Celebrity Help

While perusing the internet one day (I’m a millennial and that’s all I do) I came across a variety of articles about some actors disclosing they had Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Now, usually I don’t really care about celebrity lives but I’ve been noticing a trend of celebrities and influencers disclosing their medical history.

A morbid fascination with celebrity life has always been part of pop culture but the one thing many do not talk about is their health. Seriously, when was the last time you heard of anything more serious than a cold? Or, if hospitalization was in order nothing more than dehydration or a bad flu? My favorite example is Lucille Ball. It is rumored that she had JRA but to this day no one can really confirm it.

Mum’s the word when it comes to health and it’s no surprise when we expect our idols to be perfect. So, why the sudden change, why are our favorite influencers suddenly disclosing their health issues?

Social media: Connecting people we otherwise wouldn't be connected to

Social media is an interesting phenomenon. It has made it possible to feel close to people we used to think were totally on another level. We can comment on their feeds, watch their stories and see them engage with their friends, making them one of us. Social media can make or break someone’s reputation and when used right can increase publicity. It’s a game that anyone in the public eye needs to win.

There’s always a reason for every post. Every curated flat, every perfect living room, and every personal video has an ulterior motive. It’s always money and always exposure.

The biggest common denominator between these celebrities is that no one is talking about them anymore.

Social media is hard. Don’t post for a couple of days and your visibility decreases exponentially. I wish I were exaggerating but unfortunately, I am not. It’s that [drastic].

Are these people just looking to get back into it after a long absence and drum up renewed interest? Are they trying to expand their audience? Do they just want us to feel sorry for them?

Only they and their publicity teams know and honestly, I don’t care about their reasons.

A wrong picture of chronic illness?

I am just a bit annoyed about the picture they are painting about autoimmunity and chronic illnesses.

They’re explaining a long absence with a healthy photo and a short caption naming an “obscure” disease that most people do not recognize. Often, they just see arthritis and think of osteoarthritis which we all know is totally different.

They don’t explain what the illness is, or how it affects everyday life. Chronic illnesses are just that – “chronic” and we have to deal with every second of every day for the rest of our lives. Influencers play them off as a one or two-time event and as simple as the flu. “I had pain, I had a disability but look, I’m good now”.

But publicity leads to awareness

I’m, of course, not saying that some celebrities are not passionate about Rheumatoid Disease. Some of them really want to spread awareness of the disease. Even though I think social media taints genuine emotion (yeah, I know I’m a hypocrite) I also think any publicity is good publicity.

Even if these people are not trying to expand their audience just by using the words “Rheumatoid Arthritis – or, Disease” many will look it up in interest. Either way, they are spreading awareness and hopefully, knowledge. That’s what we Spoonies want most in life, right? For people to understand just a little more what we’re going through on the daily.

What do you think of celebrities disclosing their medical information? Do you care? Let me know in the comments!

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