*Screams from the crowd* Kelly Rowland *Screams from the crowd* It’s Idris Elba. *More screams from the crowd* It’s Diddy (Swag, Puff or Sean, whichever you prefer). *Even more screams from the crowd* It’s Chris Brown. You get my drift. Alicia Keys, Dougie Fresh, Kevon Edmonds, Jill Scott, Lela Ali, Nelly, Musiq and more. As I watched various celebrities walk the red carpet, stop for photos, wave to the fans and interview with reporters, I thought to myself in that moment “I wonder if they’re having a good day”.
I wondered if they had a sick parent at home, a child who was missing them, an blaring insecurity about themselves, a significant other who was cheating, a terrible morning, a break up with their significant other, a headache or something else that might have caused most people to have an attitude, shy away from the public, be sarcastic or curl up under the covers. I wondered how many were putting on “the face”, so the tabloids would be kind, the fans would tweet how nice they were, the reporters would write how engaging they were or at a minimum, no one would go in on them because they were “off”.
I felt fortunate that no one was checking to see if I had anything in my teeth, if my dress was too tight, if I slighted a reporter, if my hair was a mess or if I’d gained a few extra pounds. I was free to be. Despite the money that some of the celebrities make, the parties they throw, the expensive outfits they wear, I suddenly felt compassion for them. I didn’t think it a fair trade of privacy for being talented in a job that puts you in the spotlight. After all, they are just going to work everyday.
I don’t recall ever being followed to my job, or having pictures taken of me on a Saturday morning in my sweats, at the grocery store printed in the tabloids, or reading on Twitter how I make people sick because they think I wronged another personality (even though they weren’t there).
The “talent” on the carpet became more human to me than they’ve ever been, outside of when one of them is going through a public and obvious life crisis. I’m not suggesting that we should feel sorry for celebrities because they’ve chosen a public life. I am, however, advocating, for the realization that they are human beings who bleed when cut, whether the wound is physical or speaking metaphorically, emotional.
Living Your Truth is a serious matter to me having seen and experienced the consequences of living in the land of make believe. The harsh judgment and unrealistic expectations keep many of these personalities shuttering for cover in the land of make believe. I long for a time when we can view these human beings in a human light without judgment for being so. Their talents don’t somehow make them immune to life’s challenges, setbacks, temptations and failures. In our envy, we assist them in their rise to stardom and we also facilitate their fall from grace.
While celebrities are operating in the career that they’ve chosen, they are simply doing a job; and one that many of us appreciate and use as a source of entertainment. While critiquing, criticizing and laughing, I’m just asking that we take a look inward first and reserve our judgment of people we don’t actually know, for ourselves whom we know very well.
Monica Cost is communications strategist, brand manager and respected corporate and motivational speaker. She is the President and Founder of Evidently Assured, a communications and brand management firm. Email her at: [email protected]. Follow her via Twitter: @monicacost and Facebook.com/monicahairstoncost.