The world is reacting to news of Demi Lovato’s recent drug overdose. She recently revealed she was no longer sober releasing the song Sober after six years in recovery. Reactions have been mixed.
While many are shocked by the news and are extending their thoughts and prayers, some understandably don’t care or are far removed from the situation. Meanwhile, there’s a third group of people who are flat out rude and inconsiderate, and I know why.
Our most recent post on our Instagram account was a post about Lovato with lyrics from Sober. To be honest, it garnered the most engagement of any image we’ve ever posted. But what was alarming was some of the comments. Some called Lovato a “Hollywood brat”, some scoffed at the pressures of being a millionaire celebrity, while others stated there are average people going through the same thing that aren’t getting the same support or attention.
What these comments point to is ignorance. We always assume rich and successful people are ignorant of what average or less fortunate people are going through, and some are. There are some people who think homeless people need to “just get a job”, but we’re also guilty of being ignorant of what rich and successful people are going through. We assume their lives are somehow easier because they have success and money. Remember, Biggie told us, “Mo’ money, mo problems”. I’m sure these people would look at our lives and think we have it easy.
For some reason, it’s somehow acceptable when homeless people get into addictions (it’s easy for us to understand), but when it’s a celebrity they’re a spoiled brat who’s acting out. Some of us feel like celebrities and CEO’s who find ways to cope aren’t worthy of the same compassion that “normal” people get because they have success. At the end of the day, people get into addictions because they need to cope with some inner struggles, whether they’re rich or poor. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of having an empowerment mindset and taking responsibility for your actions, but there’s a time to be principled and a time for compassion.
When it comes to the attention Devi Lovato is receiving, people aren’t giving her attention because she’s better or more important than anyone else going through addiction. It’s just the nature of her job means she’s known by more people. Expecting the world to give “John Smith”, addict from “Nowheresville, USA” the same attention as Demi Lovato, as some of our commentors noted, is idotic. Earlier this year, I lost my father to cancer. Should I have gotten angry because Patrick Swayze’s battle with pancreatic cancer got more press or social media buzz than my father’s? No. All human lives were made equal, but some people have a greater public profile because of the nature of their jobs and what they’ve been able to do with their talents.
Every celebrity is someone who decided to do something about their talents and fulfill their dreams. They may have made certain sacrifices like not having a childhood or having to grow up quickly (and under a microscope). Some of them were homeless for a time. Like entrepreneurs, they usually don’t know where their next role or opportunity is coming from. And all of them take the risk of putting their art and talents out there when the average person hides their talents, chooses a safer career path to pay the bills, or never truly steps into their true passions. It’s hard enough sharing your art with one person or a room of people let alone share your art and lives with millions of people and have both open to public scrutiny. Yes, it comes with the job, which many people use as a justification, but some of these people will tell you it’s a necessary evil that comes with doing what they love. They’d rather not have people following them 24/7 taking their picture or have people commenting on their bodies on social media.
What this all points to is some people’s insecurities and lack of sense of place in the world. If you’re doing what makes you happy in life, fulfilling your purpose, and living your best life, whether that’s being a parent, spouse, entrepreneur, artist, salesperson, or teacher, you’re not going to look at these celebrities with hate or try to kick them when they’re down.
If you’re angry at the attention celebrities like Demi Lovato get when they’re struggling, the problem isn’t them, it’s you. It’s jealousy. It’s lack of identity. It’s security. If you really believe Demi Lovato is a normal person and is no better or no more important than you, this whole situation shouldn’t bother you. The real problem is you don’t really believe that.