Monica Lewinsky’s recent article got me thinking about fame.
I do not judge her for the Clinton sex scandal of 1995.
But I do not feel sorry for her either.
Bill Clinton was older, in power, and obviously magnetic. She was young, impressionable, and star struck. It’s cool. She made a mistake. Clinton made an even bigger one. But that does not make her a victim.
He knew it was wrong. He did it. He paid for it.
She knew it was wrong. She did it. She paid for it . . . Or so she says.
I am no better than her. Far from it, as a matter of fact. I’ve made personal errors in my life too, but I accept the consequences of my actions. I have slowly grown to forgive myself, but I certainly don’t blame my choices in the past for any struggles I go through now. And even if there is a link, it’s my burden to bear because I helped to create the problem.
Having one’s private circus played out on a national stage must have made a confusing, embarrassing situation all the more painful, but how does drudging it all up again in a Vanity Fair interview rectify it? How does making it public AGAIN make it any better? I’m not going to feel sorry for her any more now than I did 14 years ago when she used the notoriety to her advantage to appear on numerous talk shows and to launch her handbag line. If I remember correctly, the handbag line was successful.
I don’t know her and because of that, I can’t possibly be sure I’m right. This is just a theory…To me, the Vanity Fair article that portrays her “side of the story” seems like a manipulated publicity stunt to get her name and face back out there so she can once again make money off her fame.
So yeah–the article got me thinking about our country’s fascination with fame.
I know a little something about being famous. People take your calls, you get in closed doors, you receive special treatment. I also know what it’s like to lose some of the privileges that come with fame when your skillet cools.
But for Vanity Fair to give her this platform only fuels the misguided obsession our society seems to have with fame at any cost — fame for being a reality star wife that flips tables, fame for being a beach bum that only tans and goes to the gym, fame for giving the president a blow job. Nowadays people can and do anything to become famous.
And we let them.
I don’t think Monica got involved with President Clinton in order to be famous, but I am suspicious that she did the recent Vanity Fair interview in an attempt to reignite the fame she acquired long ago, not to “give purpose to [her] past” by lending advice to other people who have fallen by the hands of internet and media bullying.
I certainly object to her being ridiculed or tormented for what happened in 1995, but I don’t think she should be pitied, or for goodness sake, celebrated for it with a cover story in a major magazine. And I think the I-want-to-save-others thing is a bit of malarkey.
For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. She didn’t steal the football captain away from the high school cheerleader. She was dallying in the big leagues when she cozied up to the President of the United States. The President of the United States! Bill Clinton was the most powerful man in the world. That’s some history making stuff. And it’s not gonna disappear because she feels desperate over not finding employment now.
I’m having trouble finding employment, too. My friends (not only in the entertainment business) are also having trouble finding employment. Times are tough in our country right now. Perhaps her “history” is putting added strain on employers choosing her, but the harsh reality is it IS her history. If doors had been closed on her right after the scandal I might feel differently. But she enjoyed success in the wake of the aftermath. If in this length of time she hasn’t built her own circles of business relationships, that’s on her, not the media. She can’t blame the media and then use the media to rehash a story now because she doesn’t like how it’s panning out in this chapter.
I’m just sayin’. And I’m not buyin’.