When it comes to idolising celebrities, we often have the perception that their lives are perfect. They look good, they date or have the best and most attractive spouse, they seem to have their work/life balance sorted, and they earn a decent wage. It’s only when the press reports on some scandal or accident that we see their imperfections, and realise we are one and the same.
After losing a friend to suicide, celebrity photographer Glenn Marsden wanted to raise awareness about mental illness. And using the tools of his trade, he took a route few other campaigns have gone down— he chronicled the heartbreaking and true stories of celebrities with moving portraits.
Naming the campaign ‘Imperfectly Perfect’, the concept is that mental illness can affect anybody— even celebrities, and by showing this in a single image, we can dispel the stigma that we should be perfect.
Photographing celebs of all ages and backgrounds— from actress Rebecca Gibney, to international star Dominic Purcell, some of Home and Away’s brightest and best, and celeb chefs like Manu Fidel, his portraits have spread across the country. Each story is followed by a call to contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 if you are struggling, giving people a way to ask for help if they resonate with the celebrity their reading about.
We’ve chosen some of our favourite portraits and shared them below, but you can view the original source and the Imperfectly Perfect website here. Keep an eye out for their YouTube videos, podcast and upcoming documentary too. You can also support their Go Fund Me here. It’s amazing to see the creative industry opening up about mental health, and what better way to do it than by telling the real stories of the people we see on TV everyday?
Rebecca Gibney – actress (Packed to the Rafters, Wanted)
“On the surface I had the perfect life. Great job, wonderful family and friends but inside I was dying. Daily panic attacks became hourly panic attacks and pretty soon I was making excuses to friends so I didn’t have to leave my apartment. Lucky for me a friend suggested I see a psychologist and she literally saved my life.”
Marco Allosio – rugby star, actor (Fighting Season)
“Where I come from in New Zealand, it has a really high suicidal rate but nobody likes to talk about it because they believe it makes you less of a man. But for me, it makes you more of a man when you are able to come together with your mates and brothers and talk about the issues what goes on in your head so that we can keep on looking after each other.”
Marny Kennedy – actress (Bite Club)
“I finally reached breaking point- where I realised I needed help. After six sessions with a psychologist (and also discovering a severe vitamin D deficiency- blood tests are so important), I was able to get my mental health back on track.”
Caleb Alloway – actor (Home and Away)
“For a lot of my early part of my life, I struggled with my sexuality and accepting it. I found it really hard to come to terms with, I still find it really hard to come to terms with and its about whats going on inside of your head (sic).”
Mel Greig – radio and TV personality
“1 in 10 women have the silent chronic illness that is Endometriosis. The pain and the struggle that endo women go through is incredibly difficult, often being abandoned by partners or put in the too hard basket by friends. Mental health issues amongst sufferers is high, we need you to understand our silent pain.”
Nick Hardcastle – actor (Liquid Bridge, Home and Away)
“I believe that social media is a huge contributor to young people’s depression and distorted view of themselves and their own lives and has been used as a vehicle for spreading messages of hate and bullying people, including someone I loved, to suicide.”
Watersedge Counselling is in no way associated with the Imperfectly Perfect Campaign.
Do you feel lonely, stuck or depressed? Do you struggle to get out of bed in the morning? Here’s what you need to do: Contact Colleen on 0434 337 245, Duncan on 0434 331 243 or Rachel on 0422 177 193 for a FREE 10 minute consultation on how we can best help you or book online .