There are a number of reasons people may use alcohol in excess, including previous trauma, genetic susceptibility to alcohol use disorder, or to alleviate psychological distress. We often criticize people in the public eye (i.e. celebrities) for their alcohol use, and women tend to be scrutinized to a greater extent. The voices of celebrities are a very powerful influence on the general public, and when they share their stories, we can see them as individuals with real experiences, and learn from the positive role they have set.
The following female celebrities have been very vocal regarding their decision to limit alcohol use:
English food writer and cooking show host, Nigella Lawson, has expressed her commitment to cutting back on alcohol, as it elevates feelings of worry and anxiety. Lawson has expressed that she is not a big drinker, but can sometimes feel the social pressure to drink in social settings.
Health care professionals note that it is common for middle-aged women to consume increased amounts of alcohol following retirement, children leaving home, and illness, to find temporary relief from many of life’s stressors.
The American actress began using alcohol as a teenager to cope with shyness and her parents’ divorce. She came to a point where she chose a career in acting over alcohol, and although she occasionally has the urge to drink, Davis says “it’s really not worth the risk”.
Jada Pinkett Smith
American actress Jada Pinkett Smith grew up with a mother who heavily used alcohol and other substances, leading to an increased risk for Jada to develop an addiction herself. Developing an alcohol addiction, Jada used the pain and trauma she experienced when she was young as motivation to succeed and better herself. She has been sober for 22 years. Although it is a difficult conversation to have, and being so vulnerable in the public eye, Pinkett Smith hopes that sharing her experience will help others who deal with addiction to seek the help they need.
The “Devil Wears Prada” actress has been open about abstaining from alcohol, at least for the next 18 years. Hathaway wants to avoid alcohol for at least as long as her son is living with her, and needs her to be present for him in the mornings. She has not been happy with the way she approaches drinking, and has decided to pursue the health and lifestyle benefits of cutting it out of her life for now.
Celebrities who express that they have never had an interest in consuming alcohol include Blake Lively, Jennifer Hudson, Tyra Banks, and Kathy Griffin.
Celebrities have similar lived experiences to the rest of society, and it is often easy to be critical of them. While we can be negatively persuaded by the influence of celebrities shown in the media, we often miss the positive advice they share and what we can learn from them. There are many benefits to limiting alcohol consumption, and this information can come from various sources, including celebrities.