A guest blog by Sarah K Grundy
Can being in public eye serve as a refuge, an escape, a relief? Actors, models and other notable and negligible talents make a non stop business out of confessing tragic pasts, insecure childhoods, dysfunctional home lives, abusive relationships, absentee fathers, rape, violence, or molestation.
And all too often, it's someone on the C list trying to claw onto the B list via talk show appearances or reality show turns. But sometimes it's real, and sometimes someone who happens to be famous makes a big difference.
Halle Berry makes an art form out of turning pain into prestige. This is true in her art and in her life—most recently, the woman who was the first African- American to win an Oscar opened up and went public about her childhood with domestic violence. On NBC Nightly News Berry says, “My Mother was a battered woman and that was my childhood for a good chunk of it.” Berry, raised by a single mother, also won an Emmy, Academy Award and Golden Globe. Her fame is not a mistake. In high school she was a cheerleader and prom queen and later first-runner up for Miss USA. After modeling for three years in Chicago her acting career took flight.
Berry sets the stage for women who’ve otherwise been stripped of certain dignities, by means of abuse. She fought back, proving it is an attainable victory, well worth the constant struggle. Berry’s perseverance gained her the public’s devotion, lending to her confidence, self- image, and the love she craved from home. "I think I've spent my adult life dealing with the sense of low self-esteem that sort of implanted in me. Somehow I felt not worthy," she told CNN. "Before I'm 'Halle Berry,' I'm little Halle....a little girl growing in this environment that damaged me...I've spent my adult life trying to really heal from that."
Halle Berry uses her well-deserved prowess to brave the battle of social change. Her commitment to the issue of domestic violence goes beyond tabloid-style self-revelation. Berry volunteers her time at the Jenesse Center in Los Angeles, a shelter for victims of domestic violence with six locations that provide resources and support for victims of domestic violence. Women seeking refuge from abusers are given food, shelter and safe housing for themselves and their children. The women begin a devoted program that focuses on breaking the pattern of abuse by providing training, mental health counseling and legal services.
Sarah is a writer and founder of SKG Ink