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The Mirror Effect: How Celebrity Narcissism Is Seducing America

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  681 ratings  ·  92 reviews
In the eye-opening New York Times bestseller, The Mirror Effect, widely respected addiction and behavior specialist and producer/host of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew on VH1, Dr. Drew Pinsky takes a hard look at the profound changes blogging, tweeting, tabloids, and reality TV are having on the American way of life. An important wake up call for every parent, co-written wi ...more
Hardcover, 271 pages
Published March 17th 2009 by Harper (first published March 17th 2008)
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Ryan Holiday
Jul 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The Mirror Effect is the rarest of kind of book and the fact that is it very good is particularly impressive considering the odds. For a book of broad, social criticism written by a television personality to not only be scientific and well supported, but also calm and compassionate is a true feat.

The premise of The Mirror Effect is bold. Pinsky writes that the convergence of reality television, lowered libel standards and constant connectedness have combined to create a market for an
...more
RNOCEAN
May 25, 2009 rated it liked it
Based on groundbreaking new research: widely respected addiction and behavior specialist Dr. Drew Pinksy’s exploration of narcissism in celebrity culture—and how it is damaging our culture, our children, and our lives.

Britney Spears. Lindsay Lohan. Paris Hilton. Anna Nicole Smith.

Who are these troubled, and troubling, figures who dominate our national attention—celebrities, moguls, train wrecks? Why are we so deeply interested in their lives and loves, their endlessly repeated journ
...more
k.wing
Apr 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I think this book is a real eye-opener. Dr. Drew touches on all different kinds of factors that have led to the increase of Narcissism in American culture.

Although ironic to read a book about celebrities and narcissism from a, well... celebrity, I think Dr. Drew is a deeply caring person and it comes across in his ideas for solutions to the rise of narcissistic personality traits. The most pointed consideration that Dr. Drew made in the book, I think, is that when we hear stories about celebrit
...more
Constantin Minov
Mar 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
I've started reading this book because I found the real-life well reflected in the author description.
Reality TV. Celebutantes. YouTube. Sex Tapes. Gossip Blogs. Drunk Driving. Tabloids. Drug Overdoses
He raises this questions: Is this entertainment? Why do we keep watching?What does it mean for our kids?It is truth, in our days everyone have an insatiable appetite about what mass media transmits on 24/7 even if that is just "a piece of s**t that the world revolves around".We even for
...more
Gail
Apr 13, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2009
The author discusses how media and our obsession with celebrities' narcissistic behavior is "normalizing" extreme behavior--not only in our children and teenagers, but even the parents.

Social trends of entitlement, vanity, aggression and envy have subplanted the values we usually teach our children of empathy, hard work, joyfulness, etc.

The author advises breaking narcissism in a individual is hard and involves the person:
embracing a concept of something greater/practicing rig
...more
Randall Lewis
Feb 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A few chapters in I began feeling cognitive dissonance when talk of narcissism was the focal point as I began to realize how prevalent it is in our society and, most painful of all, within myself. I may not fall on the more destructive, unhealthy side if the spectrum as I am self aware and very empathetic towards those around me, however this book was an eye opening experience.

It's simple, easily digested, and paradigm shifting. I felt uneasy and much better for it, like a good medic
...more
Huma Rashid
Oct 28, 2011 rated it it was ok
This book is well written enough, and engaging enough. Books like this often aren't. Still, there's nothing in here that any reasonably intelligent person hasn't already figured out for his or herself.

The chapters discussing dealing with narcissism in your teenager, and how to avoid being a narcissistic parent, are probably helpful. I don't have kids, so I wouldn't know.
Jakub Ferencik
May 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most illuminating books I’ve read on the topic of celebrity culture. I was truly impressed with Pinsky & Young.

Both of them are practicing clinical psychologists (at least at the point this book was written) and work with A-list celebrities to overcome some of the pathological behavior they display in public. They mention Lindsey Logan, Johnny Depp, Britney Spears, the Kardashians, John Mayer, among others, and diagnose them universally as textbook narcissists.
...more
Emily
Jul 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
I've never understood why anyone would want to be a celebrity. I absolutely love wearing the same clothes for an entire week and if I'm lucky I don't bump into the same people, so no one knows because no one follows me around with a camera. I also love donuts and if I eat enough to make me fat, I don't have to read any magazine articles about it. I just have to buy new, bigger pants, which you can bet that I'll wear for at least a week straight.

Anyhow, he briefly touched on the 2008
...more
Carlos Mestas
Jun 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Incredible read delving deep into the roots of narcissism within our culture. Stemming from the media and culminating at the root of celebrity narcissism. Great detail into the trend for the average teen seeking fame while inheriting characteristics and attributes of narcissism along the way. One of the few books so far that I’m certainly re reading. Great for common knowledge or those interested in the components of psychology. Great book!!!
Dave
Nov 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Really good break down of narcissism and celebrity.
Kate
Jan 01, 2010 rated it liked it
I've grown addicted to those "Celebrity Rehab" shows on Vh1, so I thought this might be an interesting read considering Dr. Drew's involvement with a "celebreality" show.

The authors believe that we are becoming more narcissistic as a culture because of the media focus on celebrities, who model narcissistic behavior with little or no consequence. Narcissism is not about self-love but about egocentric behavior like entitlement, exhibitionism, and comes more from self-loathing and child
...more
Rhodes Davis
Jul 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
An insightful book on the influence of celebrity narcissism on the attitude and behavior of the broader culture. Dr. Drew clinically analyzes the professional Hollywood culture and the reality TV celebrities who exhibit behaviors that are praised by the media but indicative of psychological problems that need treatment. The outrageous acting-out that indicates a need for treatment is praised by the celebrity and mainstream media then emulated by those in society who are vulnerable to such behavi ...more
Tanya
Jul 22, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2010-books
As a general population, we are consuming reality entertainment that actually reflects behaviors that reveal underlying psychological dysfunctions (e.g. childhood disconnection, trauma, self-hatred) and these behaviors are spreading to the culture at large, via narcissism. What we are witnessing is changing what we consider "normal" behavior.

Re: Narcissists - they are dissociated from their true selves and feel haunted by chronic feelings of loneliness, emptiness and self loathing. O
...more
Martin
Feb 01, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Started reading it as a joke but finding it more worthwhile.

The first 80 pages were uninteresting coverage of pop culture, public narcissistic behavior. Was thinking of abandoning the book, but then found chapter defining narcissism intriguing. Particularly, the intro discussion of Greek story of Narcissus and drawing distinctions between egotism and narcissism. Drew defines narcissism as a personal inability to internalize emotions thru failed unlearned empathy leading to an unhappy
...more
Jesse
I found this book very insightful. The well-known Dr. Drew teams up with USC professor to take a look at celebrity narcissism and how it’s reflecting back on our culture. Explained in simple and clear terms, I had no trouble following this book and understanding the concepts. Like most pop-science books, it was a little draggy and dry at times but definitely worth the read. I also liked that his examples were a blend of real celebrities (Frankie Muniz, Lindsay Lohan, Nicole Ritchie) and people s ...more
Lynn
Sep 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is the first book I've read that delves into seriously studying celebrities and how their behavior impacts the rest of us. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and learned that I had the definition of narcissism wrong. Looking at it the way Dr. Drew does, as envy, changes the perspective I have on celebrity behavior and on those who mirror their behavior or openly attack their behavior. This book deals particularly with millennials and how the diva-like personalities of many celebrities h ...more
Jules
Dec 29, 2010 rated it liked it
Interesting book, from the perspective of both a psych major and a girl who hates reality TV but sometimes reads People magazine. Pinsky and Young look closely at the growing draw of celebrity "train wrecks" and the media and audience that support their continued scrutiny and popularity. I've always found the media's (and individual people's) fascination with the private personal struggles of celebrities intrusive and baffling, and the tearing down of once-idealized celebrities when they fall fr ...more
Sean Haggerty
Jun 28, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book defines narcissism in an easy to understand format.
" Each one of us falls somewhere on the spectrum of narcissism. We are all born as complete narcissists and then, based upon our emotional development in early childhood, we arrive at our adult expression of these traits. A secure attachment to a parent nurtures empathy, high self-esteem, and self-awareness. But when traumatic experiences short-circuit the delicate process of empathic development, individuals become locked in patterns
...more
Melissa
Dec 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
This book was an eye-opening revelation of some of the real, distressing consequences of our fascination with celebrities, and how constantly seeing their narcissistic behavior displayed for all to see, 24/7 is changing the way the public behaves in a detrimental way.
I think this book could actually be considered a valuable parenting tool, as there is a lot of info on child development, and how to help your child avoid becoming overly and dangerously narcissistic. This is something, given this
...more
Sandra N
Mar 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Dr. Drew, though he works with many a famous starlet, still has the courage to blow the lid off on their dysfunctional pandering to fame, which is something to greatly respect and admire.
If you want to combat the Mirror Effect of mirroring famous and popular celebrities, check out another book called These Times! A Parody in Song form. It pokes fun at celebrities in a very unique, funny way, and makes you wonder why some people ever look up to them and their sometimes ludicrous behaviors.
...more
Allison
May 27, 2009 rated it liked it
Let me just start off by saying that I love Dr. Drew. I think that he is such a an empathetic doctor and so dedicated. I really liked this book, but about halfway through it was repetitive information about addiciton, celebrities, and narcissism. However, I did learn a lot about what exactly narcissism is and Dr. Drew and his coauthor believe that celebrities don't become narcissists, they believe narcissists strive to be celebrities. He supports this thesis through many specific examples using ...more
Ana
Dec 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
The thing I like the most about Dr. Drew is the way he is able to relate and explain complex topics (behavior, emotions, psychology). He is so easy to understand without ever crossing the boundary into "I am a trained doctor and you are not." I also learned a lot about things I wonder about: why does the comments section of an online article have such blatantly cruel and odd commentary,and why do people build up celebrities and then tear them down with such glee (especially young women). He also ...more
Claire
Apr 21, 2011 rated it it was ok
An interesting commentary on the rise/encouragement of narcissism in the world of entertainment "nooz" and reality TV, and raises some interesting questions about how this is affecting culture and in particular the developing minds of children and teenagers. Interesting ideas, somewhat unnecessarily lengthy and repetitive to this reader's ear, but really appreciative of the respectful tone Dr. Pinsky takes when discussing the celebrity starlets' flaming tumbles from destructive grace under the g ...more
Michael Weaver
Jul 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Great book on how it reminds us that narcissism isn't about self-love, it is a attribute of self loathing. It does a good job on showing the after effects of the power of the media and how negative behaviors shown translates into a cultural norm for the impressionable particularly the youth looking for role models to ascribe an identity with. As in the title, living life in front of a mirror, the narcissist attempts to provoke a reaction in the observer, and the observer reacts back instead of r ...more
Mickey Reed
Jul 18, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone!
Shelves: favorites
I learned a lot from this book. I've learned to recognize the narcissistic traits in my personality, and hopefully I can keep them minimal to help improve my interpersonal relationships. I now understand how truly harmful celebrity gossip (and even personal gossip in general) can be. We all do it, but really these people need professional help to get back to a normal state. These are cries for help, not actions that should be mirrored and mimicked. Some of these things we all know, but it has pr ...more
Adrienne
Apr 11, 2009 rated it really liked it
This book is a bit redundant, but Pinsky has a very interesting theory about the trend of outrageous celebrity behavior. He believes that narcissism is at the root of this. According to Pinsky, rather than narcissism being about self-love, it's more about self loathing which results in destructive behaviors such as addictions, food disorders and other mental dysfunctions. Unless narcissists work on the roots of these behaviors in an attempt to change them, they're destined to repeat the cycle wi ...more
Kelly
Apr 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
Very interesting read. While most think narcissism is the loving of one's self, Dr Drew shows us how it is really self-loathing. Viewing our love of celebrity gossip, he looks deeper into the celebrities themselves in order to explain some of their destructive behavior.
He, also, discusses the influence this has on society and especially, our teens. Teens are always self absorbed, but he describes the point in which it becomes a disorder.
In the back of the book, there is a quiz to see
...more
Marissa Law
Sep 16, 2009 rated it liked it
I love dr. drew, and it was great that I could hear his voice when i read the book. It read very much like my sociology books in college (which I expected), so it was a little dry and repetitive. The last few chapters were the best, when he actually got to the meat of the story.

I took the test afterward, and found myself at about the average level of narcissism, with tendencies toward authority and slight hints of superiority. Not at all surprised. :)
Leanne Ellis
Mar 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
Surprisingly interesting, especially for those of us who work with or have tweens/teens. It provides a good basis for conversations about the Lindsay Lohan and Brittany Spears crowd and how to help kids navigate it all. Plus it's fun to take the NPI (Narcissistic Personality Inventory) at the end to see how your personality looks over 7 different traits. (Also fun to make friends and loved ones take the test, too.)
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David Drew Pinsky, M.D., better known as Dr. Drew, is an American radio and television personality and board-certified internist and addiction medicine specialist. He is the host of the nationally syndicated radio talk show, Loveline, which he has hosted since 1984. On television he produces and hosts the VH1 show Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, its sibling shows Sex Rehab with Dr. Drew and Sober House, and the MTV show S ...more