t’s been a busy couple of weeks in celebrity news, not the least of which is the hospitalizations of Demi Moore and Heather Locklear for alleged substance abuse. Two women, once huge stars, one on tv and one in film, one dark and sexy, one blonde and sunny. And, for me, two women exactly my age, who I looked at during my twenties as the opposite sides of the same coin of success in Hollywood . I remember wondering what it must have been like, to be making millions of dollars, dating the hottest men in entertainment, and being the superstars they were, all while I was trudging back and forth to my low-paying retail management job, trying to find my life. I don’t think I envied them – they were too far removed from my reality for that – but cheered them on, especially Demi Moore, even as I wondered “why her?” Stardom is so random, so much luck and timing – especially for these two women, neither of whom is particularly talented in my opinion, but both of whom the camera adored.
So now, here they are, both rejected by men they love (or, in Demi’s case, more a boy), and both believed to be turning to drugs and alcohol to cope with the pain of being abandoned – not only by their husband and fiancé, but by the public in general. They are both visually somewhat startling to me now – Demi with her extreme skinniness and dramatically drawn and narrow face, such a contrast to the luscious young woman she was, and Heather, a mess of botox and fillers, fairly unrecognizable. These are two tragedies – with children who I assume love them, piles of money and careers that have made them iconic names in the entertainment world, they are miserably, desperately unhappy.
There is no place to go but down for superstars. Its impossible for them to maintain their level of hotness, especially in the case of actors and actresses who are more style than substance, as these two are. What must it be like to remember feeling as though all of your dreams and hopes had come true, and then watch it fade away? How is it possible that, in Demi’s case, she thought she could maintain a relationship with a man 16 years her junior in the madness that is Hollywood? And how could 3 men have left Heather Locklear over the course of her adult life – Tommy Lee, Richie Sambora, and now Jack Wagner? Isn’t she every man’s dream girl? What could possibly have been so wrong with her that none of the relationships lasted very long? I can only imagine that both of these women’s self-worth and ego were based on the outside world, the magazine covers, glamour shots, fawning stylists and sycophants they worked with on a daily basis. Having achieved such huge stardom at a young age, they were never able to develop their own sense of self based on what was inside of them – everything was external, distant and, to some extent, manufactured.
I hope these women can both recover and find a way to lead healthy lives after facing their demons, whether in rehab or in some other way. It makes me grateful for my ordinary but happy life – and reminds me of the old adage, “be careful what you wish for.”
Sharon Greenthal emptyhousefullmind.com
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