It is not romantic to be broken. There’s nothing beautiful about it. It is not a black and white photograph taken by an artistic photographer.
I think sometimes we get seduced by the idea of fragility – brokenness. Two women I greatly admire are Marilyn Monroe and Edie Sedgwick. They set the world on fire, and yet I honestly cannot think of two more damaged, broken people. But the thing is, it’s been romanticized. You look at pictures of Marilyn or Edie, so sad and fragile but trying to be tough, and it’s tragic in a beautiful sort of way. But those photographs weren’t their lives. They are photographs of a moment. And almost anything – when captured just for a moment – can be beautiful. The truth lies in the ugliness that eventually killed them both. Toward the end of her life, Edie was so desperate to get that message out there. That there was nothing pretty about what had happened to her. There is nothing poetic about destroying yourself. Because destruction is destruction.
I’ve had my forays into the world of damages. And the truth is that it seemed easier sometimes to just play the victim. Poor little rich girl, her own worst enemy. Because it was easier, almost, to simply let myself be seduced by self-pity. To not even try to pull myself up from the bottom, but rather to make a home there, and simply be. “Isn’t she beautiful? But it’s so sad. She’s so sad.” Pretty words, ugly truth.
Sometimes we are the ones who don’t want to fight for ourselves. And it’s exactly when you don’t want to fight that you have to fight twice as hard.