In today’s celebrity worship culture I find myself rolling my eyes at the rich and famous more than I find myself inspired by them. And I’m not sure Ashton Kutcher would have been my first guess as a source of inspiration, but his acceptance speech at the Teen Choice Awards this week hit it out of the park.
For all of his young fans, boys and girls alike heard a celeb they admire and/or crush on talk about hard work, that really smart = really sexy, and thinking outside of the box can lead you to build a life. I highly recommend you watch this video with your tween or teen because it delivers some pretty awesome talking points.
His first point was that he never considered himself too good for any job, that he never quit a job before he had another lined up, and that many times opportunity looks a lot like hard work.
His led into his second point about being sexy (to the objectifying screams of teen girls shrieking “Take It OFF!” from the audience) by saying that the sexiest things in the world are to be smart, thoughtful, and generous. I think this was important to hear from someone who is arguably a sex symbol. His message was that “sexy” is more about who you are and what you do over what you look like.
And he finished up by encouraging the audience to think outside the box, believe in their dreams, and quoted Steve Jobs by telling them to build a life, not just live one.
The video is about four and a half minutes long, and gets going around the 30 second mark. Ashton is my age, 35, so he may be realizing that with his Punk’d days over and his portrayal of Jobs changing his career, his influence over teens may be waning. At the Teen Choice Awards he acted like a matured, wise older brother imparting advice to those in the audience who could hear his words. Ashton is a very smart guy and knew the cameras would be rolling, capturing his words. I think it a great representation of a celebrity using their public platform to do good. Hopefully tweens/teen everywhere are sharing this video with their friends and taking some of the advice to heart.
Watch it with your kids and talk to them about their thoughts and impressions, you won’t be disappointed. I think our culture sells teenagers short quite often, but my guess is, if you tune into yours, they may have some really smart things to say.