“I’m so happy because today I found my friends – they’re in my head.” -Kurt Cobain
Picture this. We see a famous rockstar performing on stage looking suave, hitting the right notes while his fingers strum his guitar, making the audience go wild. The audience is only focused on enjoying their favourite songs being played and of course, the rockstar who’s on the stage performing. However, if we were to take this in a slightly different angle…what if the rockstar is secretly anxious, broken and emotionless on the inside? What if the smile plastered across his face is nothing but a bandage to cover up the imperfections scarred on the inside? He is smiling yet it doesn’t quite reach his eyes. Did you, as an audience member, think about this for even a split second? A second on how Mr. Cool and Perfect is able to wake up every day, working on different compositions in the hopes his fans would be able to connect with his music without giving his mind some rest?
We won’t come to know about Mr. Suave’s real perceptions that he has on himself, unless he talks about it in the media.
Fame. A dangerous, yet addicting four letter word that can either make or break you. This is definitely one conversation most of us aren’t ready to have mainly because of the darkness and fear that surrounds it… the word itself. Fame. Being famous can only make you feel good to a certain degree. Beyond that? You are on your own. The concept of being normal will never apply to you, as you slowly- against your free will in becoming accustomed to public scrutiny and being under the spotlight, twenty-four seven. Admired celebrities galore describe their relationship with fame as a bubble in which you are forced to be engulfed by. It suffocates you, mentally shatters you and the concept of freedom is soon strewn away from you. It’s a dark, dangerous and lonely neighbourhood you shouldn’t have entered.
Known for his sharp, creatively intense and versatile style of acting, award winning actor Gary Oldman was pretty clear in voicing his opinion on the topic of ‘fame’. “I just have dinner at home every night with my kids. Being famous, that’s a whole other career. And I haven’t got any energy for it.”
Once fame hits, with its growing sense of isolation, mistrust, and lack of personal privacy, the person develops a kind of character-splitting between the “celebrity self” and the “authentic self,” as a survival technique in the hyperkinetic and heady atmosphere associated with celebrity life. Starting his acting career at the tender age of three, child-actor Corey Feldman revealed in the book that he and his best-friend and fellow actor Cory Haim had been tormented and abused by some well known executives in Hollywood, when they were very young. “I was basically a slave child,” Feldman quoted, during a candid interview. “I started working at 3 years old, and it wasn’t my choice.”
When we think about God-given talents such as Amy Winehouse, Kurt Cobain of Nirvana, Britney Spears and Lindsey Lohan to name a few, are classic examples of the adversities of what fame can do to your mind. When we focus on fame and whether we are attaining the desirable feelings of satisfaction, we always feel a need for more. There is never enough of the “fame drug” and wanting more not only discredits our past achievements let alone taking away the wonders we might experience in the accomplishments of others. Long story short, it can make us lose our touch with reality. When it comes to pursuing fame, our biggest fear is the incessant need to be loved and accepted by the public. Because, if we don’t attain fame, the feelings that the public holds towards us won’t be genuine. It is crucial to understand that instead of focusing too much on what the audience thinks about us, it is all the more important to see how we perceive ourselves in the truest sense.
Our own approval and recognition are much more vital than the subjective acceptance of others.
The only cure that can wash away the fame drug for good, is by treating ourselves in a manner in which we do belong. One can choose to treat themselves and the people around them in which they’d like to be treated. One can even choose to identify the qualities that make them exceptionally unique, regardless of what people have to say about it. The solution to the fear of not being accepted, let alone loved, is to learn to embrace and own who you really are. Which is, your true, authentic self. Start your day with loveable small, loving actions taken to nurture yourself.