Why famous people need to be nice to kids... - Amanda Foy

Why famous people need to be nice to kids…

So I know that your responses are going to be “move on…get over it….God maybe SHE was having a hard day…”


Yeah, yeah, I know all that, but there’s something that just rises its head every time I see her on the news, in a magazine, on a reality program that I think… pox on you.


When I was 12, my mum was the Marketing Manager for British Paints.  Back when Rolf Harris had black hair and people weren’t as in awe of him as they are today, and he hadn’t painted the Queen, but he could paint a bloody good landscape with a house brush and two tins of paint.  One purple and one lemon.  


Anyway, British Paints were a major sponsor of the Great Aussie Picnic in Brisbane and because Mother was like Rolf’s keeper, my sister and I got to go into the VIP tent while Mum did the official stuff.  She said there was going to be lots of famous people and to take our autograph books.


My sister and I were brought up with AMAZING manners and the oldies never had to worry about whether or not they’d be receiving those lovely judgmental looks from other grown ups that pretty much say “you are crap parents”.


In the VIP Tent, the last autograph to get was Lisa Curry’s.  She was standing over to the side on her own with her back to the tent and I walked over and very politely said “Excuse me Lisa”.  


She ignored me, so I said it again. Ignored.


Said it again. Ignored.


So, I’d had a quick look around, she wasn’t talking to anyone.  Mobiles weren’t invented then, or if they were hers would have been sitting on a table with the chord hanging from the head set.  She was reading something…


Now that I think of it, you know all that chlorine, maybe she was struggling.


I started to sound like a broken record because I realised she was just ignoring me because she could, she was famous you know.  


Excuse me Lisa, Excuse me Lisa, Excuse me Lisa, Excuse me Lisa, Excuse me Lisa, Excuse me Lisa… in that sing songy I don’t care anymore kind of tone that kids can get.

She flew around and spewed at me… “JUST WAIT!” 


I wished I was one of those children with an attitude and been able to say “get rooted” and walk away, but saying “nick off” to a kid throwing sand at our boat one day got me a whack on the arm, so “get rooted” was never going to make an appearance.


When she finished reading, she turned around and said “What?” and I then ended my sentence. “Could I have your autograph please?”


She signed my book and walked off.


I was so embarrassed that she spoke to me like that when I was using my best manners EVER because you know, she was famous.  


As I turned into an adult and she started to make an appearance in things, and her marriage broke down, and her heart condition arrived and she got more masculine in her appearance and the young children she started dating and all the time I’m thinking, “if only you knew what she was really like to young children, you wouldn’t think she was so great”.


A friend left a comment on her page the other day where she was reliving the good old days of what she did in the pool, rather than you know, saying nice things about what the kids are going through in this day and age and the pressure to perform etc.  Nooooooooo it’s all about her and her bikini bottoms that she thought looked a bit weird back then.


Jaded…yes I am. Sigh.


If you’ve had a bad experience with a famous person, I’d love to hear about it.  If you have a theory as to why I’ve not been able to move this on in my mind every time I see her in some media, let me know.  I’d love to never give her a second thought when I see her going on about how lovely she is ever again.





4 Comments

  1. Ahhhhh. From my completely unenlightened perspective, I’d probably have to say maybe because you’d been brought up to believe that if you were polite and pleasant, that adults would respond in a like manner… and then some rude / busy / distracted / whatever adult treats you badly and basically shatters that idea… you’d feel betrayed. That’s fair enough, anyone would! However, maybe the betrayal is what’s still on your mind. I still try hard to get over betrayals from my childhood… so maybe taking my advice might not be the best. Lol

    • Betrayal is a good work Pauline and you are right – that response from someone when I did everything right was hard to process as a 12 y.o. THANKS!

  2. I actually don’t think there’s anything wrong in what either of you did.

    As a 12 year old, you approached a hero of our generation and feel betrayed because she didn’t immediately jump up and shower you with praise for being brave enough to approach her.

    But dang it woman, I won’t have you besmirch the reputation of one of the hottest 50+ year old women on the planet and someone who i’m so in awe of that I deliberately avoid her whenever our paths have crossed. So I’ll play devils advocate.

    As the lovely lady was born in 1962, and you were only 12 at the time, I’m going to assume that she was probably 22-24 at the time. Sure, she’d been in the public eye for years but that doesn’t change the fact that she was still a kid herself.

    Forgive her if you will for the fact that, You were in the VIP tent. A place where she could assume she was in a safe place away from the nagging media and fans.

    Perhaps she had been surrounded by people all day who wanted ‘their’ piece of her and she needed some time to gather her thoughts, and get composed before facing the onslaught of even more questions from people, some of whom are professionally trained to find chinks in your armour. Journalists. Demon Spawn that they can be.

    Imagine that like me, she is a natural introvert and needs ‘me’ time to re-charge her batteries. I know that for me, talking to humans puts me so on edge, it literally leaves me that drained I can barely think. I literally have nights where I stare at the wall and couldn’t tell you what my last thought was.

    And into this space charges a child who can’t take a hint, you try to block her out mentally to help retain your own sanity but she is insistent, nagging. Eventually, you give up and with a frustrated exasperation give her the thing she wants. You thought you were safe over here away from everybody but there’s no such thing as a safe place when people want you.

    An arrogant person would have told you to nick off, she told you to wait. I’m sure she has forgiven you for your childhood indiscretion, isn’t it time to forgive hers.

    • Thank you for your comment Rod! The part I will take from it is, “I’m sure she has forgiven you for your childhood indiscretion, isn’t it time to forgive hers”.

      I have, and I’ve also forgiven myself for taking on a mindset that has reared its head everytime I’ve met a famous person since. They are only people too and putting anyone up on a pedestal no matter how good your manners are is never going to be a good thing.

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