Celebrities Help Raise Funds with Their Teenage Photos

Category: Lifestyle/Entertainment


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. awkward / ˈɔk wərd / (adj) – not appearing graceful or confident in social interactions

    She was not a popular kid in high school because she was awkward.

  2. puberty / ˈpyu bər ti / (n) – a period of life where a person undergoes physical changes and becomes more mature

    For me, puberty was a tough stage because of the physical changes I experienced.

  3. leverage / ˈlɛv ər ɪdʒ / (v) – to use something to achieve a goal

    I leveraged my talents to become a famous blogger.

  4. back in the day / bæk ɪn ðə deɪ / (idiom) – during a time in the past

    Many famous celebrities had slicked-back hair back in the day.

  5. egotistical / i gəˈtɪs tɪ kəl / (adj) – proud and self-centered

    Some people think that all celebrities are egotistical.


Read the text below.

Celebrities are sharing their awkward teen photos to help hurricane victims in Puerto Rico.

When actor Nick Kroll was invited to The Late Show with Stephen Colbert / koʊl bɛər /, he announced that he was collecting teen photos of celebrities to promote his new show, Big Mouth. The new show is an animated comedy about puberty. Host Stephen Colbert then leveraged the announcement to raise funds for Puerto Rico.

Colbert, who is also the founder of a charitable organization called the AmeriCone Dream Fund, is pledging $1,000 for every celebrity who will post a teenage photo with the hashtags #PuberMe and #PuertoRicoRelief.

Many famous personalities took on the challenge, including Hollywood actress Reese Witherspoon, former ’90s boy band member Lance Bass, and scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson / nil de-gras ˈtaɪ sən /. Some photos showed the celebrities wearing braces or glasses, while some wore hair and fashion popular back in the day.

Although many gave the #PuberMe challenge a positive response, a netizen criticized the campaign, saying that it was egotistical. Other non-celebrity netizens also made fun of the campaign, posting unrelated photos like pictures of themselves, of dogs, and even of cartoons with the official hashtags.

Aside from the #PuberMe challenge, other celebrities have also contributed to Puerto Rican relief efforts. In October, a star-studded benefit concert was held for hurricane victims. Among the performers was Jennifer Lopez, who has relatives in Puerto Rico. Meanwhile, Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, lent his plane to his Puerto Rican player who would bring supplies to the country. Similarly, rapper Pitbull lent his private plane to bring cancer patients from Puerto Rico to the United States so that they can resume their therapy.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you think that the #PuberMe campaign will be an effective way to help Puerto Rico? Explain.
• Do you agree with the criticism that the #PuberMe campaign is egotistical? Why or why not?

Discussion B

• In your opinion, will a campaign be more successful if a celebrity initiates it? Why or why not?
• Have you ever joined a campaign because a celebrity was involved in it? Discuss.