Thursday, 24 April 2014

L'wren Scott And The Truth We Must Tell Ourselves

L'wren Scott was every young woman’s dream. Ambitious, high flying, well turned out, rock-star boyfriend, homes in London, Paris and New York, freaking rich, designer to America’s fashion and entertainment elite, couture wardrobe, one percenter,  limousines, yachts the size of a small country, fun loving, happy.
A close look at her Instagram photos could instill feelings of inferiority in the average person – vacation with Mick Jagger, chartered helicopters, reclining in a private plane with her feet resting on her $5,000 Louis Vuitton handbag. She lived a life that seemed too good to be true. Sadly, it was.

It all came crashing down when she hung herself in a $5.6 million Manhattan flat. In no time, L'wren’s life was revealed to be a carefully thought out fa├žade. Surrounded by the high and mighty in fashion and entertainment, Lren’s business was $6 million in debt. While they all dined and partied in fabulous and fancy places, they completely missed her withdrawal and severe depression.

I remember a young struggling writer I know hosting a party to celebrate some achievement I cannot quite remember. Using a massive duplex that did not belong to him, he invited everyone that was someone within the entertainment space in Lagos. They had a good time with enough premium liquor to fund a startup but I wondered about him, ‘cos I knew he was in deep sh**t at the time, with half the town on his heels for money he owed them.

As long as we live, we all have to contend with pressure - perceived and real. Pressure from ourselves, from family, from religious figures, from peers, from the world. What will determine how well we live is how we deal with that pressure. Once you clock thirty, you begin to worry about the deteriorating quality of your eggs. One year after you get married you have to deal with pressure to have children. After giving birth you need to hit the gym and post pictures of your ‘post baby bod.’ If the gym does not do it, you resort to body magic and smile while you die of suffocation. You finally find Mr. Right and have barely settled down when you find out he is gay. You stay put. What will people say; it’s been only 8 months. You want to groom your natural hair but worry your friends might think you are broke.

Every time you succumb to pressure to do something, act a certain way or perpetuate an image at variance with who you really are, you put yourself on a pedestal. Pedestals are not the problem; it is their knack for exposing the inadequacies of those standing on them that is. Once those inadequacies begin to seep out, your struggle for validation intensifies. You move to a bigger house, buy a more expensive car, marry a glamorous wife whose body lotion is worth your salary for a quarter; you  join the clubs, eat at the right places, fly business or first class, publicly pledge money you do not have in your bank account… The cycle continues until you save yourself from yourself or implode.

The pedestal became too uncomfortable and L'wren could no longer keep up. I hope you don’t wait until you get to that point?

P.s – Here’s a basic rule to live by - If you cannot pay for it upfront, you cannot afford it.

©Naomi Lucas


Itoro Usoro said...

Thank you Naomi for reminding me again to always be myself.
May L'Wren Scott RIP. Sad indeed.

Naomi Lucas said...

You are most welcome :)

Abigirl said...

Sobering, strong and to the point. Thanks Naomi.

Chinedum Ucheoma said...

This write up is the right overdrive effect for consciousness to especially Lagos,Nigeria dwellers.

Naomi Lucas said...

You're welcome.

Alexander Anderson said...

Poignant, especially now that the drive to succeed (or prove you have) is messing with our sense of proportion ... thanks for the breath of fresh air ;)

tamo said...

Always on point girl, always proud to know you