Featured Celebrity Samaritan – Shaun Robinson: Giving girls a blueprint for success with “Exactly As I Am”

Not every young girl has an older sister to look up to, a mother willing to listen, an aunt who makes time, or even a mentor who reaches out regularly. So when girlfriends are too busy, or even a male friend or family member isn’t the person you want to turn to for advice, sometimes you just need some words of wisdom – from a book.

Shaun Robinson, known for her dynamic role as Access Hollywood’s TV Host, is also an author, and wrote a book targeting these young women. What is the book about, specifically? It’s in the title: Exactly As I Am: Celebrated Women Share Candid Advice with Today’s Girls on What It Takes to Believe in Yourself (Ballantine Hardcover). The book is an honest look at some of the challenges young girls are having to face, including self-acceptance, choosing friends, taking care of and staying true to yourself, and of course, the topic of boys. Shaun addresses each issue from her own point of view, writing candidly about her experiences and outlooks.

What’s nice about the formula for her book is that she intersperses her insights with the wise words of some very notable women, including Jamie Lee Curtis, Celine Dion, Diane von Furstenberg, Janet Jackson, Patti LaBelle, Queen Latifah, Nicole Miller, Julianne Moore, Mandy Moore, Martina Navratilova, Nancy Pelosi, Diane Sawyer, Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, Gabrielle Union, Meredith Vieira, Vanessa Williams, Alicia Keys, Jennifer Hudson, Oprah Winfrey, Eva Mendes, and Nancy O’Dell among plenty of others. It’s like having that older sister, mother, aunt, mentor and girlfriend, at their fingertips! Another beautiful thing is that the book is also filled with quotes made by young girls.

And so, as we commend Shaun for her message, the young girls who read the book will gain insight, first hand, from some solid women who have experienced the things they are going through, first hand. You know, as much as the young readers will learn from the book, I think there are several things adults can take away from it as well. How do I know, you ask? Because it’s been a part of my collection too!

“A lot of people say that I’m smart, and they have high expectations for me. And when I sometimes fail, I’m afraid I’ll fail again, and I don’t want to disappoint people.” – Lorraine, sixteen

“Very early on, I became my own best friend.” – Diane von Furstenberg

You can go to the book’s website to learn more about it.

Kendra Kabasele


Olivia Wilde: Artists for Peace and Justice

I couldn’t get to the computer quickly enough to tell you all about this celebrity optimist! On tonight’s Access Hollywood, while Olivia Wilde was being interviewed about her two latest projects, “Cowboys & Aliens” and “The Change-Up”, she was also asked about her recent alleged jab at the Kardashians in a Marie Claire Magazine print interview (August 2011 issue). While the star explains that the remark was not an insult to the Kardashians, whom she says she doesn’t even know personally, she explains that it’s the obsession with celebrity that has her worried. Olivia’s direct quote from the Marie Claire interview:

“I’d like to refocus everyone’s attention away from the Kardashians and onto Doctors Without Borders or aid workers. Let’s redefine scandal. Scandal is not who so-and-so is dating; scandal is the fact that 1.2 million people are still living in tents in Haiti, and cholera is rampant because Nepalese U.N. soldiers dumped [excrement] from their Porta-Potties into the river. That’s a [freaking] scandal. If the average 15-year-old was hearing about that instead of so-and-so’s plastic surgery or cheating in Hollywood, I’d feel better about our future.” (Source: Marie Claire Magazine, August 2011)

It’s nice to see she’s on the same page as we at Celebrity Optimist! Olivia’s website (http://www.wildethings.org) even has the cause she supports, Artists for Peace and Justice, on her landing page.

Artists for Peace and Justice (http://www.artistsforpeaceandjustice.org) is a non-profit organization that supports the sometimes forgotten communities in Haïti, that were devastated by the January 12, 2010, 7.0 magnitude earthquake.

While the organization was founded in 2009, before the earthquake occurred, their mission continues to be “to build schools to serve the poorest areas of Haïti, providing an education, hot meals, clean drinking water and regular medical treatments to the children living in the slums.” Their intentions continue to be maintaining the country’s people as a priority, to insure that they are given the resources they need to rebuild and flourish.