What can we learn from celebrity documentaries?

Celebrities are an interesting part of our society as they are famous for a reason, often wanting and needing the attention of others because of what they do. This could be due to them being a singer, and therefore they need record sales, or they could be a sportsperson who is motivated by winning and also by how much it means to the fans when they do. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that celebrities are real people, just like you and me. It’s just that what they do is in the public eye and often under the scrutiny of millions of people. Therefore, when celebrities make documentaries about subjects close to their hearts, it can make people sit up and take notice because two elements that are usually separate come together – a famous person and real life. There are two documentaries that have made me sit up and take note in the past few months and they are ones that are currently on BBC Iplayer. ‘Jesy Nelson: Odd One Out’ and ‘Me, My Brother and Our Balls’.

‘Odd One Out’ – Jesy Nelson

‘Odd One Out’ is a documentary by Little Mix star Jesy Nelson, which won the National Television Award for ‘Most Popular Factual Entertainment Programme’ in January 2020. Many people don’t feel like they fit in – that could be at school, at work, in their friendship group or even within their family. It’s a common feeling that can have multiple levels of impact. In Jesy’s documentary she spoke about the negative comments she endured on social media due to people’s opinions on the way she looked on The X Factor (Little Mix won the competition in 2011), and in the months and years afterwards. It was horrible to hear about how much she had suffered, and the documentary made a huge impression on people as it looked into just how much of an impact nasty comments on social media have on people. From watching this, I learnt about how widespread this issue is because it is not just people in the public eye who have to endure such nastiness online, anyone can become a victim of it. It was also good to find out how much support there is out there for people who have suffered from their experiences online.

Image from Pixabay

‘Me, My Brother and Our Balls’ – Chris Hughes

‘Me, My Brother and Our Balls’ was only released onto iPlayer last week and I’m really glad I watched it as it was an eye-opener into a topic that people don’t really talk about. In the documentary, ‘Love Island’ star Chris Hughes and his brother Ben talk about male infertility and their own experiences of problems they have had, and are still going through. I’ve been aware of Chris’s story from when he appeared on ‘This Morning’ back in 2018 and undertook a live testicular examination. I remember thinking how brave he was to do that, and how brilliant it was to show people how easy it is to carry out and how important it is. Not only did the documentary talk about testicular cancer, it also spoke about male fertility and like they said in the documentary, female fertility is spoken about a lot, but male fertility isn’t. I definitely learnt from this to think about males as much as females when thinking about this subject area, and how it is just as important to men as it is to women when we talk about people becoming parents.

Both of these documentaries spoke about an area that needs to be addressed within our society, whether that be on a collective scale or individually within our own lives. Most importantly though, they are bringing with them an ability for the audience to become aware of such important topics. Learning about how comments on social media can have such a devastating effect on people, and to understand more about the impact fertility issues can have on males, has allowed me to gain valuable knowledge that I can talk about with people in my own life if the topics arise. The draw of celebrities being the people who fronted these documentaries was key in my choice to watch them, but I am so glad I did.

Are there any celebrity documentaries you have watched that have had an impact on you? Leave a comment and let me know.

Published by thekeepingapproach

My new personal development blog focuses on learning, both academically and through our lives every day.

4 thoughts on “What can we learn from celebrity documentaries?

  1. I’ve seen Jesy’s one and it was so raw. I’m yet to watch Chris’ one but I’m really interested in the subject and how I can raise awareness for males!


    1. Yes, Chris’ one is very interesting in terms of it’s not an area people really discuss, but why is that? It’s very thought-provoking. Jesy’s one is so sad as you see how much of an impact it’s had.

  2. I haven’t seen these particular documentaries but they sound like they’re worth checking out and very moving/informative. I think anything that throws a light on things that need to be destigmatized or more openly spoken about is a good thing. Thanks for sharing.

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