We’ve all grown, looking up to public figures, admiring their stunning outfits and glitzy, glamorous lifestyle and wishing that one day we would be lucky enough to inhabit the same. We see their money, fame, adoration and beauty, but what we don’t see is that often behind the scenes lies a lot more than a strawberry-scented smile.
Here are some known names and their lesser-known stories.
Before you criticize your reflection on not fitting under society’s bracket standards of the term “beauty”, remember, they’re never happy. The beauty queen of the ’60s and one of the most popular sex icons of the 1900s, Marilyn Monroe’s life was one to brood over in agony. Her looks immediately gave the crowd leeway to label her as “dim-witted” and “stupid”, because you know what they say, “blonde girls just wanna have fun.” This, in addition to her already spiralling mental being due to her childhood spent in the arms of foster care and her boyfriend’s passing, was just enough to convince her it was time to leave. Although Marilyn insisted that filling her mouth to the brim with sleeping pills wasn’t a suicide attempt, it wasn’t easy to believe otherwise. Following this came a troubled marriage, bitter notes and more bottomless of a pit into which she fell. She was only thirty-six when she was found locked up in her room, limp and lifeless, next to a bottle of pills once again.
Having the entire male population worship at your feet isn’t enough to make a woman’s life a fulfilled one, it appears. Who would’ve thought? We can only hope that this warm ray of sunshine with the most beautiful smile found her happiness because we as a society certainly managed to fail her.
Sushant Singh Rajput
There is one name that no Indian has not heard of, especially since the catastrophe that took place last year, on 14th June 2020. With a cup of tea and the morning news blaring away on the television, one headline made its way to the top of every news channel in the country. The once loved actor, Sushant Singh Rajput, was found dead, “suicide by hanging” being the cause ruled in court. However, this wasn’t enough to keep the population satisfied. Not long after his demise had made the front pages did heartbroken fans all over the country deep-dive into rumours, conspiracy theories and demands to know “what really happened.”
This case involved various logistics, such as a family unwilling to accept that their son was going through mental health issues, a supposed “girlfriend” who also happened to be the receiver of a large sum of money which was deposited into her account the minute the actor bit the dust and the CBI being involved in investigating this “suicide further.” However, one of the most significant factors in this discussion involved the happenings of nepotism, boldly claiming that it was the “movie mafia” and Bollywood’s disapproval of a new name in their comfortable curve that was the sole reason for this actor’s death. The general crowd can’t be made aware of the case’s specifics unless it is again brought into the light by CBI and the press. So we can only leave it to our imagination to scout out the most reasonable factor. Be it the disapproving chorus of big names in the film business, a case of money laundering, drug involvement or simply just mental health issues that wrapped its wipe around the actor and convinced him it was time to go and stick with it. However, these instances also bring to our attention the bad blood that runs in the business, the hefty portrayal of wrongs and rights, the internal politics, the game. We can be convinced that every turn we take is only another road to survival and that no corner comes without a cut to meet. But as Sushant said in PK, “Jis mehfil me thukraya humko, kyun us mehfil ko yaad kare, aage lamhe bula rahe hai, aao unke saath chale.”
On 20th April 2018, the twenty-eight-year-old Avicii died by suicide, and that was the only topic of conversation occupying every classroom, household and playground. This revolutionary musician who took over the genre of EDM and made it his own reached almost, to quote his fans, “an absurd level of adoration and fame.” However, this wasn’t enough to alleviate the legend, as he had also been battling crippling anxiety, depression and addiction. His fear took over at the tender age of thirteen, after which his concerned parents took him to a therapist. He was spoken to and diagnosed, and according to his father, his therapy sessions did “wonders in calming him down.”
Avicii was announced to be a “fragile soul” by his family, who had always struggled with, to quote, “thoughts about ‘meaning, life and happiness”. The singer retired from performing live in 2016. He stated that he was prone to grow increasingly anxious before going on stage, which played a massive role in the further deterioration of his mental health. “If I do not stop touring, I am going to die,” were the musician’s exact words, which assures his fans that even as a twenty-six-year-old, he was facing enormous but secret battles of his own.
His recovery after his retirement was brief and blurred because just two years after he called it quits on performing live, he decided to take his own life. This decision came as a shock to his family and his fans, as the former made it very clear that they had seen nothing but signs of recovery. This shows how one can advocate their problems as minor or non-existent and how even the heaviest burdens are often the hardest to see. We wish this legend found his peace and pride that his footprint on our lands will be hard to erase.
“Money can’t buy happiness” is a phrase we often brush aside as “nonsense” because we believe it to be something only the rich would ever say. However, several instances with the wealthiest, most loved celebrities are enough to convince the commoner that maybe every stature has a different side. Every being to walk on our planet has its number of problems, however large or small they might be.
Princess Diana, Britney Spears, Selena Gomez, Michael Jackson, all pioneers of their time and all fighters against their battles, are also brilliant examples of the hardships of fame. Every move to be speculated and every word moderated, standards to reach and fans to please are just a few of the side effects of having a known name. We need to acknowledge that there is a lot more to their lives than champagne and what appears on the covers of Cosmopolitan magazines. The music we listen to, the films we enjoy are all a result of sweat and tears and often have a lot more going on besides a set and a designer. Do remember, as glamorous as limousines, premiere parties, and five-story holiday houses appear to be, happiness also lies in the simple moments, such as being able to walk to a coffee shop without making it to the headlines of The Washington Post or staying bereft of difficult choices to make, such as deciding what to wear to the Met Gala – anything but a dementor’s fit.
Written by: Aroma