shutterstock_122257873Megan Fox has it all. The 28 year-old actress and model is currently starring in the latest Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film. She’s probably best known for her roles in some of the internationally popular Transformer movies. She’s also regularly featured among breathless media lists of the most beautiful women in the world.

The “sultry, exotic” movie star must be deliriously happy all the time being rich and famous, the center of attention, right?

According to Fox, her life isn’t what it seems. In fact, in a recent interview, she described herself as “a loner” without many friends. She added, “I’ve felt like the odd person out, like I didn’t belong”.

In psychiatry, Fox’s description of her life, and particularly her childhood/adolescent years, bring to mind the term avoidant.

The hallmarks of this personality type are avoidance of social situations, feelings of ineptitude or inadequacy, and an “arduous preoccupations with negative evaluation”. This type of thinking usually leads to impairments in personality functioning. The avoidant person lives in perpetual fear of criticism and rejection.

For a person like Megan Fox, we might see clues to this kind of personality formation in her childhood/adolescent years growing up in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Fox’s parents divorced when the 28 year-old actress was a young child. She describes her upbringing as “very strict”; she reportedly was not allowed to invite friends to her house.

In middle school, Fox reports she was bullied, so much so that she ate her lunch in the restroom. She’s told reporters, in middle school, “everybody hated me”. Fox has stated in interviews she has low self esteem (“I have a lot of self-loathing”) and is self-critical (“I never think I’m worthy of anything”).

Avoidant people typically eschew social situations and Fox has told interviewers, “I could go days, weeks, without talking to another human being. I’ve always been anti-social”.

Despite the above speculation, it’s doubtful many readers would feel sorry for Megan Fox. But that’s not the point.

It’s better for all of us when personalities in the spotlight portray themselves as human and vulnerable. In the last century, the major movie studio publicity machines carefully laundered movie stars’ images so they would appear ideal. Of course, we now know, no one is.

Today, it’s helpful when a performer like Megan Fox is brave enough to say, “I’m not perfect, I struggle too”. Many of us see Hollywood personalities and our knee-jerk reflex is they’ve got it all. Many use Twitter anonymously to vent the anger and frustration in our own lives with harsh criticism of celebrities.

But in assessing our stars, or the co-worker in the cubicle across from you, it’s better to try to ascertain who is the real person. It’s through mindreading and assuming that our perceptions become faulty and promising relationships never get off the ground.

Megan Fox image available from Shutterstock.