How many times are we going to see the same story played out? There is a talented individual that becomes a star, then a superstar. Their name is everywhere. Total strangers send them message of adoration, nay worship. They are told constantly that they are beautiful, the most talented person ever, and absolutely perfect. Follow some of the stars on Twitter and you will see all kinds of people lavishing this type of praise on virtually each one of them. You will see people who take up names of worship for the star as their user names, who talk about a “follow” from them as the best day of their lives.
We also often see a ludicrous sense of self by these celebrities, well into the realm of narcissistic. There are special demands when they book a venue. Things that must be waiting for them at their hotels that seem utterly ridiculous, yet their whims are met. Who could possibly require that a certain number of roses be waiting, or that a bowl of M&M’s be provided with the orange ones picked out, or that the room be exactly 67.5 degrees?
You would think that these people would be the happiest people in the would. With all kinds of fans excited to just catch a glimpse of them. All kinds of money. Invitations to all of the special events and preferential treatment everywhere they go.
But they are not. Time after time we see individuals who have virtually all that this world provide at their fingertips turning to drugs and alcohol in an effort to escape. Too often this has resulted in a tragic end. We watch with perhaps just a shade of Schadenfreude as they self-destruct on Entertainment Tonight and TMZ, and then talk about what a wonderful talent the world has lost when they meet their demise at 45, or 35, or 25.
We’ve seen Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, John Belushi, Chris Farley, Judy Garland, and countless others like them meet an early death due to drugs, alcohol, or suicide. Individuals who should have been on top of the world but instead were profoundly unhappy, seeking refuge in self-medication.
Perhaps people who would seek stardom are just the type of people who have large egos, or perhaps it is the constant worship by fans and sycophants that causes their egos to swell. Whatever it is, it seems that they are unable to cope with the times when they are alone without the adoration.
It is time to realize that everyone, whether they are a rock star, movie star, TV star, or President of the United States is just a person. Some people clean offices for a living. Some people design buildings. Some people sing or play roles. Just because you have seen them on TV or in a movie doesn’t mean they are anything else but another person with the same insecurities and aspirations as you.
While it is fine to comment on a job well done, it is time to stop lavishing excessive praise on others, even if you have seen them in a movie or heard them on the radio. Anyone who has been the target of such praise knows that it does not provide a warm feeling because, deep down, we know that we are not deserving of it. No one could believe they are perfect. Or more talented than anyone else. Or always correct and brilliantly smart. Perhaps it is those of us who are constantly heaping on this excessive praise who are driving them to the drugs and the excessive lifestyles.
The next time you happen to see a singer or a hollywood star. The next time you tweet to your favorite actor on twitter. The next time you watch an actor on your favorite TV show, realize that they are just another person and resist the urge to heap all of the false praise upon them. You may be hurting them more than you know.