Kristen Bell: ‘If you are prone to gossiping, feel ashamed about that’

Kristen Bell recorded one of those “message to my younger self” videos as part of her work with the Child Mind Institute, which works to transform “the lives of children and families struggling with mental health and learning disorders.” Kristen has been open about her battle with anxiety and the fact that she’s taken medication for it for years. In her video for the Child Mind Institute, she talked about perfectionism, about the fact that everyone can feel bad and insecure, and that we should care for our inner selves. She didn’t say anything revelatory but I like how honest she is about her problems and how willing she is to do charity work like this. She’s done good work for various organizations for years and she really cares. The video is above and in case you can’t listen to it here’s what she said.

Hi I’m Kristen. I have suffered anxiety and depression since I was 18, which was [mumbles] years ago. What I would say to my younger self is don’t be fooled by this game of perfection that humans play. Instagram, magazines and TV shows strive for a certain aesthetic and everything looks so beautiful and people seem like they don’t have any problems, but everyone’s human. Everyone has problems. Everyone feels yucky on the inside sometimes. You deserve to feel just as beautiful on the days you wear no makeup and the days you don’t shower and the days you feel like you’re depressed. You have an obligation to take care of yourself from the inside out, because that’s how you can truly feel beautiful. There are resources out there if you’re feeling anxious. People to talk to, and doctors to interact with. There are tons of solutions out there for you. You are not alone. Never feel embarrassed or ashamed about who you are. There are plenty of things to be embarrassed or ashamed about. If you forget your mom’s birthday, feel embarrassed about. If you are prone to gossiping, feel ashamed about that, but never feel embarrassed or ashamed about the uniqueness that is you. There are people out there to help and we’re all just human and you can do it.

[From Instagram video via E! Online]

What if being prone to gossip is part of who you are and makes you feel like your real self, Kristen, what about that? I’m not ashamed of my career. I’m on board for most of the rest of what she says. She comes across at times like a motivation meme, but it’s well-intentioned and true. However I would say one thing – if you feel more beautiful with makeup and in decent clothing do that. Of course you should feel the same without it, but if you feel better when you take a shower, do it if you’re able to. I always feel better when I’m put together. I’m not saying neglect your spiritual growth or self work or anything, but some of us like to put on makeup and do our hair. I’m also not shaming people who are too depressed to shower or care for themselves. I’ve had those days and they’re awful.

I once saw a wonderful YouTube interview series with the Irish author Marian Keyes, who has been open about her battle with depression. It was fun to watch because she took the interviewer on a tour of her bathroom, beauty products and shoe closet and I learned that she’s a woman after my own heart. Marian said that she had a hard time convincing doctors she was depressed because she always went out in full hair and makeup. I could relate to that.



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photos are credit Getty and screenshots from Child Mind Institute video

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34 Responses to “Kristen Bell: ‘If you are prone to gossiping, feel ashamed about that’”

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  1. LuckyZeGrand says:

    I just love it that every self-help book,video,guru and message carrying pigeon tells you you should just be yourself and love yourself for who you are but then proceeds to tell you THEIR idea of how you can become the ideal person.

    • Rumi says:

      And how they were exactly like you and then did xyz and became fabulous and so can you, be just like them. Just do exactly what they did.

    • equalitygadfly says:

      Exactly. When they say “be authentic,” what they’re really saying is “CONFORM!”

    • MagicalDay says:

      Gossip can start a revolution, and please let’s never forget that. I accidentally let my son get enrolled into a cult school (waldorf people- and BEWARE) When trying to extricate my kid from this invasive weird situation, I was at a “circle” of around 50 parents and teachers. The head of the school said, “let’s not be ugly gossips”, and I stood up and said, “GOSSIP STARTS REVOLUTIONS, AND WITHOUT ‘GOSSIP’ WE COULDN’T GET COLLECTIVE INFORMATION TO MAKE NECESSARY CHANGE”. ha Ha and HA! I got my kid out of there (they tried to treat him for spectrum disorders because he was bored). today He’s an honor roll happy kid now in a decent non-invasive “main-stream” school. Gossip changes what needs change, let’s keep it real when ANY emperor has NO CLOTHES!!

  2. Annabelle says:

    I agree with Kristen. If you’re not in the public eye and a private citizen, people shouldn’t gossip about you – they should mind their own effing business. However, if you’re in the public eye, hire a publicist and pose in backless dresses on red carpets after doing tons of Botox in order to look 20 years younger than you really are in order to get overpaid for repeating lines of dialogue that someone else wrote, who is not getting paid as much as you, being the subject of gossip on Celebitchy is OKAY.

    • perplexed says:

      Yeah, I thought she was talking about gossiping in real life, not the stuff the media sells.

      It’s something we’re all guilty of doing at times (even when we try hard not to) and thus easy to relate to as something to be embarrassed by. Maybe there is an example of some other more embarrassing activity she could have chosen, but I don’t know if it would have rung as something we can all universally relate to.

      Also, she said “prone to gossiping.” If you’re gossiping constantly about your friends and neighbours, well, that’s not good. I’m wary of people who do this on the regular as opposed to once in a while (i.e sharing an opinion to serve a purpose).

    • Tvtg says:

      Gossiping in real life is way different than celebrity gossip and I agree that real life gossip is very toxic and absolutely negatively impacts people. Celebrity gossip is a different ballpark first of all most of it is a facade by a team of people. Celebrities are generally the most privileged people and most gossip generally from attention seeking stuff to like Taylor Swift and Tom Hiddleston dating and celebrities who want more privacy generally get it

  3. Zondie says:

    I read an article once that said that gossiping is a low cost way to keep members of a society behaving in ways that promote the well being of the group overall.

    • Wellsie says:

      Very interesting!!

    • Tvtg says:

      In real life gossiping is absolutely toxic

    • MagicalDay says:

      I agree, it’s a way to share that particular culture’s norms. For example, “beth ann slept w sue ann’s wife, we SHUN her now”. Ok, so I know not to sleep around to stay good w those folks. Also, in my post above, gossip starts a revolution- for example- “hey, my husband is paid more for the same job at the factory, how about you and your husband? The same or disparity??” So the revolution for equal pay begins. HOWEVER, I can always tell when a fellow witchy bitch like me is the subject of boring women’s feedback, that ain’t productive, and I can see through it. However, I listen to ALL gossip- it’s feedback- no one is going to tell me what I can or can’t hear or what is or isn’t “toxic”. I’ll make up my own damn mind!

  4. Veronica S. says:

    I mean, this is all well and good, yo, but gossip ain’t going nowhere. That’s an intuitive bonding ritual in human interactions whether we like it or not, and there’s plenty of psychological data to suggest it’s fairly indispensable to our social mechanisms. There is certainly a difference between being a malicious assholes versus occasional venting/using other people as soundboards. but…it’s here to stay. And I don’t find it particularly problematic as long as some level of discretion is dispensed and it’s not being used for excessive bullying.

    • mela says:

      thank you. gossip is only malicious when you make it so.

      my sister, mom and I gossip about EVERYTHING and EVERYONE. from our husbands/boyfriends to our circle of friends to celebrities. we get a kick out of it. we’re family and no one ever finds out what we say behind closed doors together. it’s venting and we keep it between us and no one ever finds out what we say.

    • MagicalDay says:

      Perfectly stated. Love this. Thanks.

  5. manda says:

    Is it ironic to hear that from her on a gossip blog? Hmmmmm

    I feel like she means gossiping in a more local way. That can be hurtful. But me talking shit about Kanye West or Taylor Swift won’t hurt them in the least, and it’s fun. I guess if there is an awful story then collectively (by all the people talking about it) they could be hurt, but as an attorney I would argue that they assumed the risk of such stories getting out when they got on their current paths. Hmmmmmm.

    I need some caffeine, in case I’m making no sense. Also, the pollen is kicking my ass!

    • MagicalDay says:

      Only the weirdest most manipulative people tell you how toxic it is to gossip- it’s code for, “don’t get feedback or talk about my past or future inappropriate behavior”.

  6. Shijel says:

    Yeah… no. People observe things, they process what they’ve seen, and being the social animals we are, they discuss their observances with other people, and sometimes what’s being talked about is not positive.

    When one’s famous, well, being gossiped about comes with the territory. It’s that gossip that’s making celebs’ careers. It’s what lines their pockets with all that money, provides them with luxury bordering on depravity. Sure, malicious gossip especially hurts even when you’re filthy rich, but here a celeb has a choice: take it, or fall out of the public eye. Most choose to take it to keep the money train going.

    Gossip can be used maliciously, oh yes. But a lot of the time, gossip also keeps people aware of what other people are doing that they don’t want the rest of the world to see, and when it comes down to it, it’s just spreading information among one another.

    I’ve been a target of gossip, and I’ve gossiped. Really just a part of being social, and if someone goes too far, I try to distance myself from them (hi mom!).

  7. Ocho says:

    I love that you mentioned Sali Hughes’ In the Bathroom interviews. Love them. I hadn’t seen the one with Marian Keyes.

  8. VSK says:

    Just came to say that I absolutely adore Marian Keyes. Went to her book signing and she was a delight! She is a great role model for battling depression and addiction.

    • TheRickestRick says:

      Me too. Rachel’s Holiday is one of my all time favourite books. It’s both hilarous and heart wrenching and I was horrified to see so much of myself in Rachel!! In fact this book went a long way in helping me understand myself, and I will always be grateful for it. I read it once a year pretty much!
      Also, for a great laugh and a great read, Sushi for Beginners and Last Chance Saloon.
      She is a brilliant role model and you can see it in her writing, in these early books she is so damn funny but approaches a lot of issues so well, in my opinion

  9. huncamunca says:

    Gossip is how women have historically kept each other SAFE for centuries. If you need to look into it, google the Whisper Network. I like Kristen, but this deserves an eye roll.

    • Tvtg says:

      That’s a good point because women might have been silenced if they were in abusive relationships or assaulted I still think it probably harms the most vulnerable people

  10. joanne says:

    if we weren’t prone to gossip, she wouldn’t have a vehicle to get her message out. she’s very hypocritical about gossip. she doesn’t want her children in the public eye yet uses other people’s children in commercials. she criticizes gossip yet uses that medium to promote her various causes. she entered a profession that is public and has always been a target of gossip. she wants all the good on her terms yet cries about the bad. it brings to mind the whole baby and the bathwater.

    • Ehh says:

      I thought she meant personal gossip. Like the person that gossips about their friends. If you’re somebody that is nice to a person’s face and then turns around and trashes said person or if a friend tells you something in confidence, and you spread it around, then yes you should be ashamed. I don’t think she meant celebrity gossip at all.

    • Uglyartwork says:

      She definitely had something to say about Channing tatum’s divorce not to long ago.

  11. S says:

    Marian Keyes writes some of the sharpest, funniest Brit Chick Lit out there. Picked up one of her books on a whim while at Heathrow once and laughed the entire flight home. She pre-dates Sophia Kinsella (real name which she also writes under: Madeleine Wickham) and Helen Fielding and, frankly, I think she’s maintained a consistent quality level far better than either of those authors.

    As for Bell, I like her a lot, actually, and I think gossip can be bad and destructive in certain circumstances, and I know people, and have probably been guilty of same, who gossip in hurtful or destructive (self or otherwise) ways. It can be a sign of depression, try-hard-ness, etc. But it also can be an uplifting bonding experience. It’s all in the intent, the delivery and the subject (punch up, not down).

    I’m just an ordinary person, but have been the subject of wildly untrue, malicious gossip that spread online, to the extent that I will still occasionally meet people in my field who believe outrageous things are true about me. It’s a weird experience and, at the time it was actively happening, was extremely hurtful and, yes, helped spiral me into a depression. It was also just so incredible, because the lies being told were so over-the-top that anyone truly bought them was just unfathomable. A tiny germ of truth wrapped in a web of lies growing bigger and bigger and, once put out into the world, just growing and adding even greater fictions. In my particular case a flirtation with someone off limits, which turned into a kiss in a hallway after several drinks, but, in real life, ended there. Told one person I thought was a friend and it became not a kiss, but sex, then that I had aborted his baby, stalked him, tried to murder his girlfriend by running her over a car, that he got a restraining order or I tried to stab him, that I had been fired from previous jobs for doing the same thing with someone else, etc. Like, truly crazy stuff that people I then had to work with or introduce myself to genuinely seemed to believe. It’s like a grain of sand becoming a boulder trying to flatten you before your eyes.

    So, yeah, I definitely think before I speak even more so having experienced that, but I wouldn’t claim to be gossip-free either. (I mean, duh, look at where I’m posting this.)

  12. jaylee says:

    I feel bombarded lately by this type of psuedo enlightenment. Every hot mess of a person I have ever met is now a “life coach” or “energy healer” & spouts off knowledge gleaned from pinterest quotes. K Bell is always working some angle about the evils of gossip. I think it’s probably a personal problem for her. I bet she talks mad shit in real life. Those who can’t do, teach.

    • mela says:

      omg i see that on facebook with some chicks. now that is the type of person I gossip to my sister and friends about “Did you see that chick on FB with her life coach page that use to h o it up and text my man selfies? acting like she a reiki healer now?” like that

  13. No Doubtful says:

    She is so annoying. EVERYBODY gossips, including her. Now if it’s with malicious intent (like spreading lies) then that’s a different story.

  14. smee says:

    is she talking about us?!

  15. Amber says:

    I love that video of Marian Keyes too. She talks about her depression and struggles with alcohol with so much frankness, and she never comes across as if she’s judging other people who have the same problems for how they handle it. She comes across as a person with a lot of compassion for people. I really related to what she said about that gold Chanel nail polish being a beacon of hope that helped her in a dark time. I only started keeping my nails pristinely manicured and polished when I was profoundly depressed. It gave me back a little self respect, and gave me the courage to leave the house, and most days it was the only motivation I had. It’s remained an important self-care ritual for me, even though I’m no longer depressed.

  16. Jussie says:

    This from the woman who never misses an opportunity to talk to the press about other people’s break-ups.

  17. Jo says:

    Great to come out and destigmatize anxiety and depression but save the lecture.