TOP-SHOP GLAMORISING SELF HARM ?
So, TOP-SHOP are in the firing line for selling ‘self harm’ accessories. I got a an email imploring me to sign a petition to get this negative ‘normalising’ of self harm behaviour to be taken off the shelves. CLICK ON FOR DETAILS OF THE PETITION
What do I do? Sign it? I can’t – I know self harming can be horrific to see and disturbing to a person who doesn’t self harm by cutting themselves. Poor mental health is gory and makes people feel uncomfortable about talking about it. People are going to self harm whether Top shop or any other brand supposedly ‘glorifies’ self harm in the name of fashion whilst earning lots of KA-CHING in the process. I understand the concern that people may have. Look at what fashion has done to the way we view body image. We can blame fashion and the media but the problem of self harm (in all it’s forms) is not going to go away. If we are going to debate about self harm then we need to look at the wider picture. Should fashion stop selling clothes with drug and alcohol slogans or brands? Is that not encouraging kids to do drugs. Personally, I never needed fashion to tempt me to do drugs or drink.
I can’t sign the petition at change. org. because I think that fashion does make a statement and that this particular statement is two fold. People do have mental health issues and those issues don’t go away. Sometimes you have to accept what is happening , open your eyes to the bigger message and realise that continuing to discriminate people with self harm issues is only going to strengthen the stigma and continue to make people with scars feel like freaks and not normal and keep them isolated and afraid to speak out.
People need to understand why people self harm! A lot of mental health charities are turning away from the psychiatrist must not be questioned approach and rather are turning to support people who self harm in a way that doesn’t not take away their only way of coping. Some support centres even allow people (service users) to self harm, as long as they are not in need of urgent medical care from self harming. This service user lead approach has been more successful than other therapeutic approaches because the threat of not taking away a persons coping skills creates an environment of safety and trust. People are less likely to hurt themselves when thy feel safe . Some see their scars as a way to help them explore sensitive and traumatic life experiences. Past scars from self harming can help a person to make sense of their need to hurt themselves and the struggle to connect events with emotions . My own scars have a significant meaning to me now. I was ashamed for a long time at my scars and covered them,up but several years down the line I don’t care what people think any-more as I know that when I self harmed in all the ways a person can; it was the only way I knew how to make sense of certain experiences and how to express displaced feelings.
Why should we hide what is a fact in this society we live in? We ALL have scars. Some we have given to ourselves and others have being given to us by others. There is always the chance that some teenagers will buy into this trend of hurting themselves but we can say that about console games like Grand Theft Auto.
Mental health issues are not going to go away and people need to stop feeling ashamed for trying to make sense of their lives. Many people internalise pain and don’t self harm in a way that can be seen on the exterior. This does not mean they don’t have scars. So, on that note apologies change.org but I think TOP SHOP have raised a controversial issue and it is getting people to talk about mental health. The more people talk about mental health, the less ignorant people become and open to wanting to understand the FACTS of what mental health means to an individual . I personally wouldn’t buy these accessories but I can see the necessity for artistic purposes to express freely from a different perspective. KEEP TALKING ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH- IT IS NORMAL THAT ALL PEOPLE SUFFER FROM MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES AT VARIOUS POINTS IN THEIR LIFE.