What no-one wants to say about those Kanye West photos.

This article discusses mental health and might be triggering for some readers.

You may have noticed a weird vibe going on in the media lately when it comes to the artist formerly known as Kanye. Ye, as he is now known, was out and about in Italy with his Australian partner Bianca Censori in recent weeks, and some photos surfaced of his backside while they were sitting on a boat together, with Bianca’s head in front of his lap.

Did he know his pants were down, that his bum was exposed at the back, and that it would all look a little… odd? What was Bianca doing, exactly? Who knows, but wouldn’t you know your pants were down if you were in public?

Ye and Bianca were also photographed walking around Italy barefoot and carrying a bottle of champagne. And while that alone sounds like something lots of us would love to do, if we had the time and money, it paints a part of a bigger picture.

While you're here, watch Kanye West speaks about his mental health with David Letterman. Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia.

The guy is clearly not okay.


And here’s the thing: while celebrities acting strangely and doing what they do to attract the attention of the paparazzi can be a fun sport for us all at times, there’s something much more uncomfortable going on here.

Ye has spoken publicly about being diagnosed with bipolar disorder back in 2016, after being hospitalised, and has also been open about suffering manic episodes.

On his 2018 album cover he included the quote: “I hate being bipolar, it’s awesome,” and even called bipolar his “superpower” in his song 'Yikes'.

Appearing on David Letterman’s talk show in 2019, Ye said of his mental health, “I ramp up, I go high.” On the show, he also described feelings of paranoia and delusions, as well as being handcuffed, drugged, and hospitalised.

Last year, Ye shared some truly offensive anti-Semitic tweets, and wore a “white lives matter” shirt to several events, attracting widespread condemnation. And while some tried to explain away his behaviour as a symptom of his manic episodes, which can happen as part of bipolar, others were quick to point out that many other people have the disorder but don’t religiously vilify anyone.

Ye’s ex-wife and mother of his four children Kim Kardashian says she is “desperately embarrassed and worried” by Ye’s behaviour, adding that “something clearly isn’t right”, according to Page Six.

And while there may have once been a public appetite for celebrities suffering from public meltdowns – think David Hasselhoff drunk-eating a burger, Britney Spears shaving her head, Charlie Sheen “winning” at life – there is an awareness now that perhaps wasn’t there before. It’s something we should have had much earlier, but better late than never, right?


While they may be celebrities, they’re also real people, clearly suffering from some serious issues, and without the benefit of any semblance of privacy. It crosses a line we now rightly feel queasy about crossing.

Call it “woke” if you want, but we don’t want to watch people suffer – even if we think they’re a bit of a dick. Because watching someone suffer and gleaning any kind of enjoyment out of it really makes us the dick.

In the everyday world of celebrity-watching, we see a lot of famous people doing some pretty wild stuff. But we’ve usually entered into an unspoken contract between them, the paparazzi and ourselves.

The celebrity does something that seems a bit unhinged to your everyday punter, the paps take their photo (sometimes the celebrity pretends not to know the pap is there, or to even be affronted that a photographer knew they were going to be outside that exclusive club in New York at the precise time their PR told them they would), and we read the yarns, laugh at the pics, and talk about it in the office or group chat the next day.

Listen to The Quicky, On this episode, Kanye West’s Australian Visa Could Be Denied. Story continues after audio.


The celebrity’s star continues to shine, they stay relevant and in our heads and sell more albums/get offered more movie roles, their PR continues to be employed, the photographer makes some dosh, and we’re all happy.

No harm, no foul.

But when a celebrity seems unable to understand this contract, and their place in it, watching it feels like peering through our neighbour’s curtains while they’re on the toilet. It’s uncomfortable and we should really look away, if we’re decent people.

It feels like we should give them privacy, even (or, especially) when they don’t know they need it.

Whether Ye is aware of the way he’s currently presenting to the world, it’s hard to watch. It’s no longer sport; it’s just sad. We hope he’s okay.

Feature Image: Instagram.

If you think you may be experiencing depression or another mental health problem, please contact your general practitioner. If you’re based in Australia, please contact Lifeline 13 11 14 for support or beyondblue 1300 22 4636. 

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