By HALO KWOK
TW: mentions of self-harm/ suicide.
The influencer life is not always as picture perfect or easy to acquire as people make it out to be.
Reality TV participants. Fashion models. Tiktok stars. As the world is pushed through a process of change and evolution, more and more people have been exposed to the luxurious lives of prominent individuals. This resulted in the media’s increased fixation on celebrities all around the world. After all, who does not want to reach for the stars and live the high life? However, people still do not recognize the overbearing cost that fame and popularity comes with.
Obtaining a lavish and grandeur lifestyle is not as ideal as it seems, and the journey is filled with immeasurable hardships that will leave victims trailing behind in tears.
For those that want a chance at attracting attention from the public eye, you have to fit into at least one of two limited categories: the pitied or the envied. Stardom can be easily broken down into its superficial constructs, and it does not take a professional to see through the twisted schemes. Different industries paint their people in different lights, but every victim shares one struggle in common—the pressure to conform to a certain unrealistic standard.
When those pressures become too much to handle, dangerous habits fall into the picture. There is a reason why even the most influential celebrities fall down a rabbit hole of self-harm and substance abuse. One look at the amount of well-known individuals who died of self-induced causes can reveal a lot about their struggles. Though they had all of the resources to seek help from professionals, the weight on their shoulders led them to turn to death as a solution for all of their problems. Those exposed to the ways of the famous will never be able to recover afterward, as the environment is so shamelessly damaging to everyone ensnared in the traps.
Reality TV participants are examples of people that contribute to the public’s quixotic view on celebrities. However, they too are subject to the overwhelming toxicities that exist within their field of work. Hana Kimura, a cast member of Netflix’s former show Terrace House, died of suicide after she faced years and years of cyberbullying. No one decided to help her when she needed it the most.
Yet, after her passing, her page was flooded with condolences from her fanbase. It is truly sad to see the public address the unfortunate realities that celebrities face when they are gone for good and not when their lives can still be saved. This is the world that influencers live in: a relentless world filled with toxicity, destruction and malignance. It is an universe that only the strongest of people can thrive in, and an universe that the ill-fated will surely succumb to. Nevertheless, many people still embark on the dangerous journey towards fame and end up facing the consequences of chasing their unfeasible aspirations when it is too late to turn back.
Too many kids growing up in the newer generations harbor unrealistic expectations for both themselves and their futures. Many factors feed into those expectations, including the rise of Reality TV, the increased usage of social media and the continuous development of the internet.
The rising levels of toxicity within the world can be credited to the constant expansion of the technological realm. Platforms like TikTok, YouTube and Instagram are filled with influencers that make millions off of the revenue they generate on their pages. When children see their role models leading flamboyant lives online, it is only natural for them to feel envious and crave that same glory and attention. The false sense of hope that the internet provides to young teenagers is an issue that needs to be addressed.
For those who are aspiring to make it big in the real world, this is a rude awakening for you. Acquiring fame is a risky game of luck, and only the ones with traumatic backstories or gifted talents are able to surpass the barrier that exists between the commoner and the powerful. It is surely not for the faintest of hearts, and if you still find yourself gravitating towards the lavish benefits of fame, consider yourself one of the brash few that are willing to attempt to achieve that feat. Nothing comes without sacrifice, and your innocence and happiness will surely be sacrificed on the road to fame.