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#TheGramSham: Celebrity life, more than meets the eye

Celebrities took to the Instagram to reveal the real stories they hide behind posts that portray a perfect life of travel, fashion, good food, solid friendships and love affairs.

Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG -TV personality Jo Lurie appears to have blown the lid on some Instagram glam-stars’ seemingly perfect lives by calling on them to show fans that their lives are not all ‘glitz and glam’ under the hashtag: #TheGramSham.

This past weekend, celebrities took to the same platform to reveal the real stories they hide behind posts that portray a perfect life of travel, fashion, good food, solid friendships and love affairs.

One such person is newsreader and presenter Mel Bala who is no stranger to admitting to the real pressures that celebrities face away from the spotlight.

In her post, Bala shares an image of herself looking happy at a television studio but reveals in her caption that at the time she was anything BUT happy.

“This picture was taken two years ago…What you don’t see is the exhaustion and sadness. My marriage was over, my father had died. I was in therapy, on anti-depressants, barely sleeping and crying every single day.”

#TheGramSham *deep breath* This picture was taken about 2 years ago at Live Amp. Bob and I had been invited to host an episode. It was a lot of fun. What you don’t see is the exhaustion and sadness. My marriage was over, my father had died. I was in therapy, on anti-depressants, barely sleeping and crying every single day. I hid it all very well except to those very close to me. Why are we so so scared to let people see the real us? To let people know that we’re struggling, that we’re not okay. Is it because we’ll be seen as weak or over sharing? “Why is she putting all her business out there?” Even now, I share this with trepidation because “what will people say” or will some media outlet use it as a story tomorrow? The pressure to present these perfect lives is insane. Don’t get me wrong: we all love to dress up and slay, and get those likes but that’s not real life. Not for me, not for you, not for anyone. Life is not 100% ups all the time. There are a lot of downs too. We need to allow ourselves those moments because in doing so, we share the full range of what makes us human. We invite someone who is struggling too, to say “I am not alone”. The #GloUp is great but there’s a down that has to come first before you can glow up. 50, 5000 or 500,000 followers and we can’t share what’s in our hearts because we’re scared to be judged or to lose brands, sponsorships, opportunities? I’ll take my chances. On this #YouthDay, I want young people to know it’s okay to not be okay. It takes time, effort, tears, work, self-care but you’ll get there ❤️ M. • Click on #TheGramSham for other posts. @thejolurie

A post shared by Melanie Bala (@melzinbala) on

Comedian and presenter Tumi Morake joined in, expressing that she had also returned to therapy after a traumatic period in recent months when she was involved in two accidents, an armed robbery and losing her mother.

“My job is to entertain, make light of things. Lately, it takes a real effort to do that. I am back in therapy because I am a weird combination of exhausted and on edge and I am looking for answers.”

Before I saw this #thegramsham timeline I was asked why I think I have to go through everything alone. From my mother's death to the trauma of the past nine months. Now, two accidents (none caused by me) and a recent armed robbery have left me grabbing each moment like it could be my last with these precious people. My job is to entertain, make light of things. Lately it takes a real effort to do that. I am back in therapy because I am a weird combination of exhausted and on edge and I am looking for answers. For the first time this week I have taken on a more active role with the kids and I have felt like I must have been an absent parent all along. I kept messing up their schedules this week. Shortly after I took this picture I had to get them all to bed because we had work to do. Afia begged me to sleep with her, Lesedi started crying for a cupcake and Bonsu was upset I got his book request wrong. Without dad there I would have been in real trouble. To make things worse I felt bad to be working at home when they expect more time with me and I am busy chasing deadlines. We are all trying. We are all human. Instagram is just a collection of the sparks we collect along the way. 🤗❤️

A post shared by Tumi M*r*ke (@tumi_morake) on

LARA KRUGER: WHAT DID WE MISS?

The media industry was recently shaken by the death of radio personality Lara Kruger, born Thapelo Lehuleri, who was known for her humour and bubbly personality.

At the time of her death, it was revealed that Kruger had been battling depression and was hospitalised as a result.

Her Instagram posts in the days leading up to her passing did not suggest she was in a bad space.

However, in retrospect, many saw the signs in this final Facebook post where Kruger expressed unhappiness and even spoke about her own funeral.

DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY: IT’S BIGGER THAN YOU THINK, SEEK HELP

According to the World Health Organisation, depression and anxiety are common mental disorders that have an impact on many people’s abilities to work productively.

More than 300 million people suffer from depression around the world and more than 260 million are living with anxiety disorders.

Many of these people live with both.

It may not seem like it sometimes, but celebrities call what we receive as entertainment their job.

Meanwhile, Mental Health Day is observed on 10 October. Last year’s theme was: Mental Health in the Workplace.

A recent South African Depression and Anxiety Group-led survey found that 61% disclosed their mental illness to their managers.

However, 69% of respondents experienced a negative or no response in those discussions.

The study surveyed 499 people, of which 79% were female and 21% males, 59% of respondents were aged between 31 and 50 years old.

WATCH: ‘We need to start speaking about depression’

The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag) Helpline: 0800 12 13 14

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