Date: 11 October 1981
Originally published in: Joepie (Belgium)
Kim Wilde looks tired. The success she has had in the pop world is taking its toll. Mostly physical, as her pale face shows. She is in need of a rest but a show machine gone mad doesn’t allow this. Every day off is a real luxury. ‘They are sacred’, she says calmly. ‘And I demand that people don’t bother me on those days. That I get to do what I want, even if they are very homely things. I am very afraid that the success will take the better of me physically and mentally and I don’t want that.’ Joepie went for a walk with her.
Blonde Kim, wearing jeans and trudging along like other girls her age, usually goes into nature in her time off. ‘In the park, far away from all the hustle and bustle and people, that’s where I find peace and quiet’, she says while we walk to a green private world near where she lives. ‘I get to spend some time with my own thoughts for a change. The sudden worldwide success, the show people around me, where I want to take my career and what to do with the money I have earned. A lot of questions that I don’t have all the answers to. It all happened so fast, too fast. It’s like I’m being steamrolled over. I don’t get the time to get a grip on it all. She slowly picks up some pebbles off the ground. And throws them away.
‘Would girls my age really envy me?’, she wonders. ‘I don’t think they have to. Of course I like this business, otherwise I wouldn’t have started in it. Of course I love the success, although I don’t want to take it too seriously because it can all be over tomorrow. I always want to keep that in mind to prevent becoming a mental wreck. But I’ve had to give up everything that makes the life of a young girl so interesting for this fame. Friends, adventures, living without a care. I can’t say I really miss it all, but I may later and I might live to regret it.’
The animals are my best friends
Kim leads us to a part of the park where a family of deer is locked in a cage. ‘These are my best friends, the animals’, she swoons. ‘They always listen to me, understand me when I’m down. If it were up to me, I would let them all go free. No living creature is meant to spend its days behind bars. When I think about that, and how people sometimes are locked up or laying in bed because of an illness, I realise how lucky I am. I have my life in my own hands and the bars are a warning that I should keep it that way, which isn’t easy in this business. Before you know it you’re a prisoner in a golden cage. And all the fame and the money in the world can’t make you happy then.’
In the shopping street in the village where she lives, later on that day, she finds back the playfullness and happiness of people her own age. She walks past a boutique but takes us to a small second hand shop with clothes and fake jewels. ‘I like these better than the luxury houses with fashion which you wonder if you can wear them’, she giggles. ‘There’s a nice atmosphere here. You can look around without some sales person running at you and you always find something you like.’
Without any doubt she picks out a bright green cardigan. ‘Great, isn’t it?’, she says. ‘I might wear it on my next TV performance’.