tab and Googling the name of the website. If some of the autofill suggestions are the company name and “fraud,” “scam,” or something similar, it might be in your best interests to find another online retailer.

Holiday Deals

Most, but not all, websites for major retailers will honor the same deals, sales, and specials that are offered in their brick-and-mortar stores. This makes the sale even more of a bargain for you, since you don’t have to waste time and gas in getting to the store. In addition, many online retailers offer free shipping if certain items are purchased, or if the total amount due is over a certain amount. Shipping costs are usually one advantage that stores in the mall have over their online counterparts, but if the shipping is free, that advantage no longer applies.

Be on the lookout when your weekly ads hit your newspaper or mailbox. Make sure the ad doesn’t have fine print stating “in-store only” or “while supplies last.” These phrases typically mean you won’t have much success in finding the deal online. Clearance items that are available in a store may not be available on their web site either.

E-Mail Subscriptions

If you plan to be an online power-shopper, it pays to subscribe to the various e-mail newsletters and online promotions that are available. Many of these subscription services are run by individual retailers as a form of targeted advertising, while others are grass-roots, ad-supported sites that operate by collecting and reviewing the various special offers available across the Internet. After all, a sale won’t do you any good if you never find out about it!

By taking these tips into account, you can guarantee that your online Christmas shopping experience will be a success. Once you’ve seen how fast and easy online shopping is, you may never go back to the mall again!