(A comment on celebrity culture, mental health and social media….appeared as a featured blog post on Huffington Post Ents. Available here)
Dear Brad and Ange,
I write to you in response to the distress you have caused me today. As professionals, you are no doubt aware that your role as a celebrity brings with it certain responsibilities. I therefore feel that your actions are tantamount to gross misconduct, and, with that in mind, I urge you to respectfully resign from your posts as professional celebrities.
You have seriously diluted the brangelina brand – yet, unlike Gwyneth Paltrow – a popular role model for famous divorcees- you have failed to provide a catchy replacement.
The distress caused is widespread. It’s not just me – there are others. Thousands of people are showing clear signs of PTSD, having been confronted with your negligence.
I have gathered evidence (albeit anonymously, as I wish to protect their feelings as they have not asked for this attention) from some of the anguished users of Twitter today.
@K********o said: ‘Beautiful, Rich, Famous & Powerful: In spite of having it All, They are still not satisfied with their lives…with each other.’
Case in point number 1. You do have it all. And you haven’t used your ‘all’ positively, as professional celebrity role models should. From the moment Girl Interrupted and Thelma and Louise hit the big screens, and your ridiculously generous fees were paid, you had a duty to activate your CERPP membership (Celebrity Emotional Resilience Protection Plan) to safeguard you from needless negative emotional states and natural human responses to life events that spill over into the public’s everyday lives. The media has even reported that you have both suffered with mental health problems – namely depression – which is astonishing given you have absolutely nothing to feel sad about. I mean, sort it out! This is an industry act of gross negligence, and it has impacted on the efficiency of thousands of businesses across the world as employees closely monitored #brangelina in a race to get the next big Jennifer Aniston meme trending. In fact, I predict that commercial output for 20/09/16 will be even lower than that of 26/02/15 (#dressgate #hyenas) . Poor. And you are responsible.
@C*****a added: ‘So two narcissistic, rich, self indulgent, egotists are getting divorced….So?’
The author of this tweet is obviously in denial. And I fear that their counselling fees will inflate massively as they attempt to manage their anger and resentment towards you. But they are correct in their observation. Taking a shortcut to celebrity status by using mere acting and directing skills is incredibly narcissistic. Real celebrities put stardom first, craft second. Their sole purpose is to raise awareness of themselves so that they can help others. What have you done?
@Ny*******r:’These two are rich. I’m guessing those kids have nannies all over. I think the kids will be fine. Prob a better Xmas than most.’
Your children are not like other children and we don’t, and wont, feel sorry for them. They will grow up getting everything they want, sunning themselves in the celebrity limelight as well as the South of France. There are kids living on poor estates who are at increased risk of mental health problems. I bet you’ve never thought about them have you? Meanwhile, the Hollywood kids have it all from day one; lapping up loads of attention, getting their faces in the glossy magazines for all to see, having their own hash tag before they’re even born! Some even get to skip school and work on cushy, glamorous jobs as child actors. Just look at Lindsay Lohan and Corey Haim. Child-stars, living the dream. I’d do anything to give my kids the sort of life that they have had.
So please, stop pretending that you’re anything but a celebrity. You chose to be a celebrity. Stop going undercover as an actor or director, or a frontline, hands on charity worker. We all know that individuals who become successful artists have an over-inflated sense of self, trying to play it down by faking relationship struggles, nervous breakdowns, depression and panic attacks (which, by the way, cost me over £25 when Zayn Malik selfishly cancelled a gig! A disgrace). You have a duty to us now. So pull yourself together. Because if you don’t, the press will still be knocking down your door, you’ll be forced to speak out about your most private affairs for the whole world to hear immediately. And remember, whatever you say during this time of emotional turmoil will be analysed, scrutinised and immortalised forever by hash tag search engines.
You lucky lucky people.