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Archive for the ‘Celebrities’ Category

Smile Files: Music

In Celebrities, Dancing, Singing, The Smile Files on September 24, 2011 at 8:53 pm

Me in 2005.

I’m one of those girls that you see in the movies. No. Not the leggy blonde with the knockout figure and big boobs that point to the sky. The other one. You know, the embarrassing one with the big laugh. That one.

I’m Bridget Jones sitting in her flat, wearing pyjamas, singing All By Myself at the top of her voice and guzzling red wine. I’m Susan Sarandon belting out Ain’t No Mountain High Enough (into a hairbrush, of course!) while dancing around her bedroom with her kids in Stepmom. Yep. I’m THAT cheesy.

There’s a funny thing about me. You can always gauge my mood by whether or not I’m playing music. Of course, if I’m depressed there is nothing like a sad song to hit the mark. But in general it’s not the type of music that I play. It’s the fact that I’m playing it at all. When I feel deflated, for me music doesn’t even exist.

If I’m in a good mood, I’m my neighbours’ worst nightmare. It’s playing in the background on the rare occasions that I do housework. It adds atmosphere to the house while I’m surfing the Internet or doing something that doesn’t tax the brain. And it’s a great way to get myself in the mood when I’m tarting myself up for a date or a girls’ night out.

But, to be honest, I don’t need an excuse to play music. Many times I turn on the iPod because I want to have a party in my living room. I want to grab my wooden spoon or my polka dot lint roller and sing while prancing around. I don’t just want to move like Jagger, I close my eyes and pretend that I’m sharing a microphone with him.

And when a slow song comes on – like a good old-fashioned Patsy Cline tearjerker or that Penny and the Quarters tune, You and Me from the movie Blue Valentine – then I slow dance, with my shadow I guess, because there’s no one else around.

I know you’re cringing on my behalf right now. I’m cringing for myself because I can’t believe I’m sharing this with you. This is probably the most intimate thing that I’m going to reveal about myself, because it is private. It is silly and if someone ever walked in on me while I’m dancing around in my vest and pants like an idiot I would be mortified!

But guess what? It’s one of those simple things in life that bring me pleasure. And I don’t think you need to be Renee Zellweger in Bridget Jones’s Diary or Tom Cruise singing You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling in Top Gun to experience it. If it makes you smile, just do it.

So, in honour of all those geeks out there, click on the link below and join Cher, Winona Ryder and Christina Ricci, grab the nearest hairbrush and sing The Shoop Shoop Song from the Mermaids soundtrack. Go on. You know you want to. I promise not to look.

M x

The latest celebrity trend?

In Bipolar, Celebrities on April 24, 2011 at 4:12 am

When Catherine Zeta-Jones recently announced that she had bipolar disorder I was worried. Not about her, for me. While I admire her bravery and honesty in confronting this issue publicly – from a totally selfish perspective – it was the classic case of bad timing.

The last thing I want anyone to think is that I’m jumping on the bandwagon, that I’ve launched The Moody Cow because a series of celebrities have either announced that they have bipolar or have been diagnosed as such by armchair psychiatrists and gossip columnists alike.

Let’s make things clear: I don’t do trends. Never have. And I’m not going to start now at the age of 35. If I were so inclined I’d sooner buy myself a Louis Vuitton bag than tell the world I have a mental illness. This blog was conceived weeks before Zeta-Jones’s health problems came to light.

On the surface, however, the “bipolar” label seems to be THE latest thing to have in the world of celebrity. Like adopting black babies from Africa and getting a colonic before the Academy Awards it seems that everyone has to have a touch of madness to be cool. (I’m being facetious, of course.)

Nevertheless, for the past few years “bipolar” has become the latest buzzword in showbiz media. Celebrities who have publicly admitted to having the disorder include the actors Stephen Fry and Mel Gibson, singer Sinead O’Connor as well as Brit pop star Kerry Katona. Let’s not forget Disney actress Demi Lovato whose revelation came on the heels of the Zeta-Jones announcement.

Then there are those celebrities who are going through a personal or professional crisis and are acting erratically. They could just be behaving badly or purposefully trying to break free of the cookie-cutter image managers and agents want them to fit into. But we have to label them with something. So Britney Spears and Charlie Sheen have both been shoved under the bipolar umbrella.

I’m not belittling any of the celebrities that I have mentioned. (In fact I admire all of them for being so upfront.) But I am concerned that some members of the public will become cynical. I don’t want the term “bipolar” to be likened to “sex addiction” where just the mere mention of the term makes people roll their eyes and think it is just an excuse for bad behaviour. It is not.

Bipolar disorder is a real illness that affects millions of people worldwide. According to an 11-nation study published by the Archives of General Psychiatry in March 2011, 2.4 percent of people around the world have been diagnosed as having bipolar at some point in their lifetime. The US has the highest lifetime rate of the disorder at 4.4 percent. Meanwhile the National Health Service (NHS) website reports that in the UK, one person in 100 is diagnosed with the condition. So there are many people with this condition walking among us.

There is nothing sexy about bipolar. There is nothing trendy about being immobilised by your moods. Depression for me is like Mike Tyson – it can knock me out with one punch. It leaves me groggy and listless. There have been mornings when I’ve had to negotiate with myself to brush my teeth let alone have a shower. At my worst there have been weekends where I haven’t had a wash, combed my hair or left my house I’ve been so depressed. I don’t go out and see friends. If the phone rings I don’t answer it preferring to roll over in my bed and bury my head beneath the sheets.

Conversely being manic is an exhilarating experience of having fire running through my veins. I’ve never snorted cocaine but I don’t think I could work longer, talk faster or have more powerful orgasms if I took that drug such is the intensity of my natural highs. Then I crash and more often than not cringe when I realise how I’ve run amok over the last x amount of days.

For 80 percent of the time I’m stable and the only thing that reminds me that I have bipolar is the medication I have to take every morning and every night. Other than that if I get enough sleep, exercise regularly, eat a balanced diet and don’t drink in excess, I’m fine.

But it’s that remaining 20 percent that makes me want to warn those who read about bipolar in the news and rush to dismiss it as a celebrity fad. It’s not like hair extensions or Botox, fake boobs or the latest diet. You can’t be bipolar one day or suddenly decide you’re not the next. It’s serious. It’s real. And if you’re suicidal it can be deadly.

Bipolar is no respecter of persons – whether you’re an Oscar-winning actress or a shopkeeper. It’s a great leveller.

So, while I’m glad that more celebrities are opening up about their private battle with the disorder and attempting to divorce it from shame, I don’t want anyone to think people who say they have it are slavishly trying to follow the latest trend. Trust me, if they had a choice, they’d invest in a designer handbag instead. It’s a hell of a lot more fun.

M x