The Dark Side of Fame

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Thursday, 4 August 2011 - Last Updated on August 4, 2011

amywinehouseI believe it was Andy Warhol who said that everyone will have their 15 minutes of fame. But I think that nowadays and especially with the advent of reality shows, it’s more like everyone wants their 15 minutes of fame.


But sometimes, people who want to be famous end up being infamous. But then again it’s Hollywood, baby. And you take what you can get.

 

We live in a time where one can get a jumpstart in their career by having a sex scandal (like Kim Kardashian) or by being the Playboy model who almost married Playboy magnate Hugh Hefner but didn’t (Crystal Harris) or by being the daughter of a respected actor who wanted to be the next Kim Kardashian by being a porn star (Montana Fishburne)–everyone wants to keep up with the Kardashians.


But a wise man once said that we have to be careful what we wish for, because we don’t know if we’re wishing for something that can make us or destroy us. And I believe there are two kinds of people in this world. Those who can’t handle fame, and those who’d do anything to have it.


Now we all know that being a celebrity is not all good. And we’ve definitely seen one too many who has gone over the edge. Troubled celebrities come in every shape and size, but it is usually the case that troubled celebs develop an addiction to drugs and alcoholism.


In a CNN article, Dr. Reef Karim of the Control Center for Addiction in Beverly Hills, California, said that celebrities have a harder time overcoming addiction for several reasons. One of the reasons is that some celebs don’t complete the prescribed treatment. Sometimes it’s the people relying on the celebrity’s income who get in the way. When people rush the addict’s treatment or if the addict is pressured to go back to work even before they are ready, the addict becomes vulnerable to a relapse.


There are some who believe that this was what happened to Amy Winehouse. She was a big talent, but with a bigger problem. All of us saw how she spiraled out of control, thanks to the paparazzi. But I think we all wanted her to overcome her addictions. Amy was doing both the drugs and alcohol, and smoked cigarettes a lot, even after she was diagnosed with emphysema–a lung disease closely linked to smoking. Many were saddened at the sudden news of her death, but sadly, there was not so much shock. British comedian Russell Brand, posted a rather poignant tribute that explains this, “When you love someone who suffers from the disease of addiction you await the phone call. There will be a phone call. The sincere hope is that the call will be from the addict themselves, telling you they’ve had enough, that they’re ready to stop, ready to try something new. Of course though, you fear the other call, the sad nocturnal chime from a friend or relative telling you it’s too late, she’s gone.”

Can you think of a celeb whose sad end you saw coming?


How does one get over addiction? According to Dr. Karim, addiction is a spiritual as well as social and biological disease which includes a deep psychological pain where self-introspection is a key to recovery.


But there are celebs who just can’t seem to get their act together after it seems everything’s been done. One such celeb is Lindsay Lohan. Some say Lindsay continues to get herself into trouble because she gets more publicity. I won’t be surprised, for example, if Lindsay’s court days have more media coverage than her movie premieres.



Fame whore

The worst fame whore I can think of is Heidi Montag–the once fresh-faced girl from The Hills show but who is now the poster girl for plastic surgery. This girl’s claim to fame is having had ten (10) procedures in one sitting. If you think this is wrong, you must read her justifications on why she did it to herself. It’s funny and disturbing at the same time as it will give you an idea how girls these days can be so insecure and crazy about looking “perfect.”


Body image experts in the Newsweek article on Montag said that the starlet was asking for a perfection that simply doesn’t exist. Susie Orbach, the former therapist to Princess Diana, calls it the “unattainable beauty.”



Hope for the addicts

Many celebs who were once lost were able to face their demons and are turning over a new leaf. Some were lucky enough to get another shot at fame. Robert Downey Jr. has done it. Britney Spears is also doing it (sort of) and so did Elton John, Drew Barrymore, Nicole Ritchie, Russell Brand, Steven Tyler (of Aerosmith), the list goes on.


<
span style="font-size: 10pt;">Saving anyone from addiciton and self-destruction is possible if you can give them the help they need. However, a bigger leap would be for the addicts themselves to seek help.


In her song “Rehab,” Amy said, “They tried to make me go to rehab but I said ‘no, no, no’.” It makes me wonder if she would have been with us today if she said yes.

 

Photo from Flickr.com. Some rights reserved.

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