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It’s time for the second annual Acculturated Celebrities Behaving Well Award!
While we all can remember Kanye West’s hissy fit over two wheelchair-bound fans refusing to stand at one of his concerts, Stephanie Seymour’s questionable Harper’s Bazaar spread, and all of the Ray Rice drama, we sometimes overlook all the admirable things that our beloved pop-culture icons have done in the past year. Perhaps not as attention getting or headline-worthy as whatever happened in that elevator with Jay-Z and Solange, our nominees for this year have quietly earned our respect, and we think they deserve some recognition.
Please take some time to review our list of nominees, their good deeds, and their preferred charities and cast your vote at the bottom of the page. The winner of our contest will be announced on Monday, March 2, and we will award their charity with a $2,500 donation.
Drumroll please…and the nominees are:
Angelina Jolie for brilliantly and beautifully making her wedding to long-time love Brad Pitt into a pro-family statement. With all her money, fame, and Hollywood connections, Jolie could have easily been the star of the glamorous, lavish, bride-centric wedding extravaganza that is typical of celebrities of her stature, but instead chose to allow her children to not only attend, but to be intimately involved in the ceremony: as ring bearers, pastry chefs, menu planners, and dress designers. We can’t think of a better or more powerful pro-family statement than this one. Angelina’s charity is the Maddox Jolie-Pitt Foundation. Click to find out more about the foundation and their work.
Kevin Durant for selflessly thanking his mother while accepting his NBA MVP award, famously telling her “You’re the real MVP” for showing him the strength and determination needed to achieve his goals. Durant is affectionately known as “the nicest guy in the NBA,” and we can’t think of anyone more deserving of that title—and ours—for being such an excellent role model for anyone who’s had to overcome adversity to achieve their goals, and for not forgetting or taking for granted the hardships and sacrifices made by the people who helped to get him there. Kevin’s charity is the Kevin Durant Charity Foundation. Click to find out more about the foundation and their work.
Pope Francis for conducting the wedding ceremonies of 20 couples, which included a woman with a child out of wedlock and numerous cohabitating couples. In a much speculated-about move, Pope Francis has shifted the conversation away from the “negative minutia” and towards the positive bigger picture: that choosing marriage builds healthy, loving families, and that marriage “sets couples and families once again on the right path.” In a world so quick to pass judgment, we think it is refreshing, and quite Christ-like to welcome these couples into marriage in such a loving and accepting manner. Pope Francis’s charity is Catholic Charities USA. Click to find out more about the organization and their work.
Taylor Swift for reaching out to one of her adoring fans to give her real, thoughtful, honest advice about an unrequited love. Despite that we are now in an age where our celebrity idols have never been as accessible due to the multitude of social media platforms available to celeb and non-celeb alike, many stars are presumably too busy to even acknowledge their legions of fans, let alone personally respond to them with such tenderness and understanding. We commend Taylor for doing just that. In response to a post from a fan via Instagram requesting some relationship advice from Taylor, she gave truly sincere and heart-felt advice that was both useful and uplifting. Taylor is associated with Wish Upon a Hero Foundation. Click to learn more about their mission.
Kate Middleton for maintaining a certain level of class and decorum in the pop-culture sartorial scene. With a limitless clothing budget, a filled to the brim social calendar, and designers falling over themselves to dress her, the Duchess of Cambridge has her pick of pretty much anything she’d like to wear. Following in her late mother-in-law’s footsteps as a royal fashion plate, we can’t stop admiring the smart, stylish, and modest ensembles that both keep Kate on international best-dressed lists as well as live up to the prim and proper style expectations befitting the future Queen of England. We love that Kate manages to dress the part of the wife of a prince, yet also manages to choose outfits that regular girls around the world want to wear as well. She’s our fashion inspiration! Kate’s charity is The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry. Click to find out more about the foundation’s work.
Justin Timberlake for his unprecedented awe and humility during his recent visit to Israel. Despite not being outwardly religious, Timberlake shared photos of himself praying at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, and respectfully stated his reverence for the holy site. We applaud Timberlake for not politicizing his decision to perform a concert in Israel, despite the increasing tensions surrounding that decision felt by many performers. How refreshing to see a celebrity take a respectful approach to a potentially polarizing political issue and stick by it, with no back pedaling, explaining away, or whining about those who disagree with his views. Justin is associated with Musicians on Call. Click to find out more about their mission.