Tila Tequila's Meltdown Seems Awfully Familiar
There's nothing quite like a celebrity meltdown to raise public interest, eh?
It seems that celebrity meltdowns -- from A-Listers like Charlie Sheen and Kanye West to obscure actresses like Amanda Bynes -- are happening at a rapid pace as of late. Although most of these meltdowns are a result of some pretty legit issues, whether it be addiction, mental health issues, or simply the stress and chaos of constantly being in the public eye, we watch every move with bated breath, waiting for the next big incident to occur.
As a result, a well-timed meltdown can be quite boosting for the career, even if the idea of increased publicity wasn't what was driving the bad behavior in the first place. There's a laundry list a mile and a half long of stars who have seen a renewed interest in their careers post-meltdown -- Charlie Sheen, Kanye West, all of the Kardashians and Amanda Bynes have found themselves on the covers of tabloids mid-meltdown, despite how slow or nonexistent their careers were at the time.
And there's a new name to add to that meltdown-meets-renewed-fame list. Tila Tequila, the reality "star" known for being Facebook famous, and for that whole MTV trainwreck of a show called A Shot at Love With Tila Tequila, has been having her own very public fit over the past couple of weeks, complete with some anti-Semitic rhetoric and a sex tape to cap it off. Tila, who was relatively obscure until recently, is once again all over the Internet because she's acting, well, off, and it makes her interesting and newsworthy.
Tila's meltdown, however, also seems a bit redundant and over-the-top, and it's beginning to feel a bit staged. It is also so reminiscent of other famous meltdowns that it's hard to believe it is occurring in a similar fashion by mere coincidence. The behaviors seem contrived and learned, rather than a result of some serious health issues, leaving one to wonder if she's not just acting out for a bit of attention.
Take, for example, Tila's foray into anti-Semitism. First, take into consideration that Tila is of Asian descent. Well, now she's taking photos of herself in Nazi gear and calling herself a "Nazi-sympathizer" on Facebook. She's also posting under the name "Tilisis," which is apparently her goddess name, and refers to many major catastrophic events as being related to Jews. She's been banned from Facebook -- at least temporarily -- for her racist posts, and is now referring to Facebook as "Jewbook" on her personal blog, which just so happens to be lined with swastikas in the margins.
Does any of this anti-Semitism sound familiar? Mel Gibson's meltdown, anyone? And has anyone explained to Tila the flawed logic behind her newfound Nazism? What worked for Mel's meltdown may not work for the pretty Asian girl, considering the fact that the entire goal of the Nazi regime was to rid the world of people who weren't Aryan. So someone should probably explain that to her stat.
That Nazi uniform is kind of old hat for meltdowns anyway, despite the way offensive nature of it, and the misalignment of Tila with the Nazi regime. Remember the whole Jesse James debacle? Not only was he busted out for screwing around on his wife with a chick who had been photographed in Nazi gear, but he also was photographed saluting and sporting some clothing with swastikas emblazoned on it. Yeah, the Nazi uniform has been done before, and it makes Tila's meltdown seem a bit more staged when you consider that fact. Jesse received a ton of press from his sex-fueled Nazi meltdown, so it would make sense if Tila were to attempt to follow suit. This story continues on the next page.
We've also got a Tila Tequila song on our hands now, too, which pulls a bit from the Amanda Bynes meltdown earlier this year. Remember how she was insistent on becoming a rapper, and people just played into it to jump on the publicity bandwagon? This poor chick was dealing with some serious issues. Tila, on the other hand, released a racist, auto-tuned song about her dislike of Jews. She's still getting some notoriety for it, though.
Oh, and that racist "It's Going Down" song she's released? She's calling for it to "go viral" on her Facebook page. So she still gets the idea of Internet publicity and the power of Internet virility, even in the middle of a breakdown. Seems slightly suspect.
There's also the sex tape Tila Tequila has released on the heels of all of this, which just so happens to follow that whole "sex tape equals publicity" rule that's been done, done and overdone up to this point. Farrah Abraham, Teen Mom's resident whiner, is now the most Googled reality star of 2013, coincidentally on the heels of her "sex tape" with a major porn star. Up until that point, she was relatively obscure to the general public. But now? Way famous for little more than having sex on camera. Kim Kardashian is famous solely for her sex tape with Ray J, but so many flailing public personalities have followed suit, so why not Tila?
You can add a strange accent or two to the meltdown equation as well. On that sex tape, Tila's sporting a terrible Cockney accent. Again, seems like we may have heard a troubled starlet attempting to rock such an accent once or twice. Britney Spears was receiving a ton of attention midst-meltdown when she kept slipping into her British alter ego. It all just seems really contrived.
At the end of the day, everything that Tila's doing seems like a well-rounded recipe for attention. She's pulling bits and pieces of other meltdowns and throwing them into one very public pot, and ultimately it seems like she's grasping at straws for a bit of the public's attention. This is a woman who started becoming famous for being half-naked on Facebook. She knows how to "go viral." She's done it once before, and it led to a TV show and a legion of adoring paparazzi.
But that was once upon a time. She's no longer famous. As those stories go, eventually the public lost interest, and she slipped back into the haze as a has-been reality star, and it appears, at least to an outsider, that she is desperately searching for a way to become relevant. Perhaps in her mind, the quickest path to relevancy is a bit of racism and a whole lot of nakedness. It certainly seems that way.
Tila's situation begs another question about receiving publicity by way of meltdown. At the end of the day, should meltdowns like these -- contrived or otherwise -- even be in the news? In cases like Amanda Bynes and Britney Spears, where they were genuinely dealing with some mental health issues, it seems a bit voyeuristic to watch their every move. And when bad behavior is just bad behavior, it doesn't warrant a public interest, because it's contrived and attention-seeking, and it downplays the seriousness of the folks who are actually struggling with mental illness.
Is there a chance that Tila's antics are driven by a genuine struggle with addiction or mental illness? Absolutely. But there's also a chance they're driven by a desperate bid for relevancy. And the more she acts out, the more it seems likely that's the case. Tila's meltdown comes complete with a hearty dose of anti-Semitism, an annoying cockney accent and a sex tape. It just feels a bit like we've heard all of those stories before.
Get the Theater and Arts Newsletter
Exclusive discounts and announcements to Houston theater shows and art events