For some reason, I just cannot get this girl out of my head. She bursts onto the American music scene with "Rehab" which I wasn't sure I liked at first because it was so different. The more I listened to her music though (back to black I love), the more I realized that she really is unique. There is no doubt that she has her own look for sure. That beehive is insane, and there's no telling what all she keeps in there. (look for the videos accusing her of pulling cocaine out of her hair and snorting it on stage) She definitely has talent, but she's also definitely fucked up.
What confuses me is that I am not sure whether to appreciate her talent apart from her fuck ups or to dismiss her because of it. It all depends on how I look at it, because I could go either way. She's drunk and high onstage a lot, she's in and out of rehab... is this someone I can look up to as an artist? There are hundreds of talented people out there who will never be half as famous or noticed as she is and who don't get crazy fucked up on drugs and maybe would appreciate that fame more. On the other hand, just because she's a contemporary doesn't mean we should forget about music artists of the past who were fucked up a lot. I mean, look at Janis Joplin, Billie Holiday, even the Beatles. Those are all prime examples of artists that I grew up loving and idolizing. They are also examples of people who did a lot of drugs. Have I ever blamed Billie Holiday for doing drugs and stopped loving her music because of it? No. I only regret that she did so many drugs she died. Period. I love Billie Holiday because she was unique. She took a style of music and completely made it her own. Sure, they may be hundreds of people out there who have nice voices and can sing... but to have the look, the style, and the ability to really create?? That is much more rare. And hey, some people might argue that it's the drugs and the being fucked up that helps them channel the muse, so to speak.
On the other hand, it gets hard to look up to stars who are drunk or high all the time and get away with it. I mean, if I snorted cocaine out on the streets, I am sure I would be arrested. Yet, there's a famous singer doing it in front of millions and she's just cool or needs to go to rehab. It's the same thing with sports heros. They make millions and millions of dollars to keep their bodies in top shape and perform athletically for their fans. So is a sports legend fired when he's found doing drugs or getting drunk every night? No way. Maybe he goes to rehab or maybe he takes a week off, but the ball clubs always welcome him back with open arms. Sometimes it just doesn't seem to make sense to me why we idolize these people who are only worth looking up to from a talent standpoint and not as a real person.
Haha, of course, then you have people like Brad and Angelina who are "movie stars with a heart", and I still want to puke when I think about them, so what the hell do I know? I guess my only conclusion can be this: Stop thinking of celebrities and artists and athletes as people to look up to. Admire their talent, appreciate their skills and creativity, and leave it at that. The truth is, they are just people like you and me, just with more money to spend on their drugs of choice and with cameras in their faces at all times to prove it.
Posted by Sarra Cannon Monday, February 11, 2008