Please don’t get me started on Catherine Zeta-Jones.
Ok it’s too late, I’ve already started.
She came out in 2012 to Good Morning America saying, rather smugly (in my opinion) that she doesn’t want to be the “poster-child” for bipolar disorder.
Watch the clip here
Regardless of her wishes (probably) she is splashed all over the internet, magazines and papers and at some level I believe she has become the poster child for the disorder anyways. They’re posting beautiful pictures of her face and complimentary headlines. Championing her. I guess, in searching my heart and thinking about why I’m not impressed or proud of her AT ALL and wondering why everyone else is… Maybe I’ve got a jealousy that thinks about how I’d do it differently if I had her reach, her platform. What I’m saying is, I just wish she would use her celebrity status for fighting stigma a little less passively. And for crying out loud, no one asked her to be a “victim” as she references in her GMA interview. In fact, the more I watch it the more annoyed I get.
In her own way, she is standing up for bipolar disorder by being— as her publicist called it— “pro-active” about her mental health care. In her own passive way she is being a good example by publicly (whether she wants it public or not) going to get treatment for her bipolar disorder. By doing something that has so much stigma attached to it, such as going to a mental health facility, she is showing it’s more than just okay for others to do the same. She’s actually encouraging it. Whether she means to or not. And I hope other people who need help can indeed learn from her. I hope people see how successful and beautiful she is, and follow this example she is setting.
Read the article here, about her treatment.
Everyone with bipolar disorder has different layers of need, different experiences and levels of bipolarity and everyone has their own troubles. Who the hell am I to judge her? I’m no one. No one. I have absolutely Zero. Room. To. Judge. And indeed, I will openly admit how nice it really is to have someone in the media and public eye (if you will) who isn’t a complete, utter mess and, well, an embarrassment representing the bipolar people of the world. And she’s beautiful. That’s just a bonus. And she’s super successful. That’s awesome.
By the way, I’m not saying every other person in the public eye has been an embarrassment or total, utter mess…but there’s been MORE than a FAIR SHARE of it. And that’s ok too. Really. Well…except when it comes to that dern stigma where they make every bipolar person look like a freak-show and total lunatic.
Humbly I say…goodness gracious, if I’d been some form of famous or had any type of spotlight on me in my teens and early twenties…I literally cringe AND shudder AND think about having a mild panic-attack, at the thought of literally everyone knowing my business, my set-backs, my failures and all of my shortcomings.
So don’t take me for being hard on the non Catherine Zeta-Jones’ of the world. Or on the real Catherine Zeta-Jones herself.
I know, at nineteen years old, in my deepest darkest pit, I was not Catherine Zeta-Jones-esque at all.
More like Britney Spears, circa the-year-she-shaved-her-head, maybe.