AMBER LOVE 24-JUNE-2014 The celebrity buzz this week targeted singer LANA DEL REY after some unsavory comments about wanting to be dead. I’m not going to presume to know what she was thinking. She claims the Guardian reporter used leading questions about Amy Winehouse and Kurt Cobain to discuss death.
If you’ve listened to even one album of Del Rey, it’s impossible to miss her moods and drama. She’s a performer – a damn successful one. The websites celebritynetworth and therichest estimate her financial status between $8-12 million. Her talent, style, and brooding messages of being privileged and stoned have a way of speaking to people melodically. The tones of her songs are basically hypnotic and trance-inducing. Even when she’s singing about unpleasant things, you want to sink deeply with her and feel her soul. That’s her power.
I certainly would not be surprised to find out that Del Rey really does have suicidal thoughts. A lot of people do and it’s high time the world stopped thinking it can only happen to a particular “type” of the population. It’s not just the poor, not only women, not only the heartbroken nor the unsuccessful. TMZ makes its bank on celebrities who fall into “trouble” and like vultures, all the media circles and feeds on something as salacious as a rich person wanting to be dead.
Her lyrics explore some dangerous but honest subject matter like being a teenage girl flirting and showing off to explore the new sexuality she’d feel around boys. When she sings about girls being friends, there’s an air of popular girl privilege in there but it’s still not a bad thing to think that young girls have a supportive circle for each other. Now, if that system is only supporting drug use and underage girls picking up much older men, there’s a problem.
Del Rey was a teenage alcoholic. Her parents sent her to boarding school to get sober. That’s not something typical of middle-class America troubled youth. However, dependence is a pretty clear indication that something was wrong. I’m not defending anything Del Rey said in that Guardian interview about death, but why I write this is to beg anyone who thinks a celebrity is only faking darkness to be relevant, please give it some thought. It’s an absurd notion. No one wants to be this way. No one wishes for dependency to escape how they see the world; artists would rather have the ability to turn those trips on and off but not to be uncontrollably swimming without a life raft. Maybe Del Rey has a mental illness that’s not being discussed. You don’t know. But the fact remains that wealthy, successful, talented, charismatic people can suffer. People like Stephen Frye, Carrie Fisher, Owen Wilson and many more are perfect examples that mental illness does not care how much money and fame you have.