Comparing yourself is bad; but we can’t help doing it.
Everyone always has it better than us, no matter who we are.
When I feel like this, I like to read about the “Golden Age” Hollywood stars.
During their lifetimes, they rose to impossible levels of fame, made millions, wowed hordes of adoring fans, and starred in roles that would define generations. Yet they too had messy, ugly realities.
The Messy Realities of Hollywood’s Icons
These giants of the acting industry, completely legendary professionals, were rife with scandals and personal tragedies. The saying “famous people are the most unhappy” rings true for famous Judy Garland‘s tragic addictions, Elizabeth Taylor’s 7 marriages, Marlon Brando’s serial affairs, Marilyn Monroe’s chaotic life and early demise.
But even for the luckier ones, there’s mess and pain.
Audrey Hepburn the humanitarian, supremely talented actress and fashion icon, also lived through Nazi occupation, suffered divorces and multiple miscarriages, and died of a rare cancer.
Doris Day was the iconic “girl next door” of the 60’s, animal-rights activist, voice of WW2 troops, and record-breaking box-office star. Yet she struggled with a painful abusive marriage, filed for bankruptcy, and only began singing whilst recovering from the car accident that ended her dance career.
Rita Hayworth, the face of the Atomic Bomb and “Gilda”, an iconic beauty, actress and dancer, was horrified at the famous “tribute” of being on the bomb, was abused by her father as a child and then controlled throughout her life by abusive husbands and bosses, before declining with early-onset Alzheimer’s.
No Exceptions To Messy Life, Even For the Exceptional
So even the famed and legendary have human flaws and traumas too.
Perhaps their pain made them the actors that they were? You could argue they were victims of predatory companies exploiting their insecurities to make a quick profit. Or was their talent and sensitivity what caused so much chaos?
It’s said that genius flies close to madness; is it the desperation and loneliness of madness creates the beauty of a genius?
But what about those of us who suffer tragedy and chaos, without any pay-off?
We all Struggle To Cope With Life
Deep down, we’re all a little embarrassed of who we are inside. Every time we fall down again, that nagging sense of self doubt is there. And though we tell ourselves that everyone feels that way sometimes, some of us know this feeling better than most.
We all want to be healthy, and successful, and free. Yet at the same time, go to work, manage our households, and try to survive. Capitalism crates our ideals and puts our life on hold, time and time again. It preys on weakness until we believe we’re ugly, useless and weak.
Your Time is More Valuable Than Money Could Ever Be
The power of capital crushes even the beautiful and the strong into disaster.
The Hollywood stars who became tragic icons were weighed down with trauma’s and misfortunes. Pain takes time to heal, time they weren’t allowed. Would their souls have been a little lighter, if their stars hadn’t been forced to be so bright? Despite their talents and strengths, they lived on treadmills of production, panic and crisis.
What hope does an ordinary person have of escaping the lie, when people who reached the peaks of fame and “power” are crushed by the system?
The Price of Perfection is Too High To Live With
The perfection that capitalism sells us is a lie. We’re human, not numbers, and a system that does not respect that will kill even the best of us. Talent is complicated, and life is unpredictable. All of us are all human, we all have flaws. No product, career or sum of money can change that.
Give yourself a break, be little easier on yourself. Practice radical self love in the face of cold-hearted capital. Take your time and rest. Surpassing the boundaries of human condition is a thankless event anyway.
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