The Illusion of Celebrity

April 17th, 2018 Posted by Cultural Commentary, Life And Times, Mental Health 0 comments on “The Illusion of Celebrity”

In this article, I discuss the illusion’s we believe about celebrities, our collective humanity and mental health.


We idolize ‘celebrity’ – the wealth, power, influence, and esteem that seems to come along with being placed in the category are desirable. In the age that reveres virality, there is nothing better than being known across the InterWebs, having thousands of followers or likes. Celebrities in the past few years have been using their platforms and status to discuss their relationship with their celebritydom and mental health. They’ve been using their platforms to come to voice and create dialogue around mental health.

We’d like to think that the things that fame give us access to will protects us from the dark, dirty, grimy parts of our own humanity, but they don’t. Celebrity won’t protect you.

We’d like to think that the things that fame give us access to will protects us from the dark, dirty, grimy parts of our own humanity, but it doesn’t. Celebrity won’t protect you. It oftentimes exposes people to more sinister parts of people and life by granting them a larger stage to stand on. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, in an interview with Express said that he’s  “battled that beast [of depression] more than once.” Kid Cudi publicly confessed that he checked himself into a rehab for depression and suicidal urges. Adele opened up about her post-partum depression in an interview with Teen Vogue. KeKe recently discussed her struggle with anxiety and depression in an interview on The Breakfast Club.  Being a celebrity doesn’t remove your humanity, it magnifies it. 

Life always looks glittery and gold from the outside in. Things look beautiful from a distance because of the barriers [the air, light, matter] that stand between us and that thing. This is part of the mirage of the perfect life of celebrity that can leave us feeling flawed and faulty. It is this part of the illusion that we must break from. When we ground ourselves and take the ‘perfection’ we see with a grain of salt, we break the illusion and we can see ourselves and the world clearly. We no longer compare ourselves to the illusion.

When we ground ourselves and take the perfection we see with a grain of salt, we break the illusion and we can see ourselves and the world clearly. We no longer compare ourselves to the illusion.

It’s their stories – their real stories that help us on this long human road. Their pain can be our pain. Their joy can be our joy.  Their stories refresh us and remind us of the humanity of the people we love. They declare  to us that it’s OK to be human. We value of the collective beauty of the things we all experience. 

When we stop having our gaze transfixed on the illusion, the hollow beauty, and empty splendor, leave the apple that we’ve been offered by the witch alone, and look at our lives with new eyes we can see again.  And the things we believe will shield us, will make all the problems in our lives disappear, can be taken with both hands, embraced and given proper place in our lives. We can finally move forward in acceptance.


Ugochuckwu Unigwe is a writer based in Atlanta., GA. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram at  @ayyebruhham.

 

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