Fame Could Be a Cat-astrophe

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Fame Could Be a Cat-astrophe

By Anna David 07/12/12

Cat Marnell, the former beauty blogger—and current drug blogger—won recognition for her pill habit. It may add up to more than she bargained for.

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Usually you have to get famous before your drug escapades become known to the world. Cat Marnell did it the other way around. The former xojane.com beauty editor began filling her beauty posts with references to her extra-curricular—and, as it turned out—intra-curricular drug-using habits, attracting legions of fans and detractors in the process. Jane Pratt, her editor, intervened. But instead of sobering up, Marnell left the site and promptly began penning a column for Vice—Amphetamine Logic—that skips the beauty stuff and allows Marnell to write about her true passion. In today's Daily Beast/Newsweek piece on Marnell, she wins applause for her bravery as well as concern that the persona she's created—and the fame that's attracted—is neither good for her nor for her followers. The fact is, addicts and alcoholics tend to have the shared, unfortunate coupling of tremendous self-obsession along with self-hatred. So it might very well be that the worst thing that can happen to an addict who's struggling is for them to become famous. The Fix has published a few pieces on the topic, but it probably can't be said enough: addiction and fame aren't all that different—they both freeze you emotionally at the age they occur, and it takes an incredibly strong constitution to not buy into the adulation that insta-fame can have on a psyche filled with self-loathing. And when the person becomes famous for the very thing that's exacerbating their self-loathing—say, Amy Winehouse for saying "No, no, no" to rehab—that can be the most dangerous drink of all.

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Anna David is the New York Times-bestselling author of multiple books about overcoming difficulties and coming out on the other side: the novels Party Girl (HarperCollins, 2007) and Bought (HarperCollins, 2009), the non-fiction books Reality Matters (HarperCollins, 2010), Falling for Me (HarperCollins, 2011), By Some Miracle I Made It Out of There (Simon & Schuster, 2013) and True Tales of Lust and Love and the Kindle Singles Animal Attraction (Amazon, 2012) and They Like Me, They Really Like Me (Amazon, 2013). Find Anna on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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