Thanks to the tabloids, celebrities now live every minute of their lives in the public eye. Their greatest achievements and their biggest mistakes are splashed across the front pages of magazines across the globe. And if you think about it carefully, you can learn some of life's greatest lessons from glossy magazines.
Credit card bills don't just go away
Just ask Lindsay Lohan. The troubled star reportedly owes various credit card companies around $600,000 — that's around R4.5-million.
Now, I understand that the concept of credit might be hard to grasp. And if you don't really think too often, I guess it kinda might seem like magical money that appears from nowhere. And then if you close your eyes and wish really, really hard, maybe it will disappear too.
Lindsay has (of course) denied the claims. And with a visible lack of steady income, I really hope she's right.
You can't avoid your taxes
More than one celebrity has fallen into the "I-guess-I-don't-need-to-pay-my-taxes" trap. Most recently, former 'Baywatch' bombshell Pamela Anderson.
But at least Pam has the good grace to be embarrassed about it. She Tweeted "Certain events occurred, outside of my control which caused this temporary but embarrassing situation. All of my tax obligations will be resolved in the very near future".
The tax amount owing, which dates back to April 2009, clocks in at just over R3.6-million.
Manage your own money
Or at least keep an eye on it. So many stars blame their financial problems on their accountants/assistants/managers, saying that they had "no idea" it was happening.
Sure, with massive paychecks rolling in and huge bills rolling out, most people would need someone to balance the books. But it baffles me that many celebs assume it's being done correctly — and don't check a single thing — until they find out about their massive debts in the media.
Nicolas Cage, I'm looking at you.
Step away from the social network
Now, I will confess to being a celebrity Twitter-stalker. Most of the people I follow on Twitter are celebs. So I feel more qualified in most when I say: There is a line.
I don't want to see topless photos or listen to anyone get involved in an online mudslinging match.
So put down the Blackberry. Step away from the computer. Just for one second, until you've calmed down. Or thought a little harder about what you're sharing.
This weekend, Lindsay Lohan clogged up my Twitter page with a rant against celeb gossip Perez Hilton (who spent just as much time posting bitchy links to other articles about how much of a failure LiLo was). To add to that, Lindsay then retweeted dozens of "I love Lindsay Lohan" tweets and "#TeamLindsay" tags.
The Twitter Feud has become the new Backstage Catfight. And this time everybody has a front row seat. Lee-Ann Liebenberg had a rant at her ex Danny K, Demi Moore threw a Twitter tantrum over Kim Kardashian's reference to "big pimping", and Ashton Kutcher found himself in the doghouse after posting a picture of wife Demi's bikini-clad bottom online.
Did everybody in Hollywood skip that little handy condom demonstration at school? Or do they not realise that the contraceptive pill needs to be taken regularly?
Now before you all jump on me, I don't think that you have to wait until marriage to have sex and children. After all, you'd want to road-test that Jaguar before you buy it, right?
But there are a lot of accidental pregnancies in Tinsletown. Kourtney Kardashian forgot to take her contraceptive pill and conceived with her on-off boyfriend Scott Disick. Kendra Wilkinson, former wild-child of the Playboy Mansion, had to have her wedding dress altered to accommodate her expanding baby bump, Jamie Lynn Spears rocked the tabloids with her teenage pregnancy, one slipped past the goalie for Matthew McConaughey and Nicole Richie's unexpected pregnancy turned her from party-girl to doting mom.
Never give up
It might take one try, it might take fifty. But celebrities didn't get to where they are without massive effort.
Unfortunately, raw talent isn't enough to get you to the top anymore. Hard work and persistence is a huge portion of that too.
Learn what your best attributes are, and make use of them. Learn how to market yourself — Paris Hilton is the best example of self-promotion in history. Didn't get that job you wanted? Try again. Don't just sit around and wait for good things to happen to you. Make them happen.
Nothing stays secret for long
Especially if that secret can walk, talk and sell stories to tabloids.
Just ask Tiger Woods, Ashley Cole and Jesse James of the "cheating husbands" club.
It baffles me that these men thought for one second that they could keep their infidelity secret.
People talk. It's what they do. Even if they tell just one other person your deepest, darkest secret, and that person tells one another person, well... by lunchtime you're the talk of the office.
Celebrity tabloids are testament to the fact that dirty laundry doesn't stay in the closet for long.
It can happen to you
"It will never happen to me." We all think dread diseases or sudden deaths will happen to somebody else. But the reality is — it might. Michael C. Hall — star of the hit drama series 'Dexter' — was diagnosed with fortunately treatable Hodgkin's Lymphoma. 'Dirty Dancing' star Patrick Swayze passed away after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. 'Superman', Christopher Reeve, was paralysed after a fall from a horse and remained so until his death. Kylie Minogue was diagnosed with breast cancer. Christina Applegate had a mastectomy.
It's depressing to think about, but it can happen to you.
Never be afraid to ask for help
Apparently celebrities feel as though they're invincible. That they don't need anybody's help. They're fine. Rubbish.
Addictions to drugs — both over-the-counter and illegal — are on the rise every day. Anybody can become addicted — and once you're that far gone it's almost impossible to come back on your own.
Lindsay Lohan, Amy Winehouse and Pete Doherty have become some of the poster-children for addiction, for everything from painkillers to cocaine and cough syrup. Other famous addicts and former addicts? Ozzy Osbourne, Whitney Houston, Drew Barrymore and Robert Downey Jr.
Heath Ledger died after combining too many prescription drugs. Michael Jackson's addiction to sedatives and anaesthetic killed him. And have you seen Amy Winehouse lately?
There are fantastic clinics and rehabilitation programmes across the globe geared toward helping people kick their drug and alcohol addiction. Why do some celebs refuse to use them?