What Would Ellen Do?

Ellen DeGeneres
Photo by celebrityabc on Flickr

I first became inspired to write about Ellen DeGeneres after recently re-listening to President Obama’s presentation of the Presidential Medal of Freedom to her in 2016. During his speech, he pointed out Ellen’s bravery with issues surrounding the LGBT community, and the impact that she makes uniting people through laughter.

I already knew how much Ellen was loved. My mom is a super-Ellen fan. Each weekday at 4pm ET, ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ is on in her office. (I am pretty sure that show is the ONLY reason she has a TV in her office!)  Yet, I didn’t really realize just HOW MUCH until two years ago, while volunteering with the Miss USA Organization helping contestants with their interview skills, Ellen’s name started coming up every week. Some common mock questions we asked the contestants were: “Who would you pick to be our next president?” or “Who is one of the best role models for young women today?”. Almost every contestant answered Ellen DeGeneres. One week I interviewed seven women in a row, and each one said they would vote for Ellen for president… EVERY. SINGLE. ONE!

Then recently, after re-listening to her presentation from Obama, I really wanted to analyze WHY everyone loves her. So, I started digging and talking to people about exactly why they loved her. Here is what I came up with:

SHE MAKES US LAUGH

From her dance parties, games of ‘Speak Out’ and ‘Heads Up!’, to dressing up like ‘Glinda the Good Witch’.  She is always having us laugh at SOMETHING, rather than laughing at SOMEONE.  She never speaks ill of or makes fun of others.  And in all of this, teaching us to never take life too seriously, and that pictures of babies and videos of animals always makes everything better.

SHE TEACHES US TO GIVE

Ellen constantly gives away money or gifts to her show guests. Not to mention her ‘12 Days of Giveaways’, when she pretty much gives away more gifts than Santa Claus on Christmas.

SHE MAKES US THINK

‘Psychology Today’ wrote an entire article about Ellen, and how she is not just a funny comedian, but also adds sociopolitical commentary into her shows.  And in a non-preachy way reminds us to always be kind, slow down, and be accepting of others.

This following remark by President Obama sums it up perfectly:

In every role, she reminds us to be kind to one another and to treat people as each of us wants to be treated … Again and again, Ellen DeGeneres has shown us that a single individual can make the world a more fun, more open, more loving place — so long as we “just keep swimming.”

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