When The Healthy, Wealthy and Successful—Kill Themselves

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[dropcap custom_class=”normal”] I [/dropcap] n the last few years the fashion world was twice shaken to it’s core by unexpected suicides. First in February 2011 with the death of Alexander McQueen and a second time earlier this year by the death of L’Wren Scott. On the surface both of them seemed to have it all. Success, money, relatively good health and recognition for their work. In both cases they had experienced some upset and turmoil in their lives prior to their deaths. In the case of Alexander McQueen it was the death of his mother which had been preceded by the suicide of his friend Isabella Blow. In L’Wren Scott’s case she was having some financial difficulties with her apparel business and had recently under gone surgery on her knee which left her less able to get around as she recovered. There were also rumors that she and Mick Jagger had taken some time off from their relationship. But although these events are traumatic, they are with the exception of Blow’s suicide, expected setbacks in life.

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”][/dropcap] I always wonder when I hear things like this, if people with so much good fortune and success in life kill them selves, where does that leave the rest of us? Alexander McQueen and L’Wren Scott did not live in the public eye the way some other well know people do, so we not away of every nuance of their lives, and I am sure there is much that we as the public do not know. And I personally have not done an extensive amount of research into their lives. But the fact remains—they did have options. They were not in extreme do or die situations. Both had the resources to seek help. But at some point felt they did not.I can walk out the door of my home and see homeless people shuffling along with nothing. And they are not all in the situation because of substance abuse. They literally do not have a roof over their heads, no food, no security…yet they do not kill themselves. We can turn on the TV and see any variety of severe human suffering, and yet here in the west people will kill themselves with full bellies, healthy bodies and every comfort imaginable.

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”][/dropcap]Alexander McQueen and L’Wren Scott were well known in the fashion world and to a lesser extent in the main stream population. We often focus on people like this because they are well known, but the fact is this happens all the time we just do not hear about it because the people involved are not well known. Some like to think that because Alexander McQueen and L’Wren Scott were “creative” they were more prone to suicide. This is nonsense, there are plenty of creative people who are happy and do not commit suicide. Neither Alexander McQueen or L’Wren Scott left suicide notes, so will never really know why, and even if they did we probably would not have the full picture. But what does this say about our society that people with so much, feel that have so little, or that there were no options left for them in this world? Perhaps they both had undiagnosed bio-chemical depression? Or perhaps they had experienced unspoken things in life that left them less trusting of the world? We will never know. Suicide is a simple answer to a complex set of problems. Ultimately it is an escape, but an escape from what?

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”][/dropcap]For an interesting story and more information on Alexander McQueen’s life and death click here, and for more information on L’Wren Scott’s life and her death please click here.

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Allie founder and creative director for ALLIE NYC

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20 Comments

  1. July 3, 2014 / 9:41 am

    I grew up in a third world country where I’ve seen many people suffering, go through hell and missing the most basic things in life. So I have to admit that I am a bit cold to this stories, if they have a mental disorders that’s a completely different issue. But these celebs and high fashion people should take trips to less fortunate part of the world and maybe that would help them put things in perspective.

  2. July 3, 2014 / 10:05 am

    Escape from an absolutely insane amount of pressure and not always having the ability to manage global expectations. They were in positions where they were selling dreams and living in their own nightmares.

    Edita
    http://www.pret-a-reporter.co.uk

  3. Jackie Harrison
    July 3, 2014 / 10:13 am

    SO true your statement and is very sad but it does happen maybe they feel they gave to much and not get enough back just an assumption. Doll like me take this opportunity to wish you and family a Happy Safe 4th of July I will be starting my celebration tomorrow so I will not be able to visit.
    http://tifi11.blogspot.com

  4. July 3, 2014 / 1:22 pm

    Those losses are just such a shame because of, like you said, their incredible talent, contributions and the fact that they seem to be on top of the world. It just goes to show that depression doesn’t discriminate. I’m still trying to get over the death of McQueen.

    xx Hélène
    http://www.FashionOverReason.com

  5. July 3, 2014 / 2:55 pm

    This is a very interesting article. I’ve thought of the same exact thing. There’s always options. I don’t think I’ll ever understand but it’s a good dialogue to have!
    <3
    katsfashionfix.blogspot.com

  6. July 3, 2014 / 3:35 pm

    Great piece, Allie. Suicide to me is an incredibly selfish act, but I think everyone deals with the pressures of their own lives differently. We don’t know the whole story, we never will, they were obviously battling with something that wasn’t worth fighting anymore.

    Shannon
    Clothes & Quotes

  7. July 3, 2014 / 4:16 pm

    It is sad. I have to agree sometimes the more you have, the less you actually have. People need to remember the true values of life and hold onto them.

  8. July 3, 2014 / 4:27 pm

    It’s an interesting point you raise- if the wealthy and healthy can’t make it, how are the rest of us supposed to fare? And what about those living in third-world conditions or in poverty? It makes you think, forces you out of your comfort zone a bit, and also makes you appreciative for what you DO have.

    Great post!

    -Ashley
    http://lestylorouge.com

  9. July 3, 2014 / 4:51 pm

    Both cases were really tragic and we’ll never know what pushed them to take their own lives. I do agree with you on the whole creative people being more prone to suicide thing being crock. It has more with how people cope with their problems.

    Rowena @ rolala loves

  10. July 3, 2014 / 5:38 pm

    I have mixed feelings about this. Alexander McQueen was so major, I still can’t believe he’s gone and I kind of hate seeing him lumped in with other fashion suicides, it doesn’t feel right, but the fact is they all have that in common, and it’s sad. From what I understand his was about being devastated by his mother’s death and that she was his main support system and L’wren was having money problems.

  11. July 4, 2014 / 1:55 am

    This is such a difficult topic, but you are right that we won’t know what led them to make such a tragic decision…

  12. July 4, 2014 / 2:35 am

    L’Wren Scott’s surprised me most of all – really didn’t see that one coming whatsoever.

  13. July 6, 2014 / 4:31 am

    Great post! as always!!
    I always asked myself the same questions., it is so sad to see that this talented people used this exit. Depression and loneliness must be horrible!! So Sad.

  14. July 6, 2014 / 7:42 pm

    They do have their own reasons to it, though a homeless person can show that they’re stronger than suicide. I always wonder what their exact reasons were, maybe the success drove them crazy? Having “everything” doesn’t mean you’re happy

  15. July 7, 2014 / 10:19 pm

    It is so sad when anyone takes their own life. It is something that I have a hard time understanding but everyone handles things differently. Those two people look like they had it all but I guess we never really know what goes on in someone else’s mind.

    Rebecca
    http://www.winnipegstyle.ca

  16. July 8, 2014 / 5:42 am

    I think it’s quite a sad thing to see rich and famous people ends their life. I’m no expert in this matter but my bf and I touched about this topic when we read the news about L’Wren Scott. We both agreed that it must’ve been so depressing for some one to be able to make that decision on taking that last breath. This makes me think that our mind is really a very strong living thing.

  17. July 8, 2014 / 2:07 pm

    I cannot imagine the inner turmoil that anyone goes through when they decide to take their own lives. I can only feel that it would have been something that they would have fought with internally for so long.

    I suspect that creative people, analytical thinkers and more often put themselves less than comfortable mental spaces and this coupled with a innate instability can have a devastating effect. But who the hell am I to try and guess or whittle down someone’s anguish into a few sentences?

    I just know that mental health is not something easy to talk about and it has an astonishing stigma in society. But having had to overcome struggles of my own all I can feel is a heaviness in my heart that it comes down to ending it all for so many people. Just because someone’s suffering is not emblazoned across them doesn’t mean that they are not in pain.

    P.S. I also grew up in a 3rd world country.


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