Let’s get this straight:
Broken isn’t beautiful
When I first entered high school, I, as many others did, believed broken meant beautiful. If there was a way to go back in time to see my past self, the first thing I’d do is slap me. Then proceed to rant about how stupid I was. But as that’s impossible, I will rant to people that might actually listen to my advice.
In the past 20 years, mental health issues have been talked about more openly, and in more recent years, has been ‘popularised’ in the media. Social media sites such as Tumblr and Instagram have caught onto this.
Tumblr; a wonderful site where users have their own blog, where they can post their own content and reblog others, where 80% of its users claim to have depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and/or OCD. (Not) Sorry but I just can’t believe them.
Sites like this have a horrible habit of glorifying and promoting mental illness. These blogs just post black and white depressing photos, with some unrelated caption about how they ‘hate the world’, attempting to seem edgy. ‘Aesthetic’ is common word throughout these blogs, showing that it is just about looking pretty and seeming relatable rather than genuine.
Nowadays it’s ‘trendy’ to have social anxiety and depression. People say “I can’t talk to people” and “I’m so socially awkward”, which is meant to be funny and relatable, until you actually can’t bring yourself to go out or talk to even your closest friends.
Another example is OCD. People think ‘having a neat desk’ and ‘washing your hands multiple times a day’ is so ‘OCD’.
This normalises these disorders and morphs them into a common perception that’s completely wrong to what it truly is. It makes others who are truly struggling and suffering with mental illnesses feel like their habits are healthy. Victims are made to feel like they should suck it up and not seek help. Mental illness isn’t a personality trait or a cute quirk you can post on your blog to seem cool. There’s nothing romantic about it.
There are tags on Instagram, Tumblr, Reddit and other various sites, along the lines of #proana, meaning pro anorexia. These people believe having an eating disorder and being unhealthily thin is something everybody should strive for. What. The. Hell. No! For them, looking like this:
is their dream and goal in life. They post pictures of girls with concaved stomachs and thighs the size of wrists with captions like ‘not good enough’ and ‘eating is a sin’. With eating disorders especially, there’s a running themes of being soft, light, pure and small. These make it so easy to turn it into something ‘beautiful’ and it twists the mind of the consumer to believing them. Obviously people don’t just see these posts and immediately “I’m anorexic”, but after being exposed to this content people’s point of views change. Especially younger children. They’re so easily sucked into this way of thinking and don’t realise how damaging it is to themselves.
The main way to not be effected by these posts and content is to be a smart consumer. Know that what you’re looking at, be objective. So before you reblog or post that quote, poem, or picture, think “is it portraying this mental issue as positive”? And mainly just don’t fall into this train of thought, don’t start describing these disorders as beautiful and trendy.
Broken isn’t beautiful!