Music

Tête-à-Tête: Betty Who

The rising star talks about social media and its effect on her mental health.
Reading time 6 minutes

In Tête-à-Tête, L'Officiel USA gets into the celebrity psyche by asking stars to tell us what's on their minds right now. 

Amidst a day and age of social media virtually dictating an artist’s public persona, Australian singer-songwriter Betty Who has opened up about her journey to establish a healthy relationship with the various online platforms. Earlier this year, the singer released her latest album Betty, featuring melodies and lyrics that convey her efforts to find herself in this ever-changing, technologically-controlled world. After touring with Panic! At The Disco and performing on James Corden this year, the rising star is accomplishing her goals at a whirlwind rate. As she continues to flourish as an artist, Betty finds clarity in the explorations and self-discoveries that come with her rapid success. Read what she had to tell us of her experiences below.

I feel so fucking old, being like, "Kids these days." Everything's changed so much so quickly, even between my generation and someone who's ten years younger than me. In those ten years, literally everything is different and their entire landscape of being a teenager is completely different. I didn't know that I had ugly hair and that my jeans didn't fit me because I wasn't taking fucking selfies every ten seconds. And there weren't makeup tutorials that I had 24 hour access to so that all of a sudden I'd look like a 30 year-old when I was 14. All of that is different now.

I definitely think for me, oftentimes social media or email or being able to be accessed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week is not good for me. It's not good for my mental health and I really have to take time away from it. I have a lot of people who care about me and they're taking care of me on the road; they also have to manage that with me and say, "I'm taking Betty's phone." I've had my fiance do this to me several times when I've had a really bad day. He emails everybody or calls everybody on my team and is like "I'm taking her phone away for the day. If you need her, call me," because I'll fall into a hole. Being forced to stop is something that I really appreciate that he does for me.

Sometimes I'll think about moments in my life and I'll go, "Man, I wish I had more photos from that." But when I think back into the moment that I was there, I didn't even think about my phone because I was so busy enjoying myself and I didn't want to be staring down at my screen and not paying attention to the people I was with in that moment. Some people are way better at kind of just having it be built in and it doesn't take away from their personal time. It does affect me differently than I know it does some people.

My best friend is naturally great at social media, and it feels like I have to work a little bit harder. Following her on social, she makes it look really effortless and easy and you just feel like you're sort of a part of her life, but she's not giving away too much of herself. It affects me in a really different way than it affects her. I talk about it all the time. 

It's just crazy to me. I really do love the outlet social media gives me to talk to fans and be with them and let them in on what my life is like because they care about me and I care about them. I'm really grateful for that platform, but it is so necessary for me to take a step back pretty often. It also messes with your self-worth. You'll have the worst feeling ever if you didn't get enough likes on something and all of a sudden you feel like a piece of shit. That's a horrible, horrible outcome of what social media is. It makes you feel like you're not good enough. There are some unquantifiable presences on social media. It's pretty crazy. 

A huge part of my album has been about overcoming and finding myself again and redefining who I want to be and what that means, and I think a lot of work for me has gone into that. It's been a challenge, to say the least. Also I think it's a general mid-twenties thing; it's not just for me. I think everybody goes through this when you're in your twenties and you go, "I actually have to be serious. What do I want to do with my life? Who do I want to be with my legacy? Where is my life headed?"

I think it was amplified for me because when you're an artist and you're in a bad relationship, whether it's a boyfriend or a label or a best friend, whoever is making you feel like you're not enough can make you take stock in the person you know you want to be and what you know you want for yourself. Having to demand that that gets taken care of, that you get taken care of, that you are allowed to be the person that you've always wanted to be. That's something that I feel like I've come out the other side of this huge battle and this huge moment of self-discovery. Having to fight for what I want made me realize what I want at the same time.

I think getting your ass kicked by life happens for a reason. For me personally, it was to realign my priorities and to discover what really matters to me and what was really important. I feel like I came out the other side really grateful for that experience. 


 

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