Surprisingly, I didn’t have a clue who Casey Johnson was when I found out that she died. I say surprisingly because I tend to read a lot of random things about celebrities – or should I say “celebrities.” Between what I see on the internet and read over people’s shoulders on the subway each morning, I am usually pretty up-to-date with the celebrity universe. But when I saw Casey Johnson on the cover of the NY Post after she passed away, I didn’t have a clue.
While anyone’s passing is a tragic story, all you could think while reading it was “trainwreck.” Plain and simple – her celebrity was fabricated and her life was surely completely disastrous and empty. It reminded me of when I watched Britney Spears’ documentary on MTV. I tuned in expecting to be entertained, but was left feeling sorry for her. Sorry that she felt she had to spend her life being someone she wasn’t. Sorry that for someone who could have (and should have) had everything, she was left with almost nothing, in the grand scheme of things. Shortly after, I read this article in New York magazine.
Although the whole article is worth a read, this is the part that stood out the most to me – “As I knew her, Casey systematically seemed to enhance her already plentiful natural assets until she became almost an anime creature with exaggerated cheeks, lips, and breasts. As if she thought she would never be pretty enough. Or good enough. So she decided to become famous, like her idol, Marilyn Monroe. Because, after all, if you’re famous, everybody loves you, right? They all respect you and want to be you …”
Although this was really about the Britneys and Caseys of the world, it resonated with me for a different reason. It was the concept of thinking that there is always a fix. Always another version of you that is going to be better, another version of you that is going to make you happier within the universe.
There can always be a smarter you, so you can impress the people you strive to match intellectually.
There can always be a prettier you, one that doesn’t have the flaws that only you notice.
And once you figure out what you think this version is, will you ever be pretty enough? Smart enough? Or simply put – enough.
Will you end up being one of the Britneys or Caseys – the person who believes that if you pretend to be someone else long enough, that you actually can become that person? Or can you learn to be happy with who you are at face value?
“Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are.” – Kurt Cobain