By most measures, Selena Gomez and Taylor Swift are exceptional girls. Clever and succesful, they’ve succeeded by innate expertise, laborious and sustained work, ambition and imaginative and prescient. Each are the form of mega pop stars who encourage convulsions of adulation and tears. Crowds surge and half of their presence. They’re graced with a radiance that appears virtually unique to celebrities, with pores and skin so incandescent it wants no filter.
However they aren’t excellent. Nor, importantly, do they fake to be. A latest Apple TV+ documentary, “Selena Gomez: My Thoughts & Me,” presents an unsparing portrait of Gomez, now 30, and her experiences with bipolar dysfunction, lupus, nervousness and psychosis. On her newest album, “Midnights,” Taylor Swift, 32, sings about her despair working the graveyard shift, about ending up in disaster. “It’s me, hello, I’m the issue, it’s me / It’s me, hello, all people agrees, all people agrees,” goes the track “Anti-Hero.” “Typically I really feel like all people is an attractive child / And I’m a monster.”
This mixture of exterior flawlessness and emotional vulnerability appears like a characteristic specific to modern feminine pop stardom. On one display screen we see impeccable glam, expertly choreographed and costumed performances and startling shows of luxurious. On the opposite display screen, admissions of hysteria, PTSD, panic assaults and sleeplessness.
What does it imply that lots of at present’s feminine pop stars, not solely Gomez and Swift, but additionally Adele, Woman Gaga and Ariana Grande, brazenly categorical their struggles with nervousness, despair and panic assaults? Megan Thee Stallion has written a track referred to as “Nervousness” and created an internet site devoted to psychological well being. Even Rihanna, paragon of cool confidence, has admitted to the occasional bout of hysteria. Many stars admit in posts and interviews that the rapacious public scrutiny — the followers, the backlashes, the manufactured outrage, the criticisms, the haters — will get to them.