People hate me.
Some of them openly despise me.
I'd bet a couple dozen would cheer if I were maimed.
People. Hate. Me.
For some reason when I meet someone for the first time, I
feel compelled to tell them this. "Hi, my name is Sadie
Price. Yeah, great to meet you, too! People hate me."
I've gotten pretty good at suppressing the urge to say it
out loud, but it's still there swirling around in my mind.
I'll shake a person's hand, exchange the usual
pleasantries, and look from the outside to be a completely
sane person--while part of me silently repeats the words,
"People hate me. People. Hate. Me. Peoplehateme.
I think the reason this particular little
neurosis developed is that it's not some
imaginary thing. The idea that people
hate me is not the invention of an
irreparably wounded self-esteem or
chemical imbalance. I am not some
terminal wallflower who feels unworthy of
kindness. I'm no paranoid agoraphobe with
an irrational fear that people are judging
her. I am a twenty-eight-year-old woman
whose longest and most satisfying
relationships are with a
four-thousand-dollar camera, a fully
restored 1979 Camero (a gift from my
father), and a lovely man called Antoni
who works in the shoe section at
Bergdorf's. I pay my taxes--approximately
on time. I've spent Thanksgiving and
Christmas Eve for the last five years at a
When I first started out in this business the people-hating-me thing really rubbed me
the wrong way. The same kind of rub as, say, a dislodged underwire gouging into your
skin. While you're forced to do jumping jacks. On a trampoline. In those days, when
I met someone I would make excuses, "Yes, but I'm not that kind of paparazzi." I'd
give them a well-rehearsed briefing on my degree in fine arts. I'd tell them that I
was really known for my stripped-down black-and-white portraits, and that these
portraits were praised by my subjects for their beauty, and by my professors for their
technique and artistry. At my lowest point, I even so far as to recount--word for
word--an article in the alumni mailer about how my fellow classmates had voted me
Graduate with the Most Potential.
homeless shelter on the Lower East Side. I'm blonde and blue eyed (like your local TV
weather girl, not Marilyn Monroe). I'm a college graduate with a BA in fine arts. I'm
somebody's best friend. And, I am a paparazzi.
People do, in fact, hate me.
My best friend, Brooke, was the first
person I met who greeted the news of my
occupation with anything but suspicion
and ire. Her first words were, "How
completely fascinating! A paparazzi,
huh? Give me all the dish." It was then
that I realized practically everyone in
the industrialized world has an opinion
about the paparazzi, and in the eyes of
most people every paparazzi is that kind
of paparazzi. These opinions are so well
established that they will prevail no
matter how I might try to explain myself.
This realization, despite the fact that
it was an embarrassingly long time
coming, was a pivotal moment in my life...
and my popularity at cocktail parties.
I now understand that all the people in the world don't actually hate me personally.
The more rational part of me gets that only some people hate the idea of me--they hate
the job, the institution. Yet, even in the face of these strides in amateur
self-psychology, the peoplehateme repeating part of my brain absolutely refuses to make
this distinction. So, hi. My name is Sadie Price. People hate me.
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