Was It worth it?
AFTER hearing that socialite Tara Palmer-Tomkinson had died, two young colleagues of mine were discussing what It-girl meant.
Their online dictionary said “a woman with a ton of self-confidence and self-worth who sets the example of how to have it all. She knows exactly who she is... has a generosity of spirit... and is always in control.”
Tara, 45, was undoubtedly a generous soul, kind, loving and unfailingly loyal, as the flood of touching tributes revealed.
But the truth is she never knew who she really was.
And her privileged life spiralled out of control into drug addiction as she tried to find a purpose, please others and feel worthy of love.
Her posh family were all high achievers and Tara once revealed: “There was always an understanding that to be a P-T you had to be successful. I don’t know what a P-T is but I have a feeling I might not be it.”
Even at the end, as she battled a brain tumour, her motivation to get better was to make her family proud again.
Close pal Ivan Massow said Tara put on that It-girl persona when photographers were around, then spent hours googling herself to find out what was said about her.
But it wasn’t vanity – she was “deeply insecure and craved the validation”.
As are many, many young people in Britain today, an international study revealed this week. Generation Z, our 15-21 year olds, are among the unhappiest in the world, stressed about what’s expected of them, , anxious about succeeding in life – and riskingng their mental health.
So it’s vital that we get youngsters ngsters talking about their fears, about feeling ling unworthy, hopeless or stuck.
“Stuck” is how presenter Fearne Cotton, below, describes the warningng sign that made her seek help for depression.ssion.
She has written openly about bout her mental health in her new book,, Happy, and has become an ambassadordor for the charity Mind. Fearne, 35, has a fabulous career, loving husband and two healthyealthy kids, but was strivingng for perfection. She started arted getting better when she realised “perfect rfect doesn’t exist”.
She said: “Before,re, I i magined l i fe wasas about reaching the greatat heights of success, beingng respected.
“Really, the simplest, freest, t, happiest activities are running g in the park, being with people e I adore, dancing round the kitchen.” Poor Tara was still battling her demons when she died, trying to get better for other people, not for herself.
She was clever, funny,, beautiful, big- hearted – andnd adored by all who knew her.
The tragedy is, Tara just didn’t n’t get it.