My intent is not to pick on Steve Harvey personally, because I’m sure he is no worse, or better, than any of us. I just chose him as one example, out of many I could have selected, to illustrate my point.
In this month’s issue of Essence magazine [Jan 2011], Steve Harvey was on the cover (again). The supporting article introduced Steve’s latest book: Straight Talk, No Chaser: How to Find, Keep, and Understand a Man. The promotional copy says for Steve’s latest reads; “Steve Harvey proves once again that he is the king of relationships.” I don’t know anything about Steve’s personal life; I really only care how funny he is when I go to see him perform. However when I read Essence’s article, I learned that Steve is on his 3rd marriage and has four children by 3 different women. If being the “King of Relationships” is measured by the sheer quantity then I guess the crown is warranted.
Personally, if I’d be more interested in learning how to obtain, develop and maintain a quality relationship from someone who has actually accomplished the feat or at least studied the issue in a meaningful manner.
Of course I realize a non-celebrity would not likely of make the NY Times Bestsellers List by offering advice on the relationships. Steve Harvey can make the NY Times list and bring attention to the issue, with solutions, in a way that few others can.
Presumably, it should make no difference who delivers the message assuming the advice is sound. So I guess I should stop ranting and be glad someone can do this, very necessary work, and benefit others.
Then again, maybe everyone behind this effort is simply capitalizing off Steve’s celebrity, offering questionable advice to troubled, vulnerable people too fixated on celebrity to know better. As a book seller, I too will make money off of this book. I’m pretty confident Straight Talk will be a bestselling book on AALBC.com as was Steve’s first book on the subject, Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man: What Men Really Think about Love Relationships, Intimacy and Commitment.
In any case, we expect far too much from our celebrities. Athletes are expected to be model citizens and create jobs in the community while comedians, with multiple failed marriages, are expected to be able to offer sage advice on relationships.