Here is a little abridged version of Traci’s live show “One for the Books” with LAist. This time around, it’s a conversation with friends of the show Chelsea Devantez and Rachel Lindsay. We talk about Rachel’s book, why we should care about celebrity memoirs, the Bachelor franchise and so much more.
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*Due to the nature of podcast advertising, these timestamps are not 100% accurate and will vary.
Traci Thomas 0:00
Alright y’all The Stacks Unabridged is here. I’m just popping on to let you know that this episode is abridged. It is an abridged version of my live show One for the Books that I do every other month in LA with LAist. I’m joined by Rachel Lindsay, friend of the podcast, author, TV personality, podcast hosts and the first ever Black lead on the franchise The Bachelor with the 13th season of The Bachelorette, and friend of the podcast, Chelsea Devantez, who you all know as the host of the Celebrity Book Club podcast with Chelsea Devantez. She’s an Emmy award nominated TV writer and a comedian. Rachel and Chelsea are two of my favorite people in the book space. And we have a blast talking about all sorts of things. And sometimes we talk about books. So enjoy this abridged version of One for the Books.
Please welcome your host for the evening, Traci Thomas.
Traci Thomas 1:01
Hi, everybody. Okay, so hi, welcome to one for the books. I’m Traci Thomas, I’m going to be your host tonight. Hi, my family’s here. Let’s just start with this. Thank you for coming outside, in whatever this has been. Because honestly, I did not want to come and this is my actual job. And I plan this whole night. So thank you for showing up and coming out and hanging out with us. How many people have been to a one for the books before? A some people have been now this is their third, those are my friends again. But for those of you who are new here, this show is all about books and reading, but not in the way that you think that it’s about books and reading. My whole life mission is to make books fun and accessible there has there’s just so much pretentious, bullshit around books, which is truly my nightmare because I love books. And I’m assuming if you’re here, you’re either related to me or you also love books. So we’re going to talk about books and have a fun night before we dive into our guests, which will give you a quick preview Rachel Lindsay, who many of you may know Yes, give it up. Give it up. She’s gonna be out here soon. We also have Chelsea Devantez is coming. But before we do that, I got a quick game for you guys. I don’t know if you know, but Chelsea’s podcast is about celebrity memoirs. A thing that I love and that she loves. I’m gonna talk in detail about that. But our first game tonight is called did they go steal? I’m gonna give you a celebrity memoir. And you’re gonna raise your hand and vote. Yes. Is a hand up. No. is a hand down. And I’m going to ask you it. Did this person have a ghostwriter? Okay, so first up the prince of my heart and the prince of the memoir. Prince Harry Spare. did he have a ghostwriter? Hands up for yes. Okay. He did. He did. That was a softball. I feel his ghostwriter is a guy named JR and I don’t know how to pronounce that. But he also goes through open by Andre Agassi and he also goes throat Shoe Dog by Phil Knight. Okay, next up is Jane Fonda my life so far. Hands up for yes. Okay, let’s see. Beautiful physically fit and an incredible writer. Next up we have Jennette McCurdy. I’m glad my mom died. Hands up for yes. Wow, you guys all went on her press tour as well. I did too. It’s a no for Jeanette. Next, Will Smith. He bought a book called will. Did he have a ghostwriter. Hands up for yes. You guys have no faith and well and I will not be saying anything because I do not want to be a slob tonight. But he did. Okay. Next up our former President Barack Obama Hands up for yes. It’s hard to know. Okay, show him. So Barack famously did not have a ghostwriter. And our last one tonight is his wife, Michelle Obama. How about her hands up for yes. Okay, let’s see. She did. Here’s the story about the Michelle Obama thing. She wrote the book. Nobody knew she had a ghostwriter. Then Barack when his book was coming out was like, Michelle keeps making fun of me because it’s taking so long for my book to come out. But I actually wrote mine. I would not vote for Obama for a third term. Okay, we’re done with the game. I don’t know. Did anybody get them? All right. Be honest. My mom. We’re competitive. Okay, so I’m gonna bring out our first guest tonight. It’s Rachel Lindsay. I gotta read off the card. Yeah, gonna read a little thing and then she’s gonna come out here. She’s talking backstage. Here’s the thing Rachel, Chelsea and I are in love with each other. And so I have a plan for tonight but it might just end up being all reality TV shows and you’re just gonna have to enjoy that too. Okay, so Rachel Lindsay is an attorney, media personality, author, speaker and podcaster she is the author of miss me with that a memoir in essays which you can get outside. She’s also got a brand new book called real love. It’s a novel you can get that outside salt eaters bookshop, Inglewood black woman owned incredible bookstore. Get those books. Rachel is on air correspondent with extra and co host at the ringers, higher learning with Van Lathan and Rachel Lindsay and the host of the ringers morally corrupt show. Rachel is known for making history as the first black lead in the franchise’s history on the 13th season of ABC’s The Bachelorette. She’s also best known for being here tonight with all of you come on out, Rach!
I bet you didn’t know that’s what you’re most famous for. Being here tonight.
Rachel Lindsay 5:51
I love it! Hi, everyone. Thank you so much for coming out with this weather.
Traci Thomas 5:55
Here. Here’s the book. This is the new book. Yeah, you can clap and you should. Yeah. How many books have you written? I mean, me zero. We’ll get to that. Okay, so, softball, tell us about Real Love.
Rachel Lindsay 6:09
Okay, so the idea for Real Love came about when I did miss me with that last year, if you haven’t read that, go get that as well. And that was a book of essays about my life. But I always go back to that moment when I almost said no to going on The Bachelor. So I if you know the story, coworkers came into my office and they said, Hey, should go on The Bachelor. And I ended up obviously saying yes, but I almost said no. And to humble myself, in certain moments, I always go back to you could have never had any of this if you were too afraid to take that leap. So I was wondering, what would it have been like? If I did say no. And I lived in that space that I was in where I was in the box of people pleasing, and always saying yes, and doing what I was supposed to do. So this book, real love gave me the opportunity to explore that. So real love is the name of the reality show that the protagonist in the book, Maya says no to. So she says no. And she goes on living in that box and living that life that perfectly planned life. And her friend says yes to going on to real love. And she sees what could have been for her while she’s living life, as she planned to live it and things don’t necessarily go the way that she wants to.
Traci Thomas 7:21
It’s very good. It’s fair.
Rachel Lindsay 7:23
I was so nervous for you to read it. Right?
Traci Thomas 7:25
She was freaking out. But it’s good. It’s good. It’s a little romance, a little women’s fiction, which is a phrase that I actually hate. And I can’t believe I just said it into a microphone, please. Someone added this podcast because I can edit things like that. But well, I don’t like women’s fiction, because a lot of things that are fiction that are written by men are women’s fiction, okay. But they don’t call it that they call it Jonathan Franzen. Right. Like he writes books about families and women and domestic life. And if a woman had written it, they’d call it women’s fiction. And they’d put like, you know, a heart on it, but he writes it. And it’s like, the greatest book ever written. It’s not they’re not the greatest books ever written. But you know, so I just, I’m fighting the patriarchy or whenever I want to talk about the sliding door idea. What is it about that that’s exciting to you? Like, why did you want to go deeper into that? Why not just be like, my life is awesome.
Rachel Lindsay 8:19
Well, that would be a lie, because it’s not perfect. And I’m glad that you said that. Because on The Bachelorette, that’s the life we give everyone. Everything is perfect for this perfect person looking for this perfect relationship. And we’re going to have this perfect life together. And that’s not true, because most of the relationships don’t even work out. So I wanted to show a different side of that reality. And I think most of us constantly ask ourselves, what if? What if I had said yes to this? What if I had said no to that? What if I had moved here? What if I had taken this job? And so fiction gives you the opportunity to explore that. And the sliding doors thing was very intriguing to me. But I, I watched the movie again, because I didn’t want to make the book too much like the movie. And I thought that having a reality TV show, obviously that’s where I came from. That’s how you first met me. It gave me the opportunity to explore that sliding doors through that way. So it made it a little bit different, but it was really a struggle with the book to not make it so much like the movie but I really think that the book detours from that.
Traci Thomas 9:20
What’s one thing that you’ve said? Yes to that you wished you’d said no to? Oh my gosh, since we’re Sliding Doors, I mean-
Rachel Lindsay 9:29
That I said yes to that I wish I would have said no?
Traci Thomas 9:36
Not my husband saying Brian, not my husband being an actual troll. It’s a troll who I’m married to.
Rachel Lindsay 9:44
You know what? You know what? I wish if you want Did you watch the bachelorette my season? You know what I wish I would have said no to Lee. He stayed on way too many times.
Traci Thomas 9:57
I hated him. He was a racist.
Rachel Lindsay 10:00
But I didn’t know that-
Traci Thomas 10:02
You knew. Like when you looked at his face, you sort of knew.
Rachel Lindsay 10:08
When he played that guitar-
Traci Thomas 10:11
He was giving caricature of racist. For those of you who don’t know, we’re talking about Google Lee Bachelorette, Rachel Lindsay, and you’re gonna be like, she knew
Rachel Lindsay 10:20
in my defense, I did not know. But I wish watching back I was horrified. I was like, Man, I wish I would have said no. Also to boom. You know, I said yes. To him the first night as well.
Traci Thomas 10:31
That was your season? Wahboom? I don’t know his name. He was like selling a shirt or something. He was a nightmare. Okay. That’s actually hilarious. I did not know that was you. Like, gotta get it together.
Rachel Lindsay 10:48
She’s looking at me in a completely different way.
Traci Thomas 10:51
This is something I’ve always been curious about. And I’ve never asked you in real life. So I’m asking you on stage in front of these people. I know that you’ve done a lot of work outside of The Bachelor, you’ve done a lot to distance yourself from the franchise to be your own person. You’re not really affiliated with them anymore. Except for that we know you from that. Yeah. Why write this book that brings you right back into all of this?
Rachel Lindsay 11:12
Do you think it does?
Traci Thomas 11:13
Yeah, we’re talking about Lee and WhaBoom, right now.
Rachel Lindsay 11:16
That’s my fault now we’re talking about? Clearly, um, I guess I didn’t think of it as that it brought me back to this world. Here’s the thing people will will ask me sometimes, hey, you know, you’re gonna be upset if in your title, we say they used to be on The Bachelorette. Can I ask you a question about the Bachelorette. I can’t stand people who come from this franchise and act like they weren’t a part of this franchise. It’s how you met me. You got to know me this way. I’m the first black Bachelorette. I made amazing friends. I learned a lot about myself. And I found the love of my life. Jake. Jake. On the show, so it’s still a part of, oh, I’m about to say it my journey. Sorry. But it is it’s so part of who I am. And so I don’t want to shy away from that. Yes. I’ve distanced myself from the show. But let’s be honest, they kind of pushed me away, right? Like they made me want to distance myself. But I don’t, I don’t want to say like, act like I’m not a part of bachelor nation at the same time. So this gave me a fun way to have a reality show call it something different. There’s a lot of similarities. There’s even a blogger name realistically, Stacy, you know, initial is very similar there. But I don’t know. It’s still a part. It’s still me. It’s still me. So yeah, I don’t think I mean, it’s not bringing me back to comment on what’s currently happening on the show or anything like that. Did you know comment? I can’t, I can’t I really don’t know much.
Traci Thomas 12:46
I stopped watching the season. Zack, I couldn’t-
Rachel Lindsay 12:49
This was the season that did it for you?
Traci Thomas 12:51
I mean, look at. Yeah, this was the one. We’ve talked about this. And I’ll let you guys and I’m a big bachelor fan. But I don’t know if it was citizen mixed company. But I actually don’t like when they have black leads, because I’m not watching it for that. I’m watching it for white mass. And so when you give me has shared this with me, like I don’t the show is at its best with an Emily Maynard. Right? Like where it’s just chaotic, like, love. Love. It’s not great when we’re dealing with Lee, you know,
Rachel Lindsay 13:25
I think you feel that way, because that’s how those show was for 15 years, because that’s when I came on. And then also, there’s so many other reality shows that you don’t have to everyone was waiting for the Bachelor do it because it was only the batch. Right?
Traci Thomas 13:37
Well, I was happy for you. I was like we’ve done it. Well, you better be happy. Well, I didn’t know. Yeah. I didn’t know that. But now I’m like, I don’t need it. Yeah,
Rachel Lindsay 13:47
Yeah, there’s there are other shows out there. I understand that we’ve talked about
Traci Thomas 13:51
because like, also, I think when you have a black lead or you have a lead of color, they’re not. They’re worried about representing the race or like representing something much bigger that someone like Clayton, who had a lot of sex and then had a spiral just isn’t worried about so we’re not getting that chaotic TV, you’re not giving us that like T shirt is not giving us that Matt James is not giving us that on screen though his season did spiral off screen, but like I wasn’t there for that. I don’t want to do plantation drama. I want to do I had sex with her. And I had sex with you. And now you don’t want to have sex with me. But I love you the most or whatever. You know, like that’s what I’m here for. And it’s just it’s not giving that but anyways, nobody. I’m available to workshop ABC. We okay, but I do I want to ask you about a little bit about privacy. Okay. I know you’re private with relationship with Brian. And how do you navigate it because you’re so public. And do you ever feel like okay, Do I owe a certain part of my life to the public? And so I need to fulfill some sort of covenant with publicity?
Rachel Lindsay 15:10
Well, the answer the quick answer is no, I don’t feel that way. But when you in part, the way I got to know is, when you come off the show, you’re so popular. But your your love is popular, and everybody wants to see more. And they want to see at work. And they want to see that the fairy tale work in reality. And I just remember Brian and I were getting so worked up a feeling like we had to be perfect all the time, we’d be in the grocery store. And we felt like people were watching us to see if there was an issue. I remember, there was a story that came out right after maybe a week after the show. And he was looking for calling like an Uber. And I was not by him. And the story came out that we weren’t getting along. And Brian was calling an Uber to get away from me or something like that. And as like, people were always watching us. And then we just said, You know what, we know who we are, we know what we have, we’re going to exhaust ourselves, trying to prove to everyone how happy we are. And I see it. And I’m not calling out any names. But I see it all the time in bachelor nation where these couples feel like they have to perform. That’s what it became. It became that we were performing on social media. Oh, like we have to do this. And we were on a road trip. And you have to put the cameras on. And it’s like we already did that for 10 weeks on the show. We’re good in real life. How many times do you see a couple posts that they’re on vacation and they’re they’re super happy. And then three days later, you get that worst separating post. And I just that’s never been me. And so why was I trying to be something that I wasn’t. And so it’s been healthier for our relationship where we give you what we want to give you and I think that that makes it way more special. Plus, we’re busy. You are like Brian is why it’s not here right now because he is still working. Yeah, we don’t have time for that.
Traci Thomas 16:52
If you need a chiropractor, Dr. Brian or Dr. ABS or whatever. We got a car Beverly laser center. Google Google. Are you ever? Well, I guess this is sort of a basic question. Why write a romance novel? Why go fiction? You wrote the essays. What was the pull for that? And then there’s a follow up question. But you start
Rachel Lindsay 17:14
Okay. Well, I think fiction is so fun. You know, back before everyone met me. I used to do a lot of creative writing. And I dated this guy. So going way back to high school. I went to a small private school and down the street was this art school. And it was so cool to date the guys from the art school and it was like fame. You go to that school people were singing in the hall. But I thought it was the coolest thing. They were playing instruments. They were doing monologues, it was amazing. So like I was an actor. So we would go to we would go to poet he’s he’s here in LA actually, I wrote about him and miss me with that. No, no, no. We’re really cool, though. But I would go to poetry clubs and just opened up this whole world where I got into writing in a different way. And I say, that was a time that I felt so liberated, and I just felt more like myself than I ever did before. And then I went to college and law school. And honestly, law school strips your creativity. Like it just takes it away from you. And so this was an opportunity that presented itself. And I pitched this idea the same time that I did my book of essays, and I thought, what a fun way to explore something that I never got to explore. And I feel like I’ve become more to answer your question about romance. I’ve become more of a hopeless romantic since being on The Bachelor, I think we all are secretly. But that kind of show will bring it out of you even more so and so this was a fun way to do that. It almost. It was therapeutic for me to explore a world that I almost could have had. And the book my book of essays was one way to do that within through fiction, I was able to do it in a completely other way.
Traci Thomas 18:58
Okay, here’s my follow up. You famously have used Ghost Riders, but they’re not going to talk about all the time. I’d love to hear why you talk about them. Because as people learn tonight, some people have Ghost Riders and you didn’t even know. But also what what they bring to a book for you like yeah, what why you wanted one and then what it actually does, like how it shapes a book.
Rachel Lindsay 19:22
Yeah, so I think it’s silly to not talk about your ghostwriter. If you want me to be really honest, I don’t want to present like I did this all by myself and I had no help. And I’m Superwoman. And I wrote this book. I it is such a process to work with someone and obviously I did a lot of writing but I didn’t do it alone. And that’s just the type of person that I am. Maybe that I didn’t even realize that that’s not the rule. I had help. I loved the Sophia who worked with me on mystery with that I love Alexa Martin, who helped me with real love their authors as well and so I want the opportunity to promote them because I have the plot form to do that. So I just I don’t understand it any other way. It’s just within me. And so I just feel like that’s what you’re supposed to do. For as far as the writing process for real love. Alexa working with Alexa was everything first I interviewed different authors. And she and I clicked immediately, Oh, guess what, over a love of reality television. But she was like a sister that I never had. And so she understood the concept that I wanted. And so it made it so much easier. And she was patient with me, when I would push back and say, I don’t want to do this. This doesn’t make sense. And she’s like, but this is a romance novel. And this is the format for it. But it was so much fun working with her and developing characters and picking the setting and then having certain easter eggs of my life within the book that you may or may not know, people who knew me from before will understand certain things in the book. And it also gave me a way to say things that I was too afraid to say in my memoir, I could see them through fiction, and maybe it’s about you. Maybe it’s not if you see that if you see that about yourself.
Traci Thomas 21:00
We need to bring the arts boy here immediately. Somewhat get him a car call him an Uber. We need him.
Rachel Lindsay 21:08
Yeah, it’s just it just they weren’t Michaels writers were so a part of the process that it would almost I would feel like a fraud. If I sat up here and talked about the book without mentioning them.
Traci Thomas 21:20
Shout out to them. Okay, yeah, yeah, give it up. Sophia, Alexa, Sophia,
Rachel Lindsay 21:25
King Darrow and Alexa Martin Rilla.
Traci Thomas 21:28
Okay, I’m done with you. All right. No, we’re bringing out Chelsea because she’s been so patient. Okay, let me let me give her the full treatment. Chelsea to Vaughn Tez. She’s an Emmy nominated writer, comedian, director and actor. She’s currently writing on ABC is not dead yet and was the head writer for The problem with Jon Stewart on Apple TV. Jon Stewart. And she is currently on an overall deal with 20th Century Fox developing her own shows Chelsea is the host of celebrity book club with Chelsea to Vaughn Tez, a podcast dedicated to the memoirs of pop culture icons. That is fantastic. only second to the stacks, another podcast that I love. She’s currently writing a book of essays which will be published by Hanover imprint on Harper Collins next year, Chelsea Devantez.
This is Chelsea. okay, I mentioned this before we love each other. This is Chelsea This is Rachel. There’s a lot of reality TV energy between us. It’s gonna come up we’re going to try to not do a whole night of reality TV but again,
Chelsea Devantez 22:39
well, I spent our entire green room telling them about MILF Manor on Discovery TV plus,
Traci Thomas 22:45
Are you watching? Who is anybody else watching MILF Manor? My best friends.
Chelsea Devantez 22:49
Oh, okay. You’re in on it just real quick. It’s it’s MILFs. Right? And they want to date younger men and the younger men is their sons. But they didn’t know that, but they don’t know it.
Traci Thomas 23:01
So the moms aren’t dating their own sons. But when the reveal happens, there’s 12 MILFs. And there’s 12 sons who love melts. And Chelsea are burying the lead. They’re staying in the same room as their son.
Chelsea Devantez 23:15
Yes. Listen, Discovery plus, okay.
Traci Thomas 23:20
This show is sponsored now by discovery plus. When talking about celebrity memoirs, we brought Chelsea up here you’ve written one you read them on your show, you talk about them a lot. Can you give us a quick history lesson Chelsea on the evolution of celebrity memoirs, because I know you know, yes,
Chelsea Devantez 23:39
I would love to. So female celebrity memoirs are different than what I call men’s mores, which are male celebrity memoirs, male celebrity memoirs arc has gone like this. Okay, so they, they’re, they’re like Matthew McConaughey is is my favorite. He’s just, it’s just like a long poem about his dick. And like, his dad comes in, it’s like, pretty vague. You’re just kinda like what they’re kind of all like that. female celebrity memoirs for a long time, they would have to be like half style books. So it’d be like I’m gonna tell you a little bit about my life. I’m so sorry. But I will tell you how to dress for a short torso blue eyeshadow was in you know, the old ones would give like long makeup tips. And and because we didn’t have the internet, and the back would be like stores you should should shop at. So delta Burke who was in designing women would be like, Hey, if you are, if you are any bigger than a size six, here’s some brands I found. And they would be like in the back of the book. So but in these books, I have found that female celebrity memoirs have always really shared their truth and the truth about women, which is that in these books, you will find tons of trauma, a lot of really big hardships and it’s kind of wild to me because we’ve thought of these memoirs as trash books, because they wanted us to do They wanted us to think like, Oh, these like trashy, like sell out lady books, and every one you open is the story of a woman who wanted something more out of life. And in order to get it, she had to venture through the patriarchy. And horrible stuff happens in these books, horrible stuff. And so I would say the Ark is that more recently, we have come to appreciate the vulnerability. And what they’ve been offering this whole time, Jessica Simpson started a revolution, where what she offered in her book was just so much more than what people gave Jessica Simpson credit for that everyone was like, Oh, my God, like these books are good. And then they had to go back and see that they’ve been good this whole time. And now more celebrity women are encouraged to write authentic, vulnerable books, you will even see women like Padma Lakshmi, who in her book is, you know, it’s a good book, she shares a lot. And now she’s sharing like, actually had an abortion at 14, and didn’t have the support, and the feeling that she could put it in her book, but will now share it because that’s where we’re at.
Traci Thomas 26:05
Do you feel like because that’s my aunt. Your her aunt? Yes, that’s my family. And my husband who is in big trouble. Him and Brian are gonna fight later, I will put it on Instagram Live. I’ve heard you talk about this a little bit, but hearing you talk about the whole kind of arc of everything. It feels like now, the ones that aren’t vulnerable, or that our style books or whatever are the ones that were shitting on?
Chelsea Devantez 26:36
Yes. Which I you know, I don’t want to like shit on anyone’s bug. But like, it’s nice. It’s nice that everyone’s shitting on them because it says that like we value women as a whole. You don’t have to just tell us about makeup anymore. You know, and I will say if you want to tell us about makeup, go on Instagram. Don’t write a book.
Rachel Lindsay 26:55
Who’s doing that?
Chelsea Devantez 26:56
Oh, so many people.
Traci Thomas 26:59
JLo’s, you hated.
Chelsea Devantez 27:00
So J Lo’s is a pamphlet with great PR that said it was a book. But it’s just so many it’s so many just it’s beautiful photos, beautiful photos of her but she-
Traci Thomas 27:14
Gowns, beautiful gowns.
Chelsea Devantez 27:16
Great, great photos. But yeah, she just And it’s funny, because did you guys see the JLo? Doc? Yes, you’re not okay. So you can tell that someone on Joe’s team said hey, we are valuing women being authentic and real. We value that now. And she’s coming out she’s It’s something she doesn’t have it in her but jail is never wanted to do that. So in the dark, you can see her being like, I’m gonna be real No. And her hair is like a little messy. You know? But she’s like, but she tried she tried because that’s what we’re valuing. Yeah. Okay, so
Traci Thomas 27:53
I’m gonna turn this on you, Rachel. Now you’ve written your celebrity memoir. Did you feel nervous or uncomfortable or scared or whatever to share your vulnerable stories? Like, how were you thinking about it going in?
Rachel Lindsay 28:05
No, I’m a complete open book. I was nervous to tell family business because I didn’t want to get in trouble with my family. And I was nervous for exes to read it. Like, did
Traci Thomas 28:18
they read it? Yeah,
Rachel Lindsay 28:19
I had an Ex DM me. Yes. Not THE ex. The ex would never. If you read the book, you know who I’m talking about. Not the Ex because he doesn’t have my number. He’s probably various. But the one who did DM me said everything that you said was true. And I’m actually raising daughters. And so what you said really resonated with me. And it’s, I’m taking it into account as I raised two young girls, so like, that actually meant a lot to me. But I I just I’m not nervous to talk about me at all. I just put it all out there it is what it is. You can hate me love me. I don’t I don’t care.
Traci Thomas 29:00
Okay, so let me know. I’m not asking you this because I know what your answer will be. Chelsea, why should we care about celebrity memoirs? Like why shouldn’t we just read stories about abortions at 14 or vulnerable women from writers who are trained professional writers? Like why should we be supporting people who are actors or makeup artists or whatever? unprofessional?
Chelsea Devantez 29:25
I don’t I don’t know, the makeup artists every memoir,
Traci Thomas 29:29
like Delta Burke’s.
Chelsea Devantez 29:31
Okay, um, you know, I can’t say like, oh, we should support them. But I will say the reason why they matter is that we have we have not offered women a lot of available positions of power in this country. For instance, President off the table. No, not for us. Okay, Vice President like maybe very attached to Joe Biden. But we the ways like women can have power in this country has forever been celebrity. That’s one of the ways that like when you look back back to like women were not even allowed to like be your manager at Taco Bell, like we still had female celebrities. And so their stories matter a lot because celebrities shape our culture. So to me when I was reading Jessica Simpson’s book, and she’s writing about how, even as a woman who had everything, she had all the money, she had all the privilege. Tommy Mottola was like you’re a fat, who’s a record Exec. He was a Mariah Carey’s husband. So he at 15 He was like, You’re fat, you should lose weight. It’s like, oh, he then put her through that. And then, and then that put all of us through that. And then when we had this, you know, I remember being at the grocery store and looking at the set, the little rack of magazines, and US Weekly, or people was like Jessica Simpson is really fat now. And that was the headline. And they had these pictures of her, which I feel like if I say it, you can all kind of think of what I’m saying. It’s like, oh, Jessica Simpson got so fat. She like broke with John Mayer. She’s so fat. And in her book, she writes, I was a size four at the time. And I had just gotten away from abusive John Mayer broke up with him nine times the tails. And I just kind of wanted to be normal. And then everyone called me fat. And I looked up those photos, and I encourage you all to do it. The moment is over and you go, that’s the tiniest woman I’ve ever seen. But it was taught to us that she was fat. So we all learned that that’s that’s what you’re allowed to look like. You’re not even allowed to look like that. And so when I look at these books and read them, it reshapes it goes back into my own history and goes like, Oh, that was wrong. That was bad. Here’s what she was feeling. Here’s what she was thinking. And she said she never spoke out at that time, because she didn’t want to body shame anyone else. She didn’t want to come out and say actually, I’m this size. I’m this way, you know, because because then that would buy to shame anyone who wasn’t. And so that to me resets our culture really looks at just like everything we’re doing, and you get to learn that Tony Romo had garbage bags on his windows as curtains. That’s fine.
Traci Thomas 31:59
And Rachel. Rachel is a Cowboys fan. So she can
Rachel Lindsay 32:04
Tony Romo fan
Traci Thomas 32:07
will say, Okay, what’s the celebrity memoir that you are dying to read both of you. I know mine?
Chelsea Devantez 32:13
Well, Rihanna hasn’t written it yet.
Traci Thomas 32:15
That was mine. Rihanna.
Rachel Lindsay 32:18
Will she ever? Oh, she’s never going to.
Traci Thomas 32:20
Okay. She barely gave you eight counts of eight at the halftime show. She’s not writing a book. Listen, I’ve watched that halftime show every single day since it happened with my children. We do the choreography every single night at home. We it’s serious for us. I love a low energy performance to me. To me that is powerful, right? Like, everyone else goes out there and gives you 19 costume changes. It’s frenetic energy. It’s all this her show was like, Hi, I’m Rihanna. You hired me. I don’t dance anymore. Like this is what I do. Her show
Chelsea Devantez 32:55
was I’m Rihanna. And that’s enough. Yeah. You’re
Traci Thomas 32:58
welcome. Because it’s hit after hit. And she didn’t even do half of her hair.
Rachel Lindsay 33:03
But she always performs like that. I’m saying yeah, like I went back and look, someone was like, go look at her MTV performance from this year. And it was the same thing. She’s a vibe. You know what I mean? She got trying to do the mall. She’s not Beyonce for that.
Traci Thomas 33:17
Like Beyonce is giving you perfection. She’s giving you every costume change. She’s hitting every mark. She’s giving you tons and tons of choreo the whole thing and we love Beyonce for that. But you cannot make Rihanna Beyonce. Because Rihanna is like drinking with Seth Meyers. You know, like she’s just that’s just her vibe.
Chelsea Devantez 33:34
She’s taking wine from restaurants in their glasses onto the street. I now tried to do and fail.
Traci Thomas 33:41
So you’re not Rihanna- update. Spoiler alert.
Chelsea Devantez 33:44
Do you know who else I want to write a celebrity memoir is Sandra Bullock because I don’t know if you guys remember this. She accidentally married a Nazi. What? Wait. She accidentally married a goddamn Nazi. She found out he was cheating. And he was doing like Nazi cheating. The guy in Austin was she was an odd Yeah, like motorcycle guy. Too late to
Rachel Lindsay 34:08
really buddy’s book. She wrote a fucking book. Like I don’t even know how you get that far yet. You have totally turned me off from her.
Chelsea Devantez 34:15
I know. But here’s the thing. She’s still around come clean.
Traci Thomas 34:19
She hasn’t done enough recently.
Chelsea Devantez 34:21
She didn’t know you guys.
Traci Thomas 34:22
I mean, it was. Rachel didn’t know Lee was racist. Sandra Bullock didn’t know she married a Nazi. Like he’s got like swastika tattoos. What’s going on in Hollywood?
Chelsea Devantez 34:35
She didn’t know. I have to believe I believe
Traci Thomas 34:40
Who’s your celebrity? Oh, it has to be it would have to be Rihanna. Rihanna. Yeah. I would also take out from the library because I don’t want to support Kanye West. I kind of want to know though, wouldn’t give you
Rachel Lindsay 34:54
I don’t know if I would believe it.
Traci Thomas 34:56
I don’t know. So here’s okay. So I love celebrity man. Omar’s, I read a lot of them not as many as Chelsea and I can cosign Jessica Simpson says fantastic but another one that I personally found to be fascinating, though, totally not what the person thought it was going to be, is Will Smith’s. So Will Smith memoir very entertaining. Great read. When I tell snitch, it’s a self snitch. Exactly. And I think Kanye might give us that. I think he might hire a ghostwriter who will say all the things because how it works I My understanding is how it works is they go into the room with their ghostwriter. They work with them for months, they tell all their stories. And then the ghost writers put it together and make this narrative and they’re the professional writers. And so sometimes, the actor or the performer is saying XYZ XYZ, and the person’s like ABC, ABC. And so you’re getting like this insight, because they’ve spent all this time with the person and they’re shaping their story for the audience. And so Will Smith’s I finished it two weeks before the slap and my snitchy husband will tell you that the moment the slap happened, I was like, I am not surprised. I see this, this tracks so hard with what I just finished reading. But I think that if I hadn’t read it, I would have you know, if
Chelsea Devantez 36:13
you read it, you knew he was gonna hit somebody because it was coming. The whole book is like my mother was abused. I was the oldest I watched and my younger brother had the courage to stand up for her and I didn’t and I’ve tried to make it up for to her my whole life and you’re like, well, then you’re gonna hit somebody. You know? You guys thought that was too dark.
Traci Thomas 36:33
But truth is tough. So I’m hoping that Kanye will give us something like that. I don’t trust him to give us more maybe North will give us something like now
Rachel Lindsay 36:41
I would read her book. I would read North one of the kids.
Traci Thomas 36:45
Rachel Lindsay 36:47
Chelsea Devantez 36:49
Do you think? We’ve had we’ve had conversations
Traci Thomas 36:53
Hey, Meghan, Markle? It’s too late. We can’t start this.
Chelsea Devantez 37:00
Are you curious about the book?
Traci Thomas 37:02
I will read it in five seconds, and I will tear it down.
Rachel Lindsay 37:05
I we we have talked Yes. Off mic about this. And she’s very hurt. I have very similar opinions. I would read it.
Chelsea Devantez 37:13
Traci Thomas 37:14
Did you read Harry?
Rachel Lindsay 37:15
Traci Thomas 37:16
I did. She did. We did.
Rachel Lindsay 37:18
Did you like it?
Chelsea Devantez 37:19
Traci Thomas 37:20
Yes and no. For similar reasons. So Will Smith.
Rachel Lindsay 37:24
You know what? With Megan, I would read it because I would want something different from her. No wonder I wonder if she would give us there’s such a narrative. And it’s it’s starting to change in regards to her that I would want her book to be different. And my curiosity would make me read the book. Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. How self aware? Is she?
Traci Thomas 37:45
very self aware. That’s what we’re getting. We’re getting her performance of self.
Chelsea Devantez 37:51
No, but not aware enough to know how to perform it better. Exactly.
Traci Thomas 37:55
It’s working with somebody. I don’t know. I would read the book. 1000. And if it comes out, I’m Oh, you’re suffering?
Chelsea Devantez 38:02
I will say Tracy is is coming on for Jada Pinkett Smith. And Will Smith together. Yeah. Because Jay, this book is dropping this fall. No one’s excited. I can feel the crowd and Tracy said I’ll be there.
Rachel Lindsay 38:14
Whose book is coming out that I’m actually interested in Kerry Washington. You’re on?
Chelsea Devantez 38:19
I just booked Rachel.
Rachel Lindsay 38:23
Very interesting. That’s good. Yeah,
Chelsea Devantez 38:26
I am very interested. And I think she’s gonna go deep. Yeah, I can feel it from her. You can tell she’s like she’s got sincerity. Kerry Washington. Yes.
Traci Thomas 38:33
Okay, I’m open. I’m watching imprisoned. I like it. I’m open. Sure. I go into every celebrity memoir being like, show me what you have. I never go in being
Chelsea Devantez 38:45
like someone watching Santa comedy. We’re like, show me your fun. Well,
Traci Thomas 38:48
you weren’t here last time, but I despised comedy. And I don’t go because I hate it. Too much pressure. But yeah, because I’ve been burned so many times. Right? So have you when you read a celebrity memoirs, sometimes they’re trash and like bad and boring, and they’re not giving the vulnerable stuff. So then when you get to Jessica Simpson or Demi Moore or Viola Davis or Jennette McCurdy you’re like, holy cow. This is like you’re working it’s working. But I would never have said going into Jessica Simpson or Demi Moore. This one’s going to be super vulnerable and interesting and gray and so I go into all of them with it’s gonna be a miss.
Chelsea Devantez 39:23
I have to disagree because I think like Jane Fonda Rue McClanahan, Delta Burke and a half style memoir told us about an eating and eating disorder. She had that letter to do math as a diet. Like I didn’t read those names. Women have been giving it to us. They really have been in a great way. Well,
Traci Thomas 39:42
I’m here for it. I can’t wait to listen to us talk about Kerry Washington. Yeah. Are you Barbra Streisand? Six ages?
Chelsea Devantez 39:48
No, it’s 1000 pages.
Traci Thomas 39:51
barbershops preorder your copy from us all leaders bookshop, but I would read I’ll read it in a heartbeat. Okay, wait, I want to say because we’re definitely running out of time we started late. You guys are getting a little late. We’re gonna go late. We’re having fun, right? Okay. Thanks, guys. Thank you. I was an actor. So I’m a little insecure. All three of us talk about things into a microphone. Meta, publicly, we have opinions about the world politics, the Royals, I want to know for you, this is just me being nosy. I want to know for you what that’s like and how you navigate it. Especially because I know both of you are people who change your mind publicly. And I think that’s really hard to do. And so I want to know how you’re thinking, and you also have other jobs, right? Like, Rachel, you go on the red carpet, and you interview someone, and then the next day on you, she talks about them on higher learning. So you know, like, what is that dance that you’re navigating, like being your own person talking about things, but also navigating this other career, you’re a writer, you’re in the rooms with people, and then you talk about their ex girlfriend, when they read write their book or whatever. So I just love to be nosy.
Rachel Lindsay 41:04
Oh, um, I think for me, I came into all of this. When I was on The Bachelor I was 31. I knew who I was, I knew what I wanted. And I knew where I was going. And I wasn’t trying to be somebody else. I wasn’t trying to pretend I wasn’t chasing after celebrity. I only knew how to be me. And I’m still that way. So, podcasting, which is where I get to give my opinions and I love it so much. I always thought that I wanted to do radio, I started doing radio, and then I was doing TV. But when I got the mic for podcasting, and being able to talk and such, and not be beholden to any network and talk in such a free space, it is the most liberating experience. And you both know that as podcasters, too. And I love it so much. And there’s such a community with it, that and maybe because I’m not doing it in front of an audience, that that also makes me feel like I don’t really care. But I don’t know, I just, I guess my brand is. And I hate to use the word brand, like you hate women’s fiction, but it’s me to be myself and to be opinionated and to say what I feel and not necessarily worry about what’s on the other side of it. Because I want to be able to look myself in the mirror at the end of the day and know that I’m being true to myself. And sometimes that’s giving a snarky opinion, sometimes that’s been a little shady. Sometimes that’s being on the red carpet saying, Tell me what you’re wearing. And then the next day being like, Oh, my God, let me tell you, it’s just but I, I love that as women, we can own who we are, have the microphone, be confident in ourselves and stand by the things that we say and not allow society, or some person tell us how we’re supposed to be and that we have to fit into a certain box. Up until I was 31. I was always living in a box. And I felt like I was the good girl doing what I was supposed to do. And then I took that sharp left turn for reality TV. And once I made that turn, I was never coming back. And so I’m just in this space now where this is who I am, this is how I want to be and holding the microphone and expressing those opinions. And whatever medium that may be gives makes me feel more myself than ever.
Chelsea Devantez 43:21
Choice inspired a lot by Rachel even before she said that. I’m a pansy. And I will say as so I’m a TV writer, I create my own stuff. And so to be in the role where you’re critiquing something is is like one very difficult for me because I’m usually on the other side being like critics don’t know fucking anything. And so to critique a book or say my opinion strongly on something, I it’s just like it weighs very heavy on me. And also with memoir, a thing I think we’ve talked about this, people have a hard time critiquing them because they feel like they’re critiquing someone’s life choices, or someone’s life events versus like how they wrote a memoir. So I have to feel something really strongly to be like fuck this or I or I don’t like this or here’s what it is like I have to go really far. I really try and like walk to this with empathy. I also think when it’s celebrities and particularly celebrity women, every everyone they almost become like inhuman, you know, so it’s like, so easy to like, be like, Oh, she did this or she did this and I try and remember it’s like it’s a real person celebrity you’re not and so I feel like when I’m sharing my opinions like if I bring like 10 pounds of baggage show it to me like all of that’s weighing on me and I’m like do I really mean this? You know, so that’s what I think about as I do it and I will say I have the most negative reviews I’ve ever gotten on my podcast where like you have to like open the app you have to like go to little thing you have to hit one star you have to type out your thing you have to put in your apple password like it’s a lot. Okay. When I reviewed the Harry memoir, I got I got my first slew of negative reviews being like, you don’t know the monarchy. Kate’s not racist, you’re a loser. And I’m like, Whoa, and like I had to take this like scorch of like, monarchy supporters and I don’t even care about demonic but uh you know so that’s a little hard and then you watch your actual podcasts like get one star Oh also they were mad that event like Matthew Perry so Matthew Perry and hairy men, Brian all these negative reviews but it’s hard it’s hard to take it and like people you know they feel protective of their things they’re like how dare you come for the prince. And your laugh is weird. And now I gotta go the rest of the day being like is my last word. Because you love the monarchy
Traci Thomas 45:50
Okay, we have to stop this which makes me want to cry. Let’s move on to dinner soon. You’re all invited. Last little bit we call this five for the books everyone who comes in does the show has to answer these five questions number one is what is the first book you remember loving? A Wrinkle in Time? So much deeper than pain. I
Rachel Lindsay 46:09
was gonna say like goosebumps are some
Traci Thomas 46:12
great what is the perfect snack and beverage for reading time?
Rachel Lindsay 46:18
Wine Believe it or not, and
Traci Thomas 46:21
popcorn. Okay, Kerry Washington
Chelsea Devantez 46:29
get your big sweater also
Traci Thomas 46:30
came in this fantastic like coat that’s giving a lot of Olivia Pope.
Chelsea Devantez 46:34
That’s very true. That’s very true. It has to be something that like doesn’t get gross on your fingers. You know? So I’ll say Martini because you get a holiday making very careful. And I am
Traci Thomas 46:47
good. Not so good. Okay, what’s the one book you hope to read before you die?
Chelsea Devantez 46:52
Oh, I mean, I hate to be this person. But like if I was like, I better read this right die. It’s in the brain. It’s the I’ve even read A Confederacy of Dunces. Like I’ve made it through the fucking list.
Rachel Lindsay 47:05
I would just say it hasn’t been written yet. I don’t know. Like that.
Traci Thomas 47:09
Okay, Toni Morrison. What’s the one book you have exactly? zero interest in ever reading? Oh, say it. Say it. Now. I must know. Megan, her Megan works for her. Don’t protect her. Go ahead. It’s a safe space. Is it? I don’t know. I don’t know what you’re gonna say. I’m scared. I don’t know how safe it I
Rachel Lindsay 47:33
I have no interest in reading. Michelle Obama’s second book. Oh, it’s yes.
Traci Thomas 47:40
And I will cosign I’ll say you don’t need to
Chelsea Devantez 47:42
It’s very bad. So I’m gonna say Tyler C’s memoir. I don’t need it. I don’t
Traci Thomas 47:50
No, we none of us needed it. And yet it exists. You can also order that from solid eaters bookshop. America has started a National Book Club, you get to pick next month’s selection. What book? Are we all reading?
Chelsea Devantez 48:04
Paris Hilton. I know. But one,
Traci Thomas 48:08
Chelsea Devantez 48:11
My mom. She went there. She really she gave us the memoir you would never have thought she was going to give us she gave us all the things except for like an apology. She skipped that. But it was really deep and it was really great. And I was shocked to have loved it.
Rachel Lindsay 48:29
Okay, I’m gonna go a little bit more serious. Yes, you should.
Traci Thomas 48:31
There’s only up from there honestly. So many more talks about
Rachel Lindsay 48:36
We this book all the time on our podcast, the sword in the shield by Dr. Peniel. Joseph and it is an autobiography of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. And it’s how their lives are more parallel than we were taught and that you may think and it’s really, really interesting and he has several books, but that’s the one to start with.
Traci Thomas 48:54
Amazing. Alright, y’all, we’re done here. Thank you. Thank you.
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