The most controversial advice celebrities have given fans

Celebrities seem to have it all: the style, the money, the success, the flawless skin that seemingly defies age (bless good plastic surgery that doesn't relegate you to Botched). One thing they usually don't have is any sort of medical degree — unless they're Dr. Phil, who's more of a diabetes spokesperson than he is a psychologist, anyway. Although "he holds a doctorate in psychology," he "is not a licensed psychologist," according to Vox.

Nonetheless, many of us still find ourselves taking advice from our favorite A-listers, especially the ones that tow the line of pseudo-doctor, but what we don't acknowledge is that most of these celebrities could be getting their information the same way we do: from Google, YouTube, their friendly cab driver, or their childhood best friend. This sometimes breeds bad advice that can even be dangerous. Think about that the next time you shove a crystal up your you-know-what. Here's the most controversial celebrity advice you could take.

Is there a vaccine for speaking too soon?

Kat Von D's career is pretty much built on controversy (and really, really good liquid liner). When she's not publicly feuding with YouTuber Jeffree Star, she's dodging claims of anti-Semitism and dressing up as the devil for her wedding day. This flair for controversy spills over into every aspect of her life, including her parenting decisions. Sure, Von D knows her away around a makeup brush, but even Von D admits that she doesn't always have the best health advice.

According to the BBC, science "overwhelmingly and indisputably" advocates for immunization. It's part of what protects the most vulnerable population. Nonetheless, in 2018, Von D revealed that she wouldn't be vaccinating her son. "As a soon-to-be-parent ... I do feel it my responsibility to have questions, and to listen to my motherly instinct to question things," she wrote in an Instagram post, defending her position. "There are also studies that show some people [including mothers, and babies] may be more susceptible to vaccine injuries more than others."

Even though the tattoo artist didn't directly encourage others not to vaccinate, she was immediately labeled an anti-vaxxer and people threatened to boycott her brand. It took two years, but she eventually owned up to her mistake (and yes, she did have her son vaccinated). "I just made a mistake, and I was completely uninformed. It was stupid, and I really shouldn't have opened my big mouth on the subject," she told the Los Angeles Times.

Eggs are best left scrambled

Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop adventures have long been criticized as wildly out of touch. Remember her failed food stamps experiment? What about her 300 calorie/day diet, or when she suggested women steam clean their lady bits and someone ended up sustaining second-degree burns? Still, few of Paltrow's suggestions have garnered as much attention as her jade egg. So what is it? An egg-shaped hunk of jade (or quartz depending on the model) that you're meant to put where the sun don't shine.

In a Jimmy Kimmel Live interview, Paltrow claimed the eggs are used in "an ancient Chinese practice" that "help[s] tone the pelvic floor." According to Health.com, Goop also claimed it could "balance your menstrual cycle" and "improve your sex life," but gynecologists weren't sold. Actually, women's health experts claimed it could harbor the kind of dangerous bacteria that causes toxic shock syndrome. In other words: stop putting stuff up there that's not meant to be up there!

According to The New York Times, Paltrow's lifestyle website was eventually sued over the eggs and an additional aromatherapy product they claimed could prevent depression. After an investigation, Goop was ordered to pay a $145,000 fine for making unsubstantiated marketing claims, but that's a small price for an epic round of free press. In a separate New York Times profile, Paltrow revealed that she uses these controversial moments, which she dubbed "cultural firestorms," to "monetize those eyeballs" that visit her site. Yup, even the rich like clickbait.

A teaspoon of turpentine a day keeps the doctor ... busy?

Listen, Tiffany Haddish has some great ideas. Sneaking fried chicken into the Met Gala was nothing short of genius, if only because our purse hot sauces finally met their match, but maybe we shouldn't take the medical advice she finds on YouTube, which is notorious for promoting conspiracy theories. In an interview with GQthe comedian urged her fans to literally drink turpentine to cure the common cold, a treatment she claimed was commonly used by slaves.

"A teaspoon of turpentine will not kill you," Haddish said, adding, "The government doesn't want you to know that if you have a cold, just take some turpentine with some sugar or castor oil or honey and it'll go away the next day."

Before you down a paint-thinner cocktail and curse the Zicam lobby, it's important to note that turpentine is highly toxic. According to Insider, the substance was used medicinally "in the Colonial Era and Industrial Era," but in modern medicine, it's only used "topically" in things like Vicks rub. Why? Just 15 millilitres can be lethal. A study from the National Institute of Health found that chronic exposure can cause various ailments like bone marrow damage, anemia, behavioral changes, kidney toxicity, renal damage, and cerebral atrophy (the loss of brain cells).

Dire medical warnings be damned, because Haddish also claims it will give you "the best doo-doo of your f**king life." Please, just don't drink poison.

Why not eat some clay?

Shailene Woodley puts Goop to shame with what she calls her "fairly alternative" lifestyle. She "gather[s]" mountain spring water monthly, "forage[s]" for "wild food," and makes her own toothpaste. Maybe she's training to replace Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games (sorry, Divergent is arguably the dollar store version of YA dystopia). Maybe she's training for Naked And Afraid. Who knows? All we know is that the star "make[s] her own medicine" and doesn't "get those from doctors" — at least that's what she told Flaunt. She may not be a pharmacist, but she could play one in a movie!

While it's probably dangerous for Woodley to rely on homemade medicine if she falls seriously ill, she has been doing her best to boost her health by eating clay on the advice of her taxi driver. The star told Into The Gloss that "clay is one of the best things you can put in your body .. it apparently provides a negative charge, so it bonds to negative isotopes." She also claimed it makes your bowel movements smell like metal, which supposedly means it's ridding your body of heavy metals. Exciting.

Before you start eating your clay face masks like that woman from My Strange Addiction, know that the body already detoxifies itself. Hello, kidneys and liver. According to HuffPost, eating clay is "mostly harmless" but there's no evidence it removes toxins from the body. Beyond that, our bodies need certain metals to survive.

Anyone over a size 2 need not apply

It's been a while since Millionaire Matchmaker was on the air. By now, professional matchmaker Patti Stanger is used to controversy; Are her assistants paid actors? Are the millionaires actually millionaires? How does a bored writer drowning in student debt go about being matched with someone in the Millionaire's Club (okay, sorry, just asking for a friend)? Beyond the usual speculation, Stanger's particular brand of blunt dating advice isn't always well received, and it isn't always accurate, either.

In a 2011 interview with HuffPost, Stanger advised divorcees to hit the gym if they wanted to attract a new partner. "I know that I can't date at size 8. I have to date at size 2. And it's just a fact of nature. Go get your injections and your chemical peels. You gotta look good to attract a man," she said, adding, "In order to get the one you want, you've gotta become the one he wants you to become, with a slight degree of margin." 

What ever happened to being yourself? Whatever happened to unconditional love? It's safe to say that humanity has proved Stanger wrong. Racked cited a 2018 Plunkett Research study that said 68% of women wear a size 14 and up, yet U.S. census figures from 2016 revealed that 54.8% of people over the age of 18 are married. It's safe to say that love isn't limited to a size two.

Placenta with a nice chianti and some fava beans

There is one time in your life that self-cannibalism is partly acceptable — at least if you're January Jones. In an interview with People (via ABC News), the Mad Men star advocated for eating her own placenta. "It's something I was very hesitant about, but we're the only mammals who don't ingest our own placentas," she said, adding, "I suggest it to all moms."

The practice of eating your own placenta — whether it's "dehydrated and made into vitamins" as Jones preferred or cooked into lasagna, as some people actually do — has been billed as a way to speed up pregnancy recovery and stave off postpartum depression. It's common in a lot of cultures, but according to ABC News, there's no real evidence proving it has any human benefit. In fact, the advice can be dangerous because postpartum depression can lead to suicide. It needs real treatment. Then, there's the bacteria.

Parents reports that dehydrated placenta pills were linked to a case of one newborn developing "a dangerous blood infection" that was linked back to the child's breastfeeding mother, who was consuming capsulated placenta. The organ, which filters out toxins in the womb, can be contaminated with bacteria, which is possibly why the FDA hasn't approved the use of placenta pills, as of this writing. That being said, research has shown that the organ is filled with nutrients, but ... multi-vitamins also still exist, right? 

How dangerous is waist training, really?

Kim Kardashian's shapewear line has been a mess of controversy since the beginning. The brand was originally called Kimono, which was so heavily criticized for hijacking the name of the traditional Japanese garment that the mayor of Kyoto even sent a letter to the reality star, according to People. The controversy didn't end there, even though she changed the brand's name to SKIMS.  

The Kardashian's have spearheaded many trends — shaking your salad, flat-top sinks, the colloquial use of "bible" — but almost none of them have been as widely criticized as waist training. According to Women's Health, the practice basically uses a modern day corset to "compress your core," which allegedly "decrease[s] the size of your waist permanently over time." Medical experts have refuted this claim, but Kim's still a huge fan. She even wears a waist trainer while working out and included one in her SKIMS line, which wasn't well-received.

Waist trainers may make Kardashian feel "really snatched" — like the deepest corners of her soul are being squeezed by the tight grip of a nylon-spandex blend — but doctors told Insider that the garment can cause "serious health problems" like nausea, fainting, bruising, shortness of breath, and fractured ribs. Women's Health also reports that it can "push the stomach beyond the diaphragm, causing reflux and interfering with breathing." The price you pay for a temporarily slim waist, right? 

Jameela Jamil didn't let Cardi B slide on detox tea

You can't cast a single stone on Instagram — or refresh your explore page — without running into a sponsored ad for a weight loss product, but Jameela Jamil is the one celebrity you can count on to call it all out. The Good Place star slammed Kim Kardashian for promoting appetite suppressant lollipops just like she lambasted Cardi B for promoting detox tea. "GOD I hope all these celebrities all s**t their pants in public, the way the poor women who buy this nonsense upon their recommendation do," she said in a tweet directed at the rapper.

Cardi knows how to handle tea, so she shook it off with some humor. According to Vulture, Mrs. Migos replied in an Instagram re-post of Jamil's tweet that she won't "s**t [her] pants" because there are "public bathrooms everywhere ... ooooo and bushes." Jokes aside, doctors still warn that detox teas do more harm than good, and we're not just talking about emotional scarring from squatting in shrubbery on the side of the road.

According to Women's Health, detox teas are largely promoted as cleanses that rid the body of harmful toxins and/or aid in weight loss while reducing stomach bloating. In reality, they may actually make your problems worse. Per the report, teas can exacerbate bloating "by drawing more fluid into the gut," and cause weight gain by putting your body "into starvation mode." Plus, your body already rids itself of toxins without help.

C'mon baby, light my (hair on) fire

Victoria's Secret model Alessandra Ambrosio has undeniably gorgeous hair. That's kind of her job. While most of us could guess it has a little to do with genetics and high end hair products, we didn't really expect her to basically use her head as a candle wick. In an Instagram post, Ambrosio revealed that she uses Brazilian hair burning to get her signature look, but don't try this one at home — or at all.

According to Harper's Bazaar, the process is simply "twisting a strand of hair" and burning off whatever pieces stick out with a flame. What could go wrong? It's been popular in Brazil for 50 years, but if you wanted to light up your locks hoping you'll one day acquire the coveted wings that almost took out Ariana Grande, think again. Sally Hershberger Salon hairstylist Matt Fugate claimed it was "the worst idea ever," adding, "Anyone who is educated in the layers of the hair shaft knows that this kind of process will ruin your cuticle — your clear coat of protection — weaken your hair and expose your cortex layer to the environment." 

In other words, Brazilian hair burning is a one-way street to frizzy, heat-damaged hair. A trim may not be the most exciting way to stop split ends, but it's still the most effective.

Sean Connery's neither extraordinary nor gentlemanly advice

Sean Connery better be kissing the ground Al Gore walks on for taking his time creating the internet because if the actor ran his mouth today, it would've spread on social media like wildfire. People have been cancelled for a lot less. Just look at what happened to James Charles for (allegedly) promoting gummy vitamins behind Tati Westbrook's back.

While we can all agree that any type of violence is ill-advised, the Goldfinger star advocated for domestic abuse in a disastrous 1965 Playboy interview. "I don't think there's anything particularly wrong about hitting a woman ... An open-handed slap is justified," he said (via The Guardian), adding, "If a woman is a b**ch or hysterical ... I'd do it."

Connery's take was obviously met with harsh criticism, but Barbra Walters gave him a chance to explain himself. Instead of smoothing things over, he claimed he had a "violent temper" and doubled down on feeling justified in hitting a woman "as a last resort" to end an argument. "Women are pretty good at this. They can't leave it alone. They want to have the last word, and you give them the last word, but they're not happy with the last word. They want to say it again," he said. "Then I think it's absolutely right." Clearly, James Bond's brain has been shaken, not stirred. According to a United Nations report, domestic violence is the number one cause of female homicides.

Keep this face mask in the litter box

Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi has done a lot of ill-advised things throughout her career as a reality star — from flashing her meatball in an Italian club to her beach side arrest for disorderly conduct. She's like your well-meaning bestie who always gives the worst advice. Nonetheless, if you're hanging with Snooks at a Jersey Shore slumber party, you can probably expect to get a little bit drunk and a little bit intimate with some kitty litter. In an interview with Conan O'Brien (via Today), the star revealed that cat litter is part of her regular beauty routine, and it works wonders as an exfoliant.

"Well, I definitely like to Google a lot, and I don't like to spend a lot of money on spa treatments — just because I'm a cheap-o," she said. "So I Googled what else I could use that was not so expensive. It was cat litter."

If you're tempted to rub cat litter on your face to get Snooki's glow, please refrain. According to an esthetician who spoke to Cosmopolitan, "Some brands of kitty litter contain aluminium silicate, the same ingredient used in glass-making as well as housing insulation. Plus, it's a known neurotoxin for humans." Not to mention, it could tear your skin and cause "breakouts" and "premature fine lines." Is a drugstore face scrub really that expensive?

Tom Cruise: Action star or postpartum depression expert?

In 2005, Tom Cruise sounded the "glib" heard round the world. During a bizarre interview with NBC's Matt Lauer, the Scientologist went on a heated tangent about how Brooke Shields should have never used antidepressants and psychiatry to help her postpartum depression. Rather, she should have turned to other methods like "vitamins and through exercise." Does jumping up on Oprah's couch count as exercise?

"Psychiatry is a pseudoscience," Cruise said, adding "You don't know the history of psychiatry. I do ... All it does is mask the problem, Matt, and if you understand the history of it, it masks the problem. That's what it does. That's all it does. You're not getting to the reason why. There is no such thing as a chemical imbalance."

Though Tom Cruise did play a doctor in Eyes Wide Shut, people who actually went to medical generally disagree with his advice. Nada Stotland, who once served as the president of the American Psychiatric Association, told WebMD that psychiatry isn't a pseudoscience at all. "We can see differences between brain images of someone who is depressed and someone who is not depressed," she said. "And if we give medications, the brain of the depressed person goes back to looking like a person not depressed." Of course, that doesn't mean medication is the only way to treat depression. It just means that it can help.