You have a beautiful, insecure, depressive young woman. She turns to alcohol and drugs to numb the pain of a depression she can't get out of. She goes from marriage to marriage, sometimes being faithful, and sometimes cheating her husband.
When she's single, she's sleeping with guys who have wives, and not hiding it well. All the while, the drug use and alcohol use is spiraling out of control.
Her job is at stake- she has no where to turn to, so she gets more pills to help numb the pain, which in turn causes her to lose work, and money. As her life falls further out of her control, she takes more pills. One night, she takes too many, and the next time people see her, she's lifeless. She died alone in a dark room, without the people she so desperately craved in her life.
What would you think of her if she lived next door? What if she was your sister, or cousin? What if you found out your husband was having an affair with this woman? What if her drug use put you, and others you loved at risk?
What if her name was Marilyn Monroe?
Tonight, my niece was talking about how her idol is Marilyn, and my brother (her uncle, not her father) asked why she idolizes a druggie and home wrecker. It got me thinking.
Because she was an actress, Marilyn's death is often romanticized. It's theorized, and it's forgotten, much like the style in which she lived that life.
We look at her in photos and think, "She's so beautiful, so glamorous." And maybe she was- in a photo. But inside, she was scared, she was depressed, she was full of sin, and she turned towards alcohol and prescription pills to heal the hurt.
Why is it that we idolize her with such ferocity? She deserves pity, certainly. But putting her on a pedestal makes her something she never was- perfect. She was the Paris Hilton of her day. Beautiful, filled with drugs, alcohol, and with no shame when it came to who she would get into bed with.
A few people have asked for some clarification on my stance, so I'll give it to you.
1- Do I judge male cheaters as harshly as female cheaters? Yes. I do. Sorry, but keep it in your pants. Honestly, if you really feel that strongly about another person, then you need to end the relationship you are before starting a new one. PERIOD. That said, I judge the cheater I know more harshly than the cheater I don't know. Does that mean I won't get over it? No. I can forgive and move past, but you better believe I don't forget.
2- Do I agree with people idolizing drug users, cheaters, or other people who have less than stellar morals? I don't agree or disagree. I don't personally choose to idolize people who can't clean up their messes and get their act together. I pity them. Especially if they are in a position to be a role model. A drug user is NEVER a role model. That said, what I am against is people idolizing people to the point of ignoring that there are issues. If you want to idolize someone, get to know who they were. Don't blindly follow the masses because someone has a few good quotes, or photos. Know who they really were, so that when you tell someone you idolize them, you can stand behind it without compromising your own beliefs.
3- Do I think someone with an on-going drug addiction is different than someone who has cleaned up their act? You bet I do. Take for instance Drew Barrymore vs. Lindsay Lohan. Drew had issues. She took a break, she cleaned herself up, and she moved on. Lindsay had issues. She continues to have issues. She can't go more than a month without having a public issue with being loaded, and can't own up to the issues she has. For her, it's deny, deny, deny. But you can only see so many photos of her stumbling drunk from a bar at 2 am, unable to walk or keep her eyes open, before you realize she still has an active issue. She has an amazing opportunity that she's flushing down the toilet. I don't respect that in the least. Will I feel the same if in 2 years, she's clean, working, and doing her best to stay that way? No. I'll respect her for giving herself a chance to be the person she should be.
So- honestly, everyone should look up to who they want to look up to. But if you want to stand by idolizing someone, know who they are. Don't do it blindly.
Marilyn was an amazing person. I don't disagree with that. But, she was full of problems. The problems she had, if she were a starlet today, would put her on the same ground as Lindsay Lohan, or Paris Hilton, or Britney Spears. Know that, then decide if she is still the type of person you would want to be.
In the end, idolization is about wanting to be the person you idolize. Don't give your idolization up blindly.