One year ago today Caroline Flack took her own life. I met her once when we were both fresh faced and full of excitement to have arrived in telly land. How did we get here, what is going on and what do we do? We both had no idea, but it felt good to be there.
As time went on it turned out fame was not what it first appeared to be. After some years I took a step back in search of some balance, some normality and before I got lost forever, in search of myself.
I watched as Caroline’s star rose and rose, as she navigated fame in a way I never could. I watched in awe as she went places I was too afraid to venture, saw things I was too afraid to see until last February the awful truth revealed itself. Fame is like Vegas; the house always wins.
Today there are so many who want to be famous, to be special, to be seen. But at what cost.
Here are the 5 things I learned from being a little famous a little while ago.
- Being famous is fun
Oh, so much fun. The places, the people, the parties. The free food, free clothes, free drink. Getting to go backstage, hang in green rooms and have a table in the VIP area. Being flavour of the month and being told you are fabulous all the time (even when it’s not true). Being cool, being hot, being the IT girl. The fun never stops. Until it stops.
- Being famous Is not for the faint hearted
Now all that fun doesn’t come for free. You have to put up with a lot of people giving their opinions on, well, everything. Your face, your body, your weight, your hair, your clothes, your bum, the way you smile, the way you walk, the way you talk, the way you are too much but not enough, Your past, your present, your future, your lovers, your family, your friends, your mistakes, your flaws and your failures. And of course today you can never escape as this will all be discussed, dissected and decided on social media. Caroline knew this only too well.
- The camera adds 10 pounds
Let me tell you about the time I was 21 years old, a size 8 and a male photographer on a photo shoot patted me on my tummy and told me
“You’d would want to lose that – Now suck it in “
That is all.
- Celebrities are smaller in real life
From Beyonce to Britney to Bieber, from the Robbie’s to the Rachels to the Ryan’s – they all have two things in common. They are super famous and super small. Well not exactly super small but smaller than their persona on stage and screen. And that is always what hit me first when I met them, as well as how normal they looked. Yes, some were very beautiful and very talented but ultimately, they are human. Just like you and me.
5 Being famous doesn’t fix you
Fame is great game if you can play it and win but not everyone in the game knows the rules. Being on TV, stage or screen is a very unforgiving business and if you are in anyway vulnerable being famous will bring those vulnerabilities right to the surface. Fame will challenge your self-esteem to the point where your inner critique will shout so loudly you won’t be able to think and on a really bad day you won’t be able to breath.
The parties, places, people, fun, freebies and VIP access don’t mean a thing or fix a thing. It’s a inside job.
You left us way too soon Caroline, RIP.