Smart Women, Dumb Choices? Lisa Bloom

Empowering Women

Dr. Phil introduces Lisa Bloom, CBS legal analyst and author of Think: Straight Talk for Women to Stay Smart in a Dumbed-Down World. "You are the walking, talking example of the fact that you can have brains and beauty as well. It doesn't have to be an either/or, right?" he asks.

"Thank you, Dr. Phil. Here's the truth about it: Tiffany, to me, is a sad person, but there are millions of young American women who are like her. We've all become so deluded by the reality show culture," Lisa answers. "As an attorney, I've represented a lot of people on reality shows. Let me tell you something: They make very little money, so little that most of them have to have a second job, and most of them are very unhappy because the show portrays them in a very negative way to spike the ratings. When the show's done, what do they have? They have nothing left."

Lisa ventures to the L.A. farmer's market to test women's smarts!

"This is not rare," Dr. Phil says, referring to Lisa's woman-on-the-street interview. "You didn't just go out and find some uninformed people."

"No, in fact, some of these young women were college students, professionals. It's funny to look at these tapes, but there are real-world consequences. For example, a lot of people didn't know how many wars we're in or where we're currently sending troops to be engaged in active combat. Not knowing important facts about our world has real-world consequences. It affects not only our personal lives, but our nation and our world."

In a videotaped message, Jessica Sierra, a former contestant on American Idol, reveals the painful pitfalls to fame. 

"I'm Jessica Sierra from American Idol. I was a finalist when Carrie Underwood won. After American Idol, my life kind of spiraled down. I got into drugs and alcohol, did a celebrity sex tape. I was arrested twice for drug possession and assault with a deadly weapon. Ultimately, I ended up in rehab. Now I am three-and-1/2 years clean and sober, I've got two beautiful sons, and my life is great. I think that everybody getting in reality TV has this misconception that it's automatically going to boost you to an A-list celebrity, and that is not how it is. You get your 10 minutes of fame, and you kind of get forgotten about after that. Fame is not all it's cracked up to be."

Turning to Jessica, Dr. Phil says, "You've been through some really rough spots."

[AD]"I have. I get wanting to be famous, and being a celebrity, and getting your face out there, and your name out there, but it's not worth it," she says. "First of all, you don't get paid millions of dollars."


"So, there's definitely a dark side to celebrity where the machine kind of eats you up," Dr. Phil sympathizes.


"It sucks you in, and it's hard to get back on your feet. The media loves controversy. So, the second you do something wrong, that's what they're going to be showing on TV," Jessica responds. "When you have children, and you're a mother and a wife, you need to be at home with your kids, and go to school and get a job and do the things you're supposed to be doing as a woman and a mother."

Find out how viewers weighed in on the looks-versus-brains debate!
Dr. Phil talks to London-Ashley, one of the participants in the debate. "What do you think about all of this?" he asks.
"I'm actually pretty disgusted by some of the comments that I saw on here, and I'm really disappointed in girls like [the former guest] Tiffany, who are setting a bad example for the young African-American girls," London-Ashley replies. "I think it's disgusting."
Addressing Lisa, Dr. Phil asks, "How do we get these young girls to not be influenced by the mindset of reality television?"
"I believe women do want to be smart, and we do want to have meaning in our lives, even women like Tiffany, who are obsessed with reality shows," Lisa answers. "The second half of my book is a step-by-step guide of how to get there. The most important thing is to create time in our lives to think."
Dr. Phil turns to Louisa, another participant from the debate. "You say that thinking too much is going to get you in trouble, relationship-wise?"
"I'm a college professor, and I totally have to dumb it down, because when guys find out how smart I am, they run scared," Louisa responds. She says that she'll tell potential suitors that she's a secretary.[AD]
"I don't necessarily think it's because men are intimidated by intelligent women," Dr. Phil explains. "It's that men can be kind of insecure, and they approach a situation saying, ‘What do I have to offer here?'"
Kaya says it's more important for women to be beautiful than to have a college degree. He explains his position. "Most men are visual. I'm absolutely visual, so we like a beautiful woman to present herself with her beauty first, and that is the calling card to attract us to tell us how intelligent she is after that," he says.