Celebrity deaths are a funny thing.
Millions of people around the world are mourning the death of Prince. Some mourn for him like he was a family member, and some even more so than they would their own family.
Prince was not a personal idol of mine. But I do feel sad we have lost an amazing artist. While I didn’t grow up with posters of him on my wall, I’m sure I love artists who have been influenced by him and obviously, have friends who were impacted by him based on my Facebook feed this morning.
This makes me think – why do we mourn so hard for celebrities and often mourn together yet are so disconnected as a society and lack that type of emotion when watching videos of people being senselessly beaten or pass homeless people on the street?
Why have we made ourselves so vulnerable in our relationships with these celebrities but not so much in our everyday lives?
It is because you give what you get. These stars made themselves vulnerable to us, and in turn, we allowed them into intimate areas of our lives creating a very deep connection with them. They have shown us their humanity – their faults, their gifts, their stretch marks. And when they become famous, it’s often hard for us to ignore since those faults and gifts are splattered on tabloid covers for us to see and this relationship magnifies.
These artists use their talents to touch people.
The good ones use it to inspire us, to relate to our struggles and to share their truths. By making themselves vulnerable, it makes them relatable and makes us, their audience, want to connect. After all, humanity is about connection and community.
What does our unbounded connection to celebrities mean to me? It means that we are lacking vulnerability as a society. We are okay when celebrities show themselves (maybe because it’s justified with their fat paychecks?) but it’s not okay for us. Vulnerability as an everyday human is seen as a weakness, not as a strength. Ironically, that is what made Prince and other celebrities stars. And where did these celebrities start?
They certainly didn’t start as hiding.
They started by putting themselves out there and using their vulnerability as a platform.
They wanted to hone their craft, to share it with others, and yes, possibly to make money from it too. They started where we are. And through their work, they have touched millions of lives and the ripple effect of their work will continue for a very long time.
The outright and seemingly absurd depression that I see in my Facebook feed over the death of a celebrity is indicative of one thing – the need for more vulnerability and community in our lives. That translates to the need to
be vulnerable ourselves, create connections and start a ripple effect in our lives.
There is nothing that Prince did that we can’t do.
He started in the same pool as us. He just found a way to make it to the diving board and show the world his fancy twists and flips. His realness and vulnerability is what propelled him as a star making him seemingly unattainable but it’s also the thing that makes him most similar to us. Isn’t it time for you to tap into your vulnerability and share your gifts? The world needs more connection, you need more connection and the only way to get there is being vulnerable and showing the world the real you.
How are you going to start being more vulnerable starting today?
Have you ever gotten wrapped up in achieving a goal or a title and worked so hard to attain it that stopped having fun you lost yourself along the way? I would love to hear about it!
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