Celebrity Psychological Issues No. 6, 7 – Lack of autonomy, split personality

“I don’t want to be a product” – Johnny Depp

“I don’t want to be a product” – Johnny Depp

Here are Celebrity Psychological Issues 6 & 7 of the Top 20 issues of being a celebrity. Click here for the previous article for issues 4 & 5.

6. “I am just a commodity, owned by everyone else” – Objectification & branding
You can’t be famous without having an image. And the truly successful celebrities have a brand and many turn that brand into huge profit. However, along with the image and brand comes the feeling ‘I am an entity designed to profit others.’

 You are transformed into a commercial commodity via the brand and the image that is created by both the media and the hired handlers (publicist, agent, manager, lawyer, image consultant, image & clothing stylists, assistants, etc.) Whilst you bask in the financial rewards, you experience feelings of being overpowered and overtaken by the image that people have of you. Paradoxically, despite the power and influence you wield, you still feel powerless – of being owned by the public, and of course, by all the people who profit off you.

“I don’t want to be a product…Of course you want the movies to do well. But I don’t want to know … who’s hot now and who’s not and who’s making this much dough and who’s boffing this woman or that one. I want to remain ignorant of all this. I want to be totally outside and far away from all of it.” –  Johnny Depp, Esquire Magazine, January 2007  https://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20071212/people-depp/

“Even though I’m happy, I feel like I was a little bit happier two or three years ago when I had less money. I had less people who had opinions about my life. I felt like my life was mine. Now I feel like I don’t even own my life. I feel like the world owns me.” – Cardi B, 2018

“Calling a celebrity a role model is like calling a stranger a role model. The knowledge you have of a celebrity is no more than a caricature drawn by media tastemakers specializing in selling you an image you’re dying to buy. It’s good to have heroes, but you have to look for them in the right places. They say don’t look for true love in a bar, well I say, don t look for role models on screens…” – Nickelodeon actress, Jennette MCCurdy https://tv.msn.com/tv/article.aspx?news=879361 

“I really don’t like selling these . . . you know, fragrances. Perfumes. I don’t like wasting my time, spending days just shaking peoples’ hands and smiling, and taking selfies. Feels shallow to my existence. I have a lot more to offer than my image. I don’t like being used to make people money. I feel sad when I’m overworked. And that I just become a money-making machine, and my passion and creativity take a backseat. That makes me unhappy. I started to say no. I’m not doing that. I don’t want to do that. I’m not taking that picture, I’m not going to that event, I’m not standing by that because that’s not what I stand for. And slowly but surely, I remembered who I am.”
– Lady Gaga, speech at Emotion Revolution, Yale University, 2015

“As young women we were pitted against each other for society’s pleasure. The rules of Hollywood engagement brainwashed into us were truly vile. The men & brainwashed women in our business made it so we couldn’t be friends, I regret that. We were cast in this weird fake reality show where we were supposed to be enemies. I resented it greatly. I regret not being awake enough to articulate this to you at the time. Fear was drilled into me from day one in this town & you were the barometer by which my behavior was judged. I was under a microscope, one false move and I’d be branded ‘difficult’ just like you. I think we all know what happens when girls here get out of line. “You cast a long shadow over my life. We were both cast in a fake real life role, that of the Bad Girl… But we were never the bad ones, it was them — the Beige Brained White Dudes in Charge.””
Rose McGowan speaking about the way she and Shannon Doherty became were used to generate publicity by being cast as fake enemies.

7.”No one knows the real me” – Split personality
As your image develops, you realize that there is a huge split between the real you and the ‘famous you’ that everyone recognizes. As the gap widens between the two personalities/characters, you hide more of the real you; you play up to the expectations of your fans and public. You start to even question the real you. “Who am I?” you ask.

The confusion, the expectations, the desire to please the public and fans, along with the inner resentment and anguish of the entrapping situation moves you to escape by remaining as recluse as possible, or worse, turning to substances.

“My true addiction was alcohol. The extra toxic boosters just helped me shore up the wall between my celebrity self and my real self.” – Charlie Sheen, 1987, talking about the filming of “Wall St” and his challenges with fame and stardom.  https://patrickwanis.com/blog/are-you-an-impostor/

“You associate who you are with the clothes you wear, the coffee shop you go to, the friends you hang out with, and take everything that you associate with you away from you and put yourself in the middle of a desert, and you’re stripped away from everything. That’s when you see who you really are. So (after the shoot) you have to kind of figure that out again.” – Zoe Kravitz speaking about the filming of Mad Max: Fury Road https://www.knoxnews.com/knoxville/movies/the-toast-of-mad-max-zoe-kravitz-brings-actionmovie-experience-to-new-movie_19180020

“The paparazzi and the magazines deserve their share of the blame, but they’re just supplying a demand. It’s unfortunate that people don’t care that they’ve been lied to, they don’t care that they’re being sort of messed with and not given the full truth. They buy them anyway.” – Jennifer Aniston, Parade Magazine, September 2009 https://parade.condenast.com/40131/jeannewolf/0914-jennifer-aniston-love-happens/

“Just because you’re on the Disney Channel and you always have a smile on your face, they think you’re perfect, and it’s obvious that nobody’s life really is.” – Demi Lovato who has admitted battling bulimia

“There is a fake version of me
And he’s the one that writes
These poems.
He has an attitude and a swagger
That I don’t have…
He’s become the real me
Because everyone treats me
Like I’m the fake me.”
– James Franco – excerpt from his poem “Fake”

For the next top celebrity psychological issues, No. 8, click here

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