Who's in the Celebrity Spotlight? Their Outer Children are Running the Show

© Susan Anderson 2010

Celebrities Act Out and Reveal their Outer Children  

When celebrity Outer Children run amuck, they grab public attention. Most New Yorkers still remember when then Governor Eliot Spitzer’s Outer Child got caught sneaking off to meet with his high priced prostitute, instantly destroying his career, reputation, and family. The cases of OJ Simpson, Bernie Madoff, and Senator John Edwards also stick in the mind. By the time this is posted, there will be many more celebrities dragged kicking and screaming to the wall of shame by their upstart Outer Children.

When an esteemed public figure like Tiger Woods’s Outer Child gets caught in an indiscretion, the public reacts by becoming obsessively voyeuristic and pointing fingers. In Tiger’s case, too much adulation, too much pressure, perhaps too much fame too early, overcharged his Outer Child with too much energy – more than a young man could handle. (Fame, adulation, pressure, and power – all of these are high test fuel for Outer Children.)

Alec Baldwin’s outbursts toward his daughter also made headlines. What happened there? Simply that his inner child1 felt hurt, so his Outer Child lashed out inappropriately.

Outer Child patterns2 cause celebrity relationships to be unstable. Movie stars for instance, with long term marriages, are the exception rather than the rule. Most of us have a tendency toward “bigger is better syndrome,” but the elements of fame and stardom spur the Outer Children of the famous to always be “looking to trade up” – compulsively switching partners the way the rest of us do cars.

When movie stars jilt one another, it is demoralizing for the ones left behind. Their abandonment is public, so they are left to keep their crying and raging behind closed doors so as to present a public persona of unflappability and measured disdain – all to preserve their image in the face of having been “bested” by an idol.

1 I explain the differences between the Inner Child (feelings) and the Outer Child (behaviors) in chapter 2 of Taming Your Outer Child.

2 For a complete list of Outer Child characteristics, see the Inventory; also see Outer Child Love Survey.