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An Open Letter to Any Celebrity Who Thinks an Open Letter is the Best Way to Address an Issue

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Dear you,

You've no idea how difficult this is to write. After a lot of soul-searching, I decided the only way I could truly express myself and exorcise myself of the brutal demons which torture me is to put everything down on paper (well, on a computer screen and keyboard -- forgive me my artistic licence, but I have a certain image I want to conjure up) and tell you just how I truly feel, how your behaviour has affected me and, purely coincidentally, get loads of people to read it and take sides, whether they realise it or not.

Open letters are the perfect way of reaching audiences traditionally hard to reach: missing children, drug addicts, the Queen, pop stars, world-famous television personalities, and celebrity chefs. They can lend volume to debates which would otherwise never be heard, from often suppressed voices, on the subjects which really matter: healthcare reform, racism, homophobia, calling someone a skank on a TV show or having someone say you're fat and adulterous.

That they're talked about in newspapers and shared on social media is just a happy accident; what really matters is getting something off your chest. With phones so hard to come by and email all but redundant, given that only the intended recipient gets to see it and not half of Twitter, the open letter is the old friend to the exhibitionist, and I am honoured to be writing one right now, to you, knowing the huge effect it will absolutely not have in any way at all. Zero.

While I know I'll get even more attention if I use emotive language - and I am crying burning tears of shame, regret and lost love as I write this - I will not. I will resist telling you how much I agonised over what to say, praying to no God in particular for the strength to make it through this, to tell you what you need to know.

If it weren't for the recent inspiring chain of open letter correspondence between two of our most publicity-shy celebrities, Lady Gaga and Sharon Osbourne. Both make their points splendidly well - the writing one's feelings in an open article leaving little room for playground tactics or fake superiority.

It makes me long for a day when we can all live this way; no more hysterical emails, abusive texts or screaming matches in nightclubs or supermarkets. We should all carry a laptop or tablet with us, and at the first sign of confrontation, put our fingers to one another's lips and withdraw to our screen, frantically typing out our hurt and our anger.

Not forgetting that final flourish, the climactic paragraph of patronising well-wishing, aching regret, before signing it and publishing it to as many blogging services ad social media accounts as our shaky public wifi signal will allow.

Or for the traditionalists, carry a jotter and fountain pen and scribble your missive, before dropping it at your target's feet (but not until you've scanned it and photocopied it and thrown it up on Facebook and Pinterest).

Sure, open letters have their uses and can inspire social change, but let's be honest with ourselves here. Most of the time they're just an excuse to get a little bit of attention from the wider public, a vanity project. The literary equivalent of flinging yourself out of a window at a close friend's wedding because everyone else has a better outfit than you.

Now I've had the chance to share this deeply personal matter with the world, I want to implore you to change. Resist the temptation to compromise your privacy. Don't fall into the trap of feeling a discussion has no merit unless the rest of the world is watching it with one hand on their popcorn and the other on the 'share' button.

But most of all don't ever stop being you, the real you - the person we know is still there underneath. Just be true to that person and do what you need to do to make it happen. Well, apart from the 'writing open letters' thing. You should probably knock that on the head.

Yours truly,
Me. x

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