Tuesday 14 January 2014

Musings #1

During my regular scroll through tumblr something soon becomes apparent; amongst the fashion, the gifs, the photography and ingenious ideas, there's the countless images and quotes with hundreds and thousands of notes and reblogs; numerous images of pain, of cuts, of bruises or blood, the poems eluding to self harm, to suicide, to mental health issues and eating disorders. What's worrying is that these posts collectively have millions of notes for a reason - people are relating to these sentiments or find some form of beauty or inspiration in the words and photos. It seems that we are part of a generation who believe it is beautiful to be damaged: to cut and bleed, to harm their body or destroy their mind.
 In some ways (or most) Hollywood and celebrity culture are to blame for this growing trend. Films such as 'Silver Linings Playbook' and 'Friends with Benefits' feature 'damaged' or 'broken' female leads (Jennifer Lawrence and Mila Kunis) who's demons are discovered as the stories progress, only adding to their mystery and intrigue. Both story-lines ultimately end with the male protagonists falling madly in love with them, despite their flaws and often complicated pasts. The truth is, we are, perhaps without realising, encouraging a wave of teens and young adults who think it adds to their personality and intrigue to be dangerously skinny, to have scars running up their arms and to behave as if they have been deeply damaged by their pasts. As human beings, of course we're all flawed and we've all suffered from our individual battles, but surely it's a warped notion to compete with people over who can have the most issues - why are we romanticising pain?
At the end of the day, life is just too short to spend every day living under a cloud and to make your life miserable in a bid for attention. Don't get me wrong, this is not a criticism of those who are struggling, but I'm sure that they would agree that in reality, it's not beautiful to hate yourself and it's not cool to be scarred. It is not romantic to be broken and it is not admirable to destroy your own body. It's just fucking painful. The world may not be how the Hollywood films make it out to be, but sometimes it can be so much more.

Love Ellen xx


  1. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! First of all, it was brave of you to write about this topic because it's controversial and there's a "stigma", but you did it flawlesssly. Second of all, I totally agree. As someone who has struggled with self-harm and multiple mental illnesses since I was young, I find these kinds of posts very offensive. There is NOTHING beautiful about not being able to get out of bed, running around impulsively, failing school, or being weak and tired. I can understand why authors create fictional characters with mental illnesses, because yes, it DOES make the character more interesting. But it's a FICTIONAL CHARACTER. It's not a person. In reality, it really hurts. I'd really like to share the reality of some of these things someday, but I'm not sure if I have the courage yet.

  2. THIS. IS. PERFECT. Thank you for writing this, people desperately need to know the truth and open their eyes to the realities of mental illness.

  3. So very true, but happiness is always a little less interesting I'm afraid.




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