A few months back I attended a mental health fashion event. It was held at an Italian restaurant with phenomenal food...and that’s about where the authenticity ended. It was interesting because the organizers/coordinators of the event were mental health professionals. Now, since this is my blog and a “free” country, I’m going to speak freely. This event was NOT about what it alleged to be about IMO. Granted I’m a college dropout who’s 👌🏽 close to my degree, so my opinions may be discounted, but I know my shit. So the premise or idea of the event was to use fashion to address the stigma that women must look a certain way in order to be considered beautiful. Great idea, execution not so much. Y’all, the guest hostess was literally a beauty pageant winner. And the plus size model could fit into one of my pants legs. 🤔😑 Now, I’m smart enough to know that mental health issues can impact any and every person on the planet. However, I think the planners missed their mark on this one. I’m thinking the point was inclusion. I think they were meaning to drive home the point that anyone can have bad body image or low self esteem. True. However, as a person who battles to maintain a healthy mental state, that’s not the message I received from the show. The show felt like more of the same narrative of the pretty girl setting the trend and the rules to follow. Now before I continue, let me make it clear that this isn't in any way an attack on "pretty girls" and I am very aware of the ridiculous beauty standards that exist in 2019 and I understand that EVERYONE goes through shit. This is merely my observation that mental health is not a fad or trend. I've studied Psychology since high school. I knew in 12th grade that I wanted to be mental health professional. Ironically, dropping out of college, SEVERAL times, was a result of me battling my own mental health crises! So I definitely get that we all have shit and it doesn't look any particular way. But here's what has me perplexed. I feel like everywhere I turn, someone is using some mental health disorder as a reason, or in some cases, excuse, to be forgiven for some undesirable behavior. And this could be my age clouding my stance on the new found popularity of addressing mental health. Are we just finally at a place that the whole self is now the priority? Are we finally in that euphoria we've been dreaming of where our minds and bodies are equally important? Or is it the most current scapegoat trend? At what point, or should I say, HOW do we quantify what's real and what's trending? And even that asks if policing someone's need to address their mental health status is a trauma!!! Do you see what just happened there?! How the mind works and why we function the way we do will forever fascinate and intrigue me to continue learning more. But can I do that if I can question the true meaning of someone's intentions just because the message was relayed in a manner I felt wasn't sincere or they missed their mark? I struggled with completing this because I didn't want to be felt as a bully. I didn't want to put anyone in the position I was in when I attended that show. But as my favorite rapper once said, how can we heal what we don't reveal? Maybe in having this experience lies a growth moment for me. Maybe this was an opportunity for me to completely relax any bias I may have had that I didn't know I had. Or maybe mental health really is just the trendy new shit to claim.
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