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What Celebrities Contribute, Sometimes Unwittingly, to Our Understanding of Marriage and Single Life

I’m a numbers person. I like to make statements about single life based on rigorous, scientific research. But I’m also open to just about any event, person, or provocation that calls attention to relevant issues and inspires conversations.

In our celebrity-soaked culture, few people have more power than celebrities to grab our attention and get us talking. Over the years, I have often used their words and deeds as starting points for thinking about what it means to be single or married in contemporary society. Below is a collection of links to relevant blog posts, starting with celebrities in the traditional sense, then moving on to world figures, then people in politics, and finally, people in the media.

This is the latest addition to my collections of blog posts and other writings, organized by topic. If there is something about single life that you’d like to read more about (e.g., happiness, health, friendship, solitude, pets, workplace issues), you can probably find a set of links to relevant discussions there. I try to continue to update the collections so you may find some new articles if you come back later.

An opening essay: Celebrities: should we shun them, ignore them, or adore them?



Here’s the answer you are not allowed to give if you are single (Thanks, Edie Falco!)

What Kim Kardashian’s marriage tells us about everyone else’s

Is Whoopi Goldberg “single at heart”?

Why Whoopi Goldberg doesn’t want anyone to complete her

Patricia Arquette, Jon Stewart, and the no good, very bad week for women who are single or have no kids

Susan Boyle: The new face – and voice! – of the “spinster cat lady”

Taylor Swift and the unabashed love of cats

Now trending: Taylor Swift, stop being such a matrimaniac!

Does Angelina Jolie base her real life on corny movie clips?

The topic that turns smart, creative people into mindless spouters of clichés (Toure)

[Part 2 is here.]

David Brooks + Sandra Bullock = Matrimania

Identity and the separated person: How does Maria Shriver see herself now?

Here’s how hero pilot’s wife reacted when she heard the plane had crashed (Sully Sullenberger)

Manti Te’o and the revenge of the romantic fantasy

Prince William and Kate Middleton, sitting in a myth

Princess Di is dead, and so are royal weddings

World Figures

What does the most powerful person in the world want? (Barack Obama)

What does the richest person in the world want? (Bill Gates)

Does the Pope care about single Catholics?


Single, Anita Hill style: Long-term partners and separate homes

Taiwan’s new President disparaged for being single: Guess what happened next (Tsai Ing-wen)

Heard around the world: the smug comment about the female candidate who is not a mother (Andrea Leadsom and Theresa May)

Obama’s Supreme Court pick is a woman, a Latina, and…single! (Sonia Sotomayor)

Michelle Obama and Justice David Souter stand up for singles

Beyond the gay debate: Elena Kagan and what we still don’t get about people who are single

Newt Gingrich’s marital hypocrisy goes beyond his self-righteous rant

What if Monica Lewinsky had been married?

Why I wasn’t surprised that Al and Tipper Gore split

Single man with cats is in the news – cue the innuendo! (Pete Rouse)


Should Larry King be banned from remarrying?

David Brooks, nuclear family scold, cries uncle

Does Tom Brokaw think that only married people experienced grievous losses on 9/11?

Married man’s burden: Charles Murray’s prescription for a better America

Undeterred, Rush Limbaugh bashes another single woman

Rush Limbaugh and the single woman voter

[Also relevant to the theme of celebrities is this collection of links to articles on singles in popular culture.]

Photo by hans s

What Celebrities Contribute, Sometimes Unwittingly, to Our Understanding of Marriage and Single Life

Bella DePaulo, Ph.D

Bella DePaulo (Ph.D., Harvard; Academic Affiliate, Psychological and Brain Sciences, UC Santa Barbara), an expert on single life, is the author of several books, including "Singled Out: How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After" and "How We Live Now: Redefining Home and Family in the 21st Century." Her TEDx talk is "What no one ever told you about people who are single," https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyZysfafOAs. Dr. DePaulo has discussed singles and single life on radio and television, including NPR and CNN, and her work has been described in newspapers such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and USA Today, and magazines such as Time, Atlantic, the Week, More, the Nation, Business Week, AARP Magazine, and Newsweek. Dr. DePaulo is in her sixties. She has always been single and always will be. She is "single at heart" -- single is how she lives her best and most meaningful life. Visit her website at www.BellaDePaulo.com.

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APA Reference
DePaulo, B. (2017). What Celebrities Contribute, Sometimes Unwittingly, to Our Understanding of Marriage and Single Life. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 20, 2018, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/single-at-heart/2017/03/what-celebrities-contribute-sometimes-unwittingly-to-our-understanding-of-marriage-and-single-life/


Last updated: 24 Mar 2017
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 24 Mar 2017
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.