WARNING: This post discusses mental health issues and if you feel this post may not be for you, please do not read on. Thank you.
I have a topic which I’d like my readers to debate in the comments. Let me explain…
I came across this tweet recently showing some necklaces made by a fashion company which portray logos of mental illnesses such as ‘depression’ and ‘anxiety.’
If you’re not aware of this tweet, here it is:
— Ja’mie King (@CrueIla) May 27, 2018
I’m incredibly sick of people idealizing mental illnesses so I was worried that this was what the company were aiming to do. I know and can understand why some people would think this is the case. However, the company replied to this tweet saying “These necklaces were designed by our founder jen who has bipolar disorder and all net proceeds from these necklaces go directly to
@BC2M, a non-profit organization dedicated to encouraging dialogue about mental health and to raising awareness, understanding, and empathy.”
As someone who is into fashion, I think this is a great way to spread awareness of such important issues. So, major respect to that fashion brand! But, by wearing these necklaces I’m concerned the lettering will look as though the people wearing them are labelling themselves with that particular word and it is so important that mental illness is not just viewed as a label.
I think nowadays mental illness is sometimes handled in the wrong way or people read things in a certain way which can lead to representations being viewed in an unintentional light. Although I am not even halfway through season 2 of 13 Reasons Why (no spoilers please), I know that some people weren’t pleased about the controversial decision over Hannah’s suicide being shown in season 1 because it could glamorize suicide or show people how to do it. However, the creators have claimed they wanted to show that it is painful and therefore not worth it.
Speaking about our problems, sharing stories, understanding more and helping each other is super important so we should just continue doing that and avoid the romanticizing. But it can be so difficult to avoid it when everyone sees things differently. How can we tackle this issue?
I want to create a discussion based on whether you think certain mental illnesses are being romanticized on the internet or whether discussions, representations and portrayals are only being used to raise awareness for them. What do you think and what can we do? Please let me know in the comments.