People have a mean habit of metaphorically kicking a celebrity in the stomach, when they are usually at their lowest. Lately, I've been reading a lot of negative comments about Gwyneth Paltrow, interestingly not toward her soon to be ex-husband, Chris Martin. They announced their divorce to the world, using a new phrase "conscious uncoupling," and quickly were on the receiving end of judgement.
So what? Divorce has negative connotations, and they chose a new term. Maybe to people it seems pretentious and un-relatable, but who cares? Just like anyone getting a divorce with kids, you want to try your best to make a situation that's tough, less negative. And can you imagine how uncomfortable it is to make an announcement to the world regarding something so difficult, and having to deal with judgement so personal -- entire talk shows are devoted to discussing YOUR marriage. Personally, I can't handle slight criticism from my own mother, let alone the entire world expressing their opinions -- being famous is not for the weak willed.
So the next day after the announcement, a very witty letter was written in response to a comment Gwyneth Paltrow made in an interview regarding motherhood and working. She "seemed" to express how much harder working on a movie set is compared to a "regular" 9 to 5 job. The letter was funny and made good points, but did it have to attack a woman who just announced that she is in the process of "conscious uncoupling"? And we all know how comments can be taken out of context, words are left out, we can't see facial expressions, but yet we still believe everything we read.
Why when there is a movement to rid our schools of bullying, is it okay to bully a celebrity? Are they exempt from feeling hurt, depressed -- even suicidal? Hasn't research proved that a symptom of bullying is severe depression, which can perpetuate suicidal thoughts -- and possible actions. But there is an overall insensitivity to the famous. Because when you're rich and famous, somehow that afforded benefit outweighs any chance of sympathy from larger society. I am here to say, I am standing by Gwyneth Paltrow. Because if what I said was recorded and analyzed, I would be chopped up by society. This is merely because I say a lot of dumb things, and only have friends and family to poke fun.
So again last week, Gwyneth is being attacked for comparing celebrity bullying to the ravages of war, stating that it's a dehumanizing process similar to the wounds of war. Maybe she picked the wrong metaphor, so what? Do any of you remember being teased as children? Can you imagine every word you state being hyper-analyzed by people who are strangers? Take a moment to think about remarks you make, stupid, insulting, bordering on sexist, ageist, racist etc..and imagine the words recorded and analyzed by people who weren't even present when you uttered those words. How would that feel? How would it feel to not be able to defend yourself? How would it feel to have an image that's so opposite of who you are, but impossible to shed?
I know people find it hard to sympathize with the rich -- the beautiful -- the famous, but no human is exempt from sadness. Remember this the next time you take part in "harmless" celebrity gossip with friends. I stand with Gwyneth, will you?