There is one thing that truly fills me with rage; when people refer to Amy Winehouse as “a train wreck”, “A bad role model” or worse “just a junkie”.
Yes, she was eccentric, she was bold, she used drugs, she was open about her eating disorders and her behavior was boozy, messy and chaotic. She was damn rock star. She walked about in blood-soaked ballet flats, her beehive held high.
From Jagger, to Jimmi Hendrix, to Kurt Cobain, to Iggy Pop, to Lou Reed, male stars have used drugs, turned up on-stage drunk or high, got into fights, trashed hotel rooms, had ill-considered, public love-affairs, and made a great deal of chaos. Yet rarely has a female rock star indulged in this trend of chaotic living, 'messiness' of this sort has routinely spelt career death for any starlet!
She was intelligent, self aware and a non conformist. She belted out her poetic lyrics with the strength and passion of a woman five times her size. Her lyrics were raw, honest and compelling. 'Rehab' ends with a confession that brings an unexpected, raw emotion to anyone who's ever tried to self-medicate for depression:
They said, I just think you’re depressed
I said, yeah, baby, and the rest…
It’s not just my pride
It’s just till these tears have dried.
She was emotionally anarchic, self-destructive and an unashamed. She had personal demons and issues and she was open, honest and public about them.
Thinking any less of her because of her struggles, is simply an appalling disservice to not only Winehouse, but anyone who has lived/lives with addiction or mental health issues.