John Legend's 'swimming goals', and other celebrity examples we can follow
Advertisement

John Legend's 'swimming goals', and other celebrity examples we can follow

It's not often we can look to the rich and revered for some worthwhile life inspiration – unless, that is, you're actively looking to, say, die from a fentanyl overdose, get embroiled in an unsavoury sex scandal, or lose your career and fortune via a social media backlash.

Which is why singer John Legend made such a heartwarming impact with a throwaway reveal posted on Twitter this week.

"I can't really swim," the 40-year-old wrote. "Today I took my first swim lesson since I was like 5. My dad learned in his 60s so I feel like I'm ahead of schedule."

Beloved celebrity couple John Legend and Chrissy Teigen.

Beloved celebrity couple John Legend and Chrissy Teigen.Credit:Jordan Strauss/AP

Advertisement

His unlikely announcement elicited a range of positive responses. Olympic swimmers offered their support and coaching services, while activists drew a line from Legend's aquatic inexperience to the US's era of segregation, where African-Americans were denied access to beaches and public swimming pools.

As someone who also can't swim – and this despite being born and raised about two blocks from Bondi Beach, back when working class migrant families were still allowed to live within eye-shot of the sea and dumb surfers awkwardly navigated its sewage-strewn waves – I found hope in Legend's announcement.

Well, to an extent. I have no interest in frolicking among the shark-filled depths, or venturing further into the ocean beyond a knee-high tide, but the reminder that it's never too late to learn a new skill – even if you're one of the just 15 people in history to achieve EGOT status – is heartening.

Here are some other celebrities with examples worth following.

Chris Pratt's self-sufficiency

Jurassic World star Pratt has been documenting his foray into self-sufficient farming online, all images of him hacking down trees and toiling the land. One post, however, proved somewhat controversial.

"Look at all this glorious food! We will eat off him for a month. His wool is becoming yarn as we speak," wrote Pratt, alongside a picture of a one-time family pet wrapped in rosemary and delicately prepared into lamb racks, legs and bellies. Understandably the post drew the ire of vegetarians and vegans, but also weirdly enough carnivores who imagine their steaks fall into plastic packets via leprechaun magic.

Again, I don't want to kill my own pets for food, but it's a decent idea for a Hollywood A-lister to share, a reminder that we're all capable of living more sustainably and limiting our waste, even if we already wasted everyone's time by starring in Passengers.

Anne Hathaway's sobriety stretch

Have you ever been so hungover during a morning day care drop-off that you've publicly committed to not drinking again until your children are of legal age? Anne Hathaway did, on a recent episode of Ellen.

"I'm going to stop drinking while my son is in my house, just because I don't totally love the way I do it and he's getting to an age where he really does need me all the time in the mornings," the Oscar winner explained, estimating she'd stay sober for "18 years".

Although Australia's average boozing has already dropped to a half-century low of just "224 stubbies a year", curbing our alcohol intake to set a better example for our children is a noble goal. Of course, 18 years is a long time, and, as I've found, sobriety is more or less inadvisable while your toddler is still in a Wiggles phase. Fourteen straight repeats of Fruit Salad, and you'll also need a tipple to take the edge off.

Kelsy Karter's Styles-ish devotion

The kids don't scream "#YOLO" anymore, instead they just go to the local tattoo shop on Harry Styles' birthday and get the One Direction pop star's face tattooed on their cheek.

That's what rising Kiwi pop star Kelsy Karter did this week to the world's horrified dismay. "I honestly don't know how to do anything half-arsed," the 25-year-old later explained.

I dunno, it's an admirable way to live. If I had Kelsy's example when I was a kid, I'd be walking around with a Donnie Wahlberg tattoo on my face right now, and I'd be fine with that. Celebrities, keep leading the way.

Robert Moran is an entertainment reporter at The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age

Most Viewed in Entertainment

Loading
Advertisement