Billie Eillish’s Parents Are Not The Reason Why She Is Successful

By | Food for thought, inspiring, Inspiring Celebrities, stories

No artist has taken the world by storm with such swiftness over the last few years as Billie Eilish

The 19-year-old California native doesn’t just stand as one of the industry’s most beloved, intriguing, and critically acclaimed musicians; she has practically come to represent the entirety of Gen-Z, whether it’s through her oversized clothing, her striking hairstyles, her macabre visuals, her dark goth-pop sound, or her remarkable ability to be brutally honest about mental health. 

While Billie’s fashion style and unique musical stylings capture the lion’s share of attention, it must be noted that her personal life is just as fascinating in more than a few ways. We were able to get a glimpse into her private sphere through her 2021 documentary Billie Eilish: The World’s A Little Blurry, but there’s undoubtedly more to be explored in terms of her dynamics with brother Finneas and parents Maggie and Patrick O’Connell. 

So let’s take a few moments and chronicle the early life of Billie Eilish. As it turns out, her success becomes all the sweeter once you take her upbringing and family history into account:

Billie Eilish was born to “unemployed actors” who “knew no one” in the industry

Billie Eilish was born Billie Eilish Pirate Baird O’Connell on December 18, 2001, to Maggie Baird and Patrick O’Connell. 

Maggie worked as an actor, vocal artist, and screenwriter through the nineties and early aughts. She’d been a background artist in popular television series like Friends, The X-Files, Curb Your Enthusiasm and was even involved with The Groundlings as a member and teacher. While at The Groundlings, a sketch comedy troupe, Maggie worked with up-and-coming comedians like Will Ferrell, Melissa McCarthy, and Kristen Wiig. 

Billie’s dad Patrick played bit parts in a handful of shows and movies, including The West Wing, Baskets, Iron Man. Patrick and Maggie met while filming a project in Alaska and married in 1995. They welcomed their first child, son Finneas, in 1997. 

It’s true that both of Billie’s parents were in the industry, and therefore she didn’t necessarily struggle with finding support, both emotional and financial, from her folks. Yet, it’s key to remember that Billie shouldn’t outright be accused of nepotism. Her parents weren’t huge A-listers who had assistants, agents, and PR professionals lined up at their door, catering to each and every one of their desires and ego trips. They were working actors who lived paycheck to paycheck and were highly dependent on their next role to get them through the month and pay their bills. This is the case for the majority of actors in the entertainment industry; you go through roles one after the other in the hopes of catching a lucky break one day and landing a consistent gig.

During my lifetime, our parents were never able to fully financially support us off of their work as actors. Our dad worked 12 hour days 7 days a week as a construction worker for Mattel and our mom was a teacher. Our parents gave us love but knew no one in the record industry. 

Finneas via Insider

As per Rolling Stone and confirmed by Billie’s dad himself, they were “unemployed actors” who decided to press pause on their careers to homeschool their children and nurture their creative abilities. Maggie and Patrick ensured that their children were fully encouraged to pursue and excel in their passions — despite the family’s unstable financial situation. 

Billie and her brother Finneas were homeschooled so that they could focus on “creating” music

Maggie shared in an interview that Finneas was only able to attend a singing lesson because she’d arranged to cook for the teacher during the lesson. Similarly, Patrick exchanged handyman services for Billie’s gymnastic classes. These sorts of sacrifices extended to their household as well — Maggie and Patrick chose to “sleep on the futon in the living room” so that Billie and Finneas could be spared from sharing a room. 

Both Maggie and Patrick were amateur musicians and kept three pianos in their modest two-bedroom house, with music residing in every “nook and cranny” of their home. Maggie taught her children the basics of songwriting so that they could develop a passion for creating and writing music. In fact, nothing gave the parents more joy than seeing their children becoming budding, thriving artists before their very eyes. 

We had a rule growing up that was kind of a household respected thing of just no matter what time it was, no matter how old we were, if we were creating, writing music, playing piano, playing guitar, or any instrument at all, we could stay up as long as we were doing that. 

Billie Eilish to Vanity Fair

The family faced their share of financial difficulties, but they worked together to treat their children to whichever tools and structures they needed to succeed as ambitious young artists. Billie also added that “being creative” was the most critical consideration in their household — not the technical “esoterica you’ll never use” from high school. 

Billie pays her parents a salary to join her on the road and says she wants to “make a movie” with them

Maggie and Patrick sacrificed several luxuries and privileges when raising Billie and Finneas, so it’s only fitting that they’re able to reap the rewards of Billie’s outstanding career. 

Finneas revealed in a tweet last year that he paid off his parents’ mortgage and that “Billie pays them each salaries to tour with [them] full time,” even though Maggie and Patrick had allegedly told them that they would do it at no cost. Billie broke out early — her debut song ‘Ocean Eyes,’ produced by Finneas in their bedroom, blew up on SoundCloud when Billie was just 13. By the time she had launched her debut studio album, she had accumulated north of a billion streams on Spotify and other music streaming platforms. 

Therefore, her mom and dad had to adapt to the onslaught of fame rapidly. When Patrick realized that Billie’s career was taking off, he decided to quit his construction job and become her “one-man crew,” undertaking everything from driving the van to doing the lights, as per Rolling Stone. His handyman skills are as helpful as ever when he joins his daughter on tour — he takes it upon himself to “fix whatever needs fixing,” whether it’s carpentry or cleaning up the floors. 

As for Maggie, she works around the clock as Billie’s “psychological gatekeeper.” She’s the first and frequently the only point of contact between Billie and the rest of the world. She’ll ensure that her daughter’s mental health is prioritized, that the 37-person crew is content and getting along, and that the siblings remain focused on the big picture. 

You also know that someone has to be completely your child’s advocate. That’s fallen to us. She can speak up for herself, and she does. But sensing that she needs a break or she’s tired, that’s mom.

Maggie Baird on Your Teen Mag

Billie, on the other hand, has nothing but immense love and respect for her parents’ sacrifices. She said Maggie is the “best mama in the world” and that she and her dad are “very similar.” She also expressed admiration for Maggie and Patrick’s respective skillsets in the arts and said that she wishes they’d had more recognition early on. Her ultimate goal is to make a movie featuring the two of them, said Billie. 

My dad is the best actor I’ve ever seen. And my mom can do all these voices and characters — she’s incredible. So I wish they’d had more recognition. I actually want to make a movie and put them in it — I’ve never told anyone that. 

Billie Eilish on Rolling Stone

You’ll never be able to measure your parents’ sacrifices

The love for a child is immeasurable. Some parents will sail the seven seas to put a smile on their child’s face or die trying. Of course, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t enough toxic or abusive families around to disprove this theory, but we should also acknowledge the vast majority of mothers and fathers only want the best for their children. Some will have their own way of expressing their goodwill, but most will make their sacrifices in their little way. 

Maggie and Patrick were thought to have spoiled Billie and Finneas with their industry perks, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. The media and the public overestimated their fame, not knowing that they’ve fought tooth and nail to cultivate creativity in their children and lead them towards the arts. They could have just taken the easy way out and only remain focused on their basic necessities. Yet, they made it a mission to foster their talent and empower them to create beautiful, fulfilling art. We’ll never truly measure how much parents have given up for us, but we can at least show appreciation every step of the way.

When Shaq Overheard A Man Struggling To Purchase An Engagement Ring, He Did This

By | Food for thought, generosity, inspiring, Inspiring Celebrities, inspiring celebs, Inspiring Stories, sports, stories, uplifting news

Shaquille O’Neal is a very famous, accomplished, and wealthy man – but he recently showed yet again that what he’s truly rich in is generosity.

A true gem

Recently, the NBA superstar was at an Atlanta-area Zales store, where he actually has his own jewelry collection. That’s when he saw a man about to purchase an engagement ring – and took out his own credit card to pay for it. He told the story to NBA on TNT.

“I seen a guy come in — he was just so shy and he was saying, ‘Hey, how much do I owe to pay off my ring?’”


“And I was like, ‘How much is the ring?’ ” he said, and then stepped in to pay instead of the man at the counter.

Shaq then gave his card to the cashier, and shook the hand of the customer, who seemed kind of shocked at what was happening.

“I always get off 30 minutes before you come in here,” the cashier told Shaq, also excited at what they were witnessing.

An elite philanthropist

Shaq is known for his charitable actions and kindness to others. During the pandemic he bought a fan a computer at Best Buy. He also donated all the proceeds generated from his Super Bowl party in Miami to the Kobe & Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation as well as the families of the helicopter crash victims.

He be a legendary athlete, but he also seems to be a legendary kind of good guy.

Copy the play

Most of us aren’t as wealthy as Shaq, but there are other ways to follow his lead in the generosity department. Resources other than money, like time, expertise, love, and support could all greatly help someone in need. Just stay alert and willing, and you could be reaching Shaq levels of charity in no time.

More inspiring celebrities:

How Mariska Hargitay Fell For Her Co-Star—Not The One You Expect

By | Food for thought, inspiring, Inspiring Celebrities, stories

Over 21 years after the first episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit premiered, Mariska Hargitay and Christopher Meloni are still close friends. The actors co-starred for 12 years as the dynamic detective duo Olivia Benson and Elliot Stabler, before Meloni left in 2011 over a contract disagreement. Through it all, however, they’ve remained close, and fans got a long-awaited chance to see them reunite onscreen in a special episode of SVU, airing April 1, 2021, right before the premiere of the brand new spinoff, Law & Order: Organized Crime, in which Meloni came back to play Stabler again after a full decade. How’s all that for full circle?

The reunion, of course has breathed new life into some old burning questions that many fans had (nay, have) about the pair’s undeniable chemistry. It should be noted that as much as fans may have wanted the two to get together, Meloni has been happily married to his wife, artist Doris Sherman Williams since 1995, and that Hargitay fell for actor Peter Hermann (who she met when he guest starred on SVU), and the couple have been happily married since 2004. Meloni and Hargitay are both content and have their own families (hell, Hargitay is even godmother to Meloni’s daughter), so what’s with the enduring fascination, pray tell? Is it their friendship that’s misunderstood? Perhaps it’s the unspoken belief that men and women can’t have strong chemistry and be friends rather than romantic partners? 

Mariska and Christopher talk openly about their relationship

Today, Meloni, 59, and Hargitay, 57, still spirited as ever, decided to tickle fans’ expectations in advance of their on-screen reunion. To this day, the pair contend that they felt an instant bond upon meeting, with Meloni describing how they “walked into the screen test…and we get up onstage in front of all the suits, and we’re just so engaged,” and Hargitay recalled:

I walked in, saw him, and I went, ‘That guy. That’s the guy.’ It went deep, very fast…I won’t say that I fully understood it, but I knew that meeting him was important and life-changing. My father, my husband, [Law & Order creator] Dick Wolf and Chris are the four pillar men in my life. And that happened early.

When the pair got back together to film their reunion episode after a whole decade, it’s hardly surprising that everything clicked right back into place—almost as though no time had passed at all. “It was this thing that I had really dreamed about,” says Hargitay. “It was Pavlovian,” says Meloni. “Ring that bell, and you get right into Stabler and Benson.” 

“We know each other and mess around socially and all that,” he says, “but when we got down and cameras were rolling … it was such a seamless, effortless endeavor. It was great.”

“There was so much shorthand between us, which all goes back to the trust we have,” Hargitay says. “He’s always made me feel like I could just jump off the ledge, the cliff, the bridge, and he would catch me, in so many ways, whether it was comedy or acting or friendship.”

Meloni and Hargitay have shared their most important milestones

Mariska Hargitay and her husband Peter Hermann Credit:
Patrick McMullan / Contributor

The pair have seen each other through many a life milestone and are still going strong.

Meloni, of course, was already married to his wife when SVU began, and Hargitay remembers “The birth of his first child and being privy to his amazing, solid relationship with his wife, before I had that for myself — I think that Chris and Sherman played a really big role for me, to see this really stable couple that loved each other.” 

A few years later, Meloni watched Hargitay fall for her future husband Peter Hermann, who she now has three kids with. Meloni recently described watching them meet, and knowing beyond a doubt that they’d end up together, despite obstacles: 

“He’s on the show as a guest actor, and I’m looking at her, looking at him, and I’m seeing how she’s acting, right? I know her, and I’m like, ‘Oh boy. Here we go.’ And she’s just, ‘Tee-hee, tee-hee, I don’t even care about him or anything like that.’…Sure enough, they start dating…After they’d been dating a long time, she came in one day and she was crushed. She goes, ‘Peter and I had a really deep, long conversation. We cried, and I just don’t think it’s going to work.’”

And she’s sobbing, and the whole time, the [thought] bubble in my head was just: ‘You’ll be married within five months.’ That’s all I was thinking. I knew. I knew.

Christopher Meloni

Ever have a friend know you better than you know yourself? If that’s not intimate friendship, I don’t know what is. 

Friendship, a many splendored thing

To anyone out there who still wishes Hargitay had fallen for Meloni, and that they had shrugged off their respective romances for one another, think again. Hargitay did not fall for the wrong co-star. On the contrary, she’s lucky enough to have both a great love and an infallible friendship with a man. If you’re among those who limit friendship to same-sex relationships (or judge others for not doing so), it may be time to reexamine your reasons for that, your fears—and maybe even those of your spouse/partner. It never hurts to reevaluate those inner settings of ours.

Bottom line: it’s time we all celebrate Hargitay and Meloni for what they do have: a truly incredible friendship. As a society, we have endless reference points for what romantic love should look like, but not so many for what friendship should look like—particularly ones between opposite genders. But we should. In the interest of healthy, well-rounded relationships, I say it’s time to create new reference points for friendship. Reference 1: Hargitay and Meloni. 

Hargitay talks about how before she met her husband, Meloni being in a very strong relationship with his wife made her “feel even safer with him, as opposed to: ‘Great guy — but single.’ Or ‘Great guy — except for his romantic life.’ Instead, he’s this man who is as solid as a rock, and who is that rock in his relationship. And I got to lean on it when I needed to. It was like family.”

Meloni credits their long-lasting friendship to one thing. “It’s simple,” he says. “We have each other’s back.”

Woman Unceremoniously Dumps Toxic Boyfriend After Constant Body Shaming

By | body positivity, dating, Food for thought, inspiring, Inspiring Stories, relationships, stories, uplifting news

One body-shaming boyfriend learned a hard lesson about respect when he crossed the wrong girl.


23-year-old Shelby Johnson has spent years struggling with her weight. 

Things got so serious that as a teen, she had to be hospitalized after dropping down to a brittle 80 lbs. After that scare she managed to put on weight, along with self-esteem, she tells People.

“I haven’t been self-conscious in years. I was when I was underweight, but when I started getting to my goal weight my entire mindset changed”

– Shelby Johnson

“I felt more confident, more whole even. I knew that I was getting where I wanted to be and strived to be”

A devastating DM

Things were going so well that Johnson would even find a boyfriend who she thought loved and accepted her for who she was. 

That was until one day, when he DM’ed her with a particular complaint.

“It’s not like I haven’t told you you’ve been gaining and needed to lose anyway. You’re definitely getting a beer gut babe.”

– Shelby Johnson’s boyfriend, per her Tweet

In that moment, all of her insecurities returned, she shared.

“His comments did make me self-conscious. I started trying to work out 24/7. A couple friends noticed and expressed concern in my sudden desire to be so fit. ”

As she began to question her own response to her boyfriend’s message, Johnson took to Twitter to ask her friends if she was overreacting for feeling hurt.

Dumping dead weight 

She received more than just a second opinion.

Her tweet went viral, gaining nearly 39,500 likes and 5,200 from people telling her to dump her boyfriend, and that she’s beautiful already.

“He doesn’t deserve you. No need to keep that negativity around. You look great,” said one.

“Girl, dump him and find you someone who loves everything about you,” urged another.

Another commenter recommended an upgrade from her boyfriend.

“Dump him and buy a dog:)”

– @ktmlowe_ on Twitter

Johnson says that the overwhelming reaction “made me realize I wasn’t crazy for being hurt.” In another tweet, she announced that she dumped her boyfriend, joking that in doing so she was “dropping a hefty 180 lbs.”

Know your worth

Johnson says that although her now-ex-boyfriend was “really unhappy” about being dumped so publicly, he’ll use it as “a learning experience to be a better person.”

She just hopes that her painful experience serves as an eye-opener for women with similar experiences.

“Be careful, notice red flags and don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself and leave something that is no longer making you feel happy”

– Shelby Johnson

When it comes to relationships, compromises are important. It’s part of understanding, accepting and ultimately embracing one another.

However, one thing that’s non-negotiable is mutual respect. As Johnson’s story showed, anyone who disrespects or demeans you doesn’t deserve your time of day, let alone your love.

More uplifting stories:

Restaurant Owner Catches Robber Red-Handed And Offers Him A Job

By | compassion, Food for thought, humility, inspiring, kindness, stories, uplifting news

The owner of a restaurant in Georgia decided to practice humility rather than fury at a suspected burglar.

He offered the burglar a job

Security camera footage at a Diablo’s Southwest Grill in Georgia caught a man bursting into the restaurant and stealing what he could gather. But in a surprising twist, the owner wasn’t upset.

“Our burritos are such a smash hit we’ve got people breaking in at 4am for their fix,” wrote owner Carl Wallace in a Facebook post. “So if ya see our door looking hurricane fabulous at Wheeler Rd this is why.”

Wallace continued, offering compassion to the suspect. “To the would-be robber who is clearly struggling with life decisions or having money issues… please swing by for a job application. There are better opportunities out there than this path you’ve chosen.”

Wallace then offered his personal cell phone number and assured the burglar that police wouldn’t be called.

“Let’s sit down and talk about how we could help you and fix the road you’re on.”

Customers loved it

The post has received more than 4,500 reactions and an outpouring support from the public as well as customers.

“I saw a Facebook page on Connect Augusta, and I thought it was probably one of the best things that I had ever read,” customer Cher Best told WRDW. “So as a result of what I read and the compassion, that was part of that Facebook post, I wanted to support the business.”

A Facebook comment from Liz Bellmer read: “I know what I’m having for lunch….as a small business owner who recently had to close my doors because of loss of revenue due to COVID, I appreciate your civility and your way of seeing this. We need more people like you who try to put a positive spin on crappy situations. Positivity should always win.”

Turning the other cheek

Wallace said the burglar didn’t steal much — just some cash from the register. But the risk he took was extremely high.

“They’re risking so much every time they do this: to the business owner, to themselves, or what could happen if the police show up during the process of the break-in,” he told WRDW.

The break-in was on Easter weekend, and Wallace added that was one of the reasons that he and his team decided to be compassionate.

“Instead of having the normal response of being angry, we decided to reach out, and say this is a bad career path that you’re on, and we’re willing to offer you a job if you’re willing to change what you’re doing in life.”

Carl Wallace

Doing the right thing

Is one man’s compassion going to fix the systemic problems that led this burglar to want to rob a burrito restaurant — no. But it does have the capability to change the trajectory of a life, and at the end of the day, that’s all anyone can really hope for.

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What Happened to Britney’s Sister, Jamie Lynn? The Star Who Suddenly Disappeared

By | britney spears, Food for thought, inspiring, Inspiring Celebrities, jamie lynn spears, stories

The entire world is reexamining its treatment of Britney Spears

The documentary Framing Britney Spears has forced us to collectively reckon with how we’ve regarded Britney over the last 15 years. Mistakes have been exposed, apologies have been issued, and realizations are continuing to occur. In a way, the documentary encapsulates everything that is poisonous about mainstream media. It’s vicious, it’s relentless, and it doesn’t care about showing a semblance of respect to the parties involved. 

While much has been and will continue to be said about Britney’s conservatorship, we can’t overlook her younger sister Jamie Lynn. She’s been Britney’s rock through the whole ordeal and doesn’t get enough credit for how she herself had to endure the media’s hostility during a very vulnerable period in her life. 

The two sisters can be as different as chalk and cheese, but they’ve always stood by each other when the need arises. So let’s take a look at Jamie Lynn Spears and how she’s had to grow up under extremely toxic circumstances.

Jamie endeared herself to the public through a hit Nickelodeon show

Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images/FOX.

Jamie Lynn was born to James and Lynne Spears on April 4, 1991, in McComb, Mississippi, making her nearly ten years younger than her big sister. Due to a rather large age difference, Jamie was only a child when Britney achieved global fame with her hit single, ‘Baby One More Time.’ The entire Spears family was thrust into the spotlight overnight and had to adapt to living in the public eye — with a bonafide superstar in their midst. 

Jamie’s first acting role was a small cameo role in the 2002 film Crossroads, where she played a younger version of Britney, who starred in the film. She followed up the cameo with a two-year stint in the Nickelodeon sketch comedy show All That, where she played a variety of roles as well as herself on occasion. 

But her biggest claim to fame was undoubtedly Zoey 101. Those who watched Nickelodeon in the mid-2000s would without question recognize her as Zoey Brooks, the sweet and confident teenager who attended a stunning, out-of-the-world boarding school by the beach. 

It’s likely true that Jamie may have leveraged Britney’s celebrity to land herself minor acting roles up early on, but Zoey 101 was Jamie’s statement to the world that she was a stand-out performer in her own right. That she could inspire, excite, and entertain just as well as Britney. But there was no competition between the two siblings — Britney and Jamie co-wrote and sang the theme song of the show, ‘Follow Me.’ 

When speaking about her time on Nickelodeon and being Britney Spears’s younger sister, Jamie said that she might have chosen acting as a way to differentiate herself from her sister. Like many other teen performers, Jamie didn’t know how to process her growing stardom, even though she’d seen her sister go through the wringer over it. 

I got very insecure about a lot of things, especially in young Hollywood, and that was the time where it was very heavy with the paparazzi […] I just remember being really, really self-conscious about a lot of things during that time. 

Jamie Lynn Spears on NYLON

Yet, Jamie tried her best to be appreciative to the fans and the press, that is, before a shocking announcement threw her career off course for once and for all. 

She shocked the world with her pregnancy announcement at 16

Jamie incited a lot of controversy in the entertainment industry when she announced that she was pregnant with her first child at just 16. Jamie and her then-boyfriend Casey Aldridge confirmed the details in an interview with OK! Magazine on December 20, 2007. They became engaged in March 2008 and welcomed their daughter Maddie on June 19, 2008. 

Jamie recently claimed that she had already wrapped the last season of Zoey 101 by the time she had become pregnant. But there was hesitation on the network’s part on releasing the unaired episodes. As one can imagine, Nickelodeon had to do a lot of damage control to tackle viewer complaints. All of a sudden, people just couldn’t believe how a “good girl” persona could go off the tracks and have a baby at such a young age. Jamie said that she was already in distress over dealing with her parents and Casey, so the media storm only exacerbated the situation and worsened her mental wellbeing. 

I was judged for something that probably most everyone does. I was young. I was in love. I was like every other teenager, except I had this last name. And I made a decision that is forever my decision.

Jamie Lynn Spears on Glamour

Instead of remaining in L.A., a paparazzi hotspot that was actively threatening her and Maddie’s safety, Jamie decided to pack her bags and move the family to Mississipi. She said that she bought a house “in the middle of nowhere,” put up huge fences, and decided that she was going to stay put in Mississipi. She didn’t want to deal with the media blitz, she didn’t want to deal with the judgment, she didn’t want to deal with fame in general, so she disappeared from the public eye very much “on purpose.” 

Jamie said that she didn’t want her young age to be a detriment to motherhood, so she put her full attention to raising Maddie. Jamie and Casey separated in March 2009, at which Jamie moved yet again, this time to Nashville, Tennessee. This is where her love for country music blossomed. Jamie went on to learn more about songwriting and singing and even released her debut country album, The Journey,  in May 2014. 

Living in Nashville, Jamie met businessman Jamie Watson, who she went on to marry on March 14, 2014. The two had their baby girl, Ivey, on April 11, 2018. Looking back at her teenage pregnancy fiasco, Jamie maintains that she has no regrets. She’s also very grateful that she was able to move away and go into hiding, so to speak — a choice that wasn’t available to her older sister. 

Seeing [Britney], I knew how far it could go. I’ve never wanted to be put under that kind of scrutiny. I just wanted to get away from it as much as I could, to just go away and be a mom and figure out what I wanted, and to earn a sense of respect back for myself.

Jamie Lynn Spears on Glamour

Jamie doesn’t want “the past” to be repeated in regard to her sister’s conservatorship 

Over the past year or so, a lot of misinformation, opinion, and judgment has been leveled at the Spears’ family with regard to Britney’s legal guardianship. Jamie has understandably been quiet about the whole situation, given the legal implications. But after the documentary aired, Jamie did post an Instagram story with the quote, “Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.”

She added her own commentary to the quote, writing, “Dear media, try not to repeat the mistakes of your past. Look where that got us. Do better.” It’s anyone’s guess as to what Jamie was referring to or which “mistakes” she is speaking about, but it’s a safe bet that she wants to be careful when discussing Britney’s career or health. 

Looking back, people forget that both sisters were fighting very similar battles at the same time but under different circumstances. In many ways, Britney’s mental health crisis may have deflected attention from Jamie’s own teen pregnancy turmoil. Jamie learned that her sister was suffering from this overwhelming deluge of attention and criticism, and realizing that she couldn’t help her sister effectively at the time, she just moved away and approached motherhood with a clean slate. 

What’s commendable is that the sisters are still very close and have posted numerous birthday tributes to one another on Instagram. Britney, whether intentionally or unintentionally, has always taught Jamie about the illusions of fame and how it can completely unravel a person from the seams. Yet, at the same time, Jamie has also done her best to carve her own path within the industry. Zoey 101 may be behind her, but her country ambitions are on the up and up. 

Seeing the way [Britney] handled it so honestly, to me, that was so brave. She was open with me about it. She taught me to protect myself. And I think that I learned how to be strong, but also keep it honest, and it was 100% helpful in every single way. 

Jamie Lynn Spears on NYLON

Don’t let the regrets bring you down

The past is always the past, and it has a tendency to weigh down on us. Jamie Lynn Spears will always reflect on her teens with a sense of trauma and frustration, but she did the best she could, even though her family was falling apart and the press was feeding them to the dogs daily. But she knew that she had to act fast if she wanted her daughter to be safe and protected. 

Media has been circling their family like vultures for well over 20 years now, so it only makes sense that Jamie would have had to toughen to survive their attacks. She looked up to her sister, and her sister definitely didn’t disappoint. 

More inspiring celebrities:

Woman Abruptly Dumped By Fiancé For Being Overweight Gets Ultimate Revenge

By | exercise, Food for thought, inspiring, Inspiring Stories, Motivation, stories, success stories, uplifting news, weight loss

One woman went from being obese to pursuing her dreams of becoming a beauty queen — and she has a shallow ex to thank for it all.

Couch sulking

Several years ago, life was a drag for Jen Atkin of Grimbsy, North East Lincolnshire. 

A self-confessed “couch potato,” Atkin tells The Sun that she would spend most of the time with her fiancé, sluggish and overeating.

“At weekends, we’d turn into virtual recluses sitting on the sofa in our pajamas eating takeaways.”

However, as her weight ballooned to 240 pounds, her fiancé shocked her by ending the relationship.

To cope with the pain, Atkin increasingly turned to her fridge.

“The day he left I thought my world had ended – I cried for weeks and used food as my comfort”

– Jen Atkin

From couch to crown

Then, one day, Atkin decided to end her pity-party and get to work.

She started walking regularly, going to the gym and being vigilant about what she ate. 

As the pounds dropped, her confidence soared. Atkin quickly gained momentum and over two years, she shed 112 pounds – half of her body weight!

Eventually, she built up the courage and charisma to enter the Miss Great Britain competition, the UK’s longest-running pageant. 

The event consists of several rounds including fashion wear, evening wear, and swimsuit and culminates in a panel interview. 

After finishing the contest as a runner-up, Atkin put her pageant pursuits aside to focus on herself until her name was put forward again.

She ended up winning Britain’s biggest beauty crown over 59 other contestants in the national final in Leicester.

For Atkin, the victory meant far more than a crown.

“Winning Miss Great Britain marks the end of a long and difficult, but also amazing, journey”

– Jen Atkin

There’s beauty in the struggle

Since winning the pageant, Atkin has only picked up the pace.

She launched a country singing career, with her debut single hitting No. 2 in the ReverbNation charts.

She’s also using her status to push for “clearer and easier” labeling on food to warn people if an item is unhealthy, which she says will “make it easier for everyone.”

Atkins now reflects on her difficult journey with gratitude.

“I was devastated but it ended up being the best thing that’s happened to me”

– Jen Atkin

While Atkin had painful experiences, they ultimately revealed what she’s truly capable of and her true worth. She used them to take her life in an amazing direction that even she didn’t know was possible.

Today, you can bet her shallow ex is probably sore from kicking himself.

The next time you feel like giving up, remember that your best is yet to come.

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Why We Need To Talk About Demi Lovato’s Powerful Revelations In Her Docuseries

By | demi lovato, Food for thought, inspiring, Inspiring Celebrities, stories

Hollywood is often notorious for giving glossy spins to not so glossy stories. While reality can be full of grit and harsh truths, a Hollywood version benefits from the ever-seductive editing process. That being said, when it comes to Demi Lovato’s new YouTube docuseries it’s no holds barred raw truth after raw truth. The emotional rollercoaster Demi takes the viewer on is an insight into that fateful July 23, 2018 day when her struggles with addiction came to a head and the superstar overdosed. With the intention of wanting to set the record straight, Lovato sits down and reveals all of her past demons for the world to see.

There is no sugar coating the issues in Dancing With The Devil, Season 1 Episodes 1 & 2. The talented songstress reveals the factors and intense pressure she was under, especially with regards to her mental health, leading up to the overdose.

Growing up, Demi Lovato experienced addiction in her family

Demi’s father struggled with addiction, mental health issues and was abusive towards her mother. His death weighs heavily on Demi’s heart and mind despite the estranged nature of their relationship for years prior. Demi felt a certain hypocrisy for representing mental health publicly and being there for others in a way that she was unwilling to be present for her father. This emotional turmoil contributed to Demi’s struggles even though she was clearly just trying to do the right thing for her wellbeing.

Lovato speaks on her past struggles with eating disorders fueled by low self-esteem beginning at a young age. As a child, Demi would participate in beauty pageants that are centered primarily on looks and talent. Demi pinpoints her issues with food beginning as early as even back then. Fast forward to just months before her life-threatening overdose, Demi’s environment was so controlled that it is understandable why she wanted to rebel. People were actively policing her food to try and prevent a relapse of an eating disorder. There was constant emphasis on her sobriety and intense pressure for her to stay on the straight and narrow at all times.

Demi hid her addiction from the people around her

Then during a photoshoot, Demi recalls questioning whether or not sobriety really was the right choice for her. She recognized that she was no longer happy and then after bumping into her former drug dealer Demi went “shopping” for drugs. She mixed meth, cocaine, molly, and finally began dabbling with heroin as well. Lovato thought that she had it under control until she realized during a trip to Bali that she was physically dependent on the drugs. When Demi returned from her trip, she continued with the drug use and developed a specific addiction to crack and heroin.

Lovato hid her drug use so well from everyone that no one knew she was using. Then after a night partying with friends, on July 23, 2018, at around 5:30 a.m., Demi said that she was going to bed when what she really did was call her drug dealer. Not only did her dealer supply her with the dangerous illicit substances that would lead to her overdose, but Demi reveals that he took advantage of her, and finally left her for dead.

The next morning Demi had a doctor’s appointment scheduled and her assistant came to wake her up. After a few attempts of knocking on her bedroom door and receiving no answer, her assistant decided to go in and that’s when she found Lovato unresponsive. Demi’s assistant immediately called security, and then went on to call 911 who dispatched an ambulance to Lovato’s home.

She experienced frightening symptoms

The overdose was so life-threatening that Demi experienced three strokes, a heart attack, brain damage, blind spots in vision, pneumonia and multiple organ failure. When she woke up, she was temporarily legally blind. Her sister who was sitting at her bedside recalls that Demi couldn’t even see her and did not know in the moment who she was.

The incredible insight that Demi has acquired since that dire summer 2018 day has led her to believe that she was looking for spiritual growth in all of the wrong places. Lovato’s candor in sharing her story is nothing short of courageous. She tells it like is without packaging the details in a pretty shiny bow and for that she stands apart from the rest.

Labels can have a huge impact on those who are the recipients of those titles. In Demi’s case, she was labelled an “addict” publicly and often criticized for her struggles. People were cruel in poking fun at her overdose and some even encouraged her to resume using drugs again. However, Demi demonstrated her resilience and rightfully put them in their place. Even in the face of backlash, Lovato is an advocate for those who have been through similar trials and tribulations to what she has. In sharing her story, Demi clearly doesn’t let the labels define her but she is committed to living a full life.

It is a miracle that Demi is alive and a blessing that she is sharing her very personal story in this intimate way. Dancing With The Devil is worth the watch not only because it dispels certain myths about addiction but because it enlightens us to its realities in the process.

Have the courage to be vulnerable

Despite the attempts of others to bring Lovato down, she continues to share her story. Stories of survival such as Demi’s are nothing short of divine intervention and sharing the tales of such close calls can quite literally save the lives of others who can relate. One person’s story of recovery can inspire millions to do the same.

Together we heal collectively through sharing our truths. Demi Lovato may be a celebrity, but in releasing her new docuseries she is now a bona fide hero as well. Share your story and heal yourself but in the process, you may just save someone else’s life. Not all heroes wear capes, some just really know how to rock a microphone.

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Halle Berry’s Response To Troll Is An Inspiration To Anyone Who’s Gone Through A Breakup

By | dating, Food for thought, inspiring, Inspiring Celebrities, inspiring celebs, relationships, stories, uplifting news

Breaking up is hard to do, especially when it keeps happening in the public eye. Recently, when Halle Berry was shaded by a fan on Instagram, she had the perfect response.

A heated exchange

It all started when Berry posted an empowering message geared toward women.

A rude follower responded: “Says the women who can’t keep a man.”

But Berry didn’t let that rude person get her down and replied, “Who says I wanna keep the wrong man? Cuz…. I don’t.”

Great point!

Amazing Clapback

Of course, the commenting didn’t stop there, and another follower wrote “Geesh Halle, had some trouble with men in your life??”

Berry responded to that, “Nope, they had trouble with me.”

“No man has ever taken care of me… EVER!”

– Halle Berry

There’s no doubt that Berry has had some heartache in the public eye, from multiple divorces to a split with a partner just after they had a child. But her life is her business, no matter how famous she is – and that is an important message to us all.

Have faith in yourself

Relationships end, and they may end in a hard, sad, way – but that’s not a reflection on you or what you deserve, ever.

Toxic relationships and bad breakups happen very often, to many of us. It’s how you have faith in yourself and the promise of the future that you get past them.

While it’s sometimes true that it’s important to look at any unconscious patterns we may have if we keep ending up in one toxic relationship after the other, it’s no reason to victim-blame — ever. It’s simply part of the healing journey, and every human being is worthy of healthy love.

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Quick-Thinking Man Acts Like Woman’s Friend To Save Her From Potential Assault

By | everyday heroes, Food for thought, inspiring, safety, stories, uplifting news

One Tik-Toker’s improv job saved a young woman from a potentially dangerous situation.

Creep-up on aisle 5

Brandon Roberts was walking through a mall when he spotted something disturbing across the room.

“You could tell just by her face she was quite frightened”

Brandon Roberts

“I noticed an older man hitting on a very young girl, she was around 19  years old,” he told ‘In The Know’.

The man “appeared to be intoxicated or on drugs” and was touching her.

Sensing the urgency, Roberts hurried towards them.

Aunt Claire to the rescue

Being “a little scared” of the strange man’s behaviors, Roberts flipped on his camera as he approached them.

What followed was an awesome display of ad-libbing.

“Oh my God, hi,” Robert says in the video, talking to the girl in a familiar way. “How are you?”.

The girl appeared to pick up on the ruse immediately and acted like she knew him.

“My aunt is here, do you want to —,” Roberts asked, giving the girl a pretext to leave.

“Aunt Claire?” the girl replied, “Let’s go.”

They hurried away, with Roberts walking her safely out of the store and to her car.

Brains over braun

Once away from the scene, the grateful girl told Roberts that the man “asked if I want to go back to his place”, adding that “it was so creepy … thank you for helping me.”

Roberts hopes the video – which has over 33 million views – can serve as both warning and playbook to others.

“I thought [a video] like this would show that these things do happen and how people can help”

– Brandon Roberts

A little help goes a long way

We see these situations and assume that intervening involves confrontation, or using brute force to whisk someone to safety.

While that might work in the movies, both Roberts and the would-be victim show that a little awareness and creativity can lead to a positive outcome.

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