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October 29, 2010

Am I wrong to be offended at celebrities asking for money?

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American tennis player Serena Williams attends  Burberry  Spring/Summer catwalk show at Fashion Week in London on September 21, 2010.   UPI/Rune Hellestad Photo via Newscom
29 October 2010

It never ceases to amaze me when famous people appeal to the general public to help raise money for something, be it orphans, starving children in Africa or people stuck in the aftermath of a natural disaster.

The latest campaign is called "Buy Life", and features the likes of Willow and Jaden Smith, songstress Alicia Keys, E! presenter Ryan Seacrest, rapper Usher, actress Katie Holmes, DJ Swizz Beats, socialite Kim Kardashian, sports star Serena Williams and many others, who have all modelled t-shirts as part of efforts to raise money for children living with HIV/Aids and provide necessities such as shelter, nutrition, education and basic needs.

These people must be some of the wealthiest people in the world. They spend millions on their homes, their beauty products, their pets...

But they want normal people around the world, making normal salaries, to help raise money.

Let me put this into perspective:

Celebrity Values (estimated, according to celebritynetworth.com ):
Katie Holmes: $25 million
Alicia Keyes: $35 million
The Smiths: (Jaden Smith $8 million + Will Smith $188 million + Jada Pinkett-Smith $20 million) = $216 million
Swiss Beatz: $8 million
The Kardashians: Kim $12 million + Kourtney $4 million + Khloe $4 million = $20 million
Ryan Seacrest: $75 million
Serena Williams: $85 million
Usher: $50 million
Jay Sean: $2 million

Altogether, just these celebrities are worth $514 million. And they're just a handful of celebrities.

Sure, I understand that this is just net worth (ie. they might not literally have this much money in the bank), but they sure do have a hell of a lot more than the normal guy on the street, to whom they are now appealing.

Am I judging them unfairly?

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