Wednesday the 25th of March will go down in history, as the day that the BBC sacked the rockstar of the motoring world, One Direction went in two directions and a horrific hashtag exploded on Twitter.
Jeremy Clarkson has been sacked by the BBC, and so I now prepare to morn the loss of a hilarious and outrageous member of the Top Gear trio.
Zayn Malik announced he will be leaving One Direction, and twitter became awash with the tears of devoted fans.
These monumental movements aside, the saddest part of today remains to be the twitter trend “Cut4Zayn”.
In the last few hours this hashtag began to trend as, shockingly, people began ‘cutting for Zayn’.
This is one of the most distressing things I’ve seen on social media all year, with someone even cutting “i love Zayn” into their arm. That’s desperation and unhealthy idolisation. I feel it’s something that shouldn’t be ignored.
People have responded to this in full force, a division between those who are horrified and disgusted and those who have the audacity to poke fun at self-harm or the trend itself.
My brain struggles to comprehend the motivations and thought processes of the person who created this hashtag. There is so much wrong with it, I’m not really sure where to begin.
Firstly, I’ll begin with the extent of worry that boils inside me as I realise that somebody leaving a boyband can push a young person into tearing their skin apart, then taking a picture and uploading it to a social media site.
Self-harm is a very very serious,it is a mental health condition and it can easily take over someone’s life. For somebody to harm themselves for a celebrity, who doesn’t even know they exist, is horrifying, and only highlights the unhealthy “boyband culture” that has grown over the past decade.
This isn’t the first time that twitter users have “cut” for a public figure, and I think its about time that we address this obsessive attachment that some people have with musicians.
For any person to feel so down and personally affected by a strangers decision is an alien concept, but it is sadly one that is prevalent on Twitter.
I even came across some users tweeting “The faster you cut your wrists the faster Zayn comes back.” This is disgusting. Convincing somebody that by harming themselves,Zayn will return to One Direction? That’s dangerous and thus embodies the twisted societal phenomenon of celebrity worship and the violate nature of social media.
Secondly, self-harm isn’t something to joke about, to glamorise, to glorify or to trivialise.
People who actually struggle with self-harm are going to become exposed to unnecessary ridicule of self-harm as the trend only succeeds in further convincing certain people that self-harming is for attention. This is the last thing that people with real self-harm issues need, to feel judged in a negative way for something they struggle to control. This could trigger somebody into harming themselves, or prevent them from ever reaching out for help, out of fear of backlash.
Some people are using this hashtag to make light or fun self-harm, by taking pictures that signify they are “joking” about how they have “Cut4Zayn.” When will people realise that any form of mental, physical illness is never funny? I understand that people don’t agree with the hashtag, but who in right mind would? It angers me that people think the way to show how wrong it is is to undermine the seriousness of harming.
Thirdly, the trend blackmails the singer, who has done nothing wrong. He made a simple personal decision, as he was obviously not happy with his current situation. He is not going to return to One Direction because of this Twitter reaction and neither should he, as any reaction to this from him would convince the people involved that they can use self-harm as a weapon to get what they want. Zayn should not be put in that position, where he feels personally responsible for other peoples actions.
Thankfully, the amount of people opposing the sickening trend outweigh the people who are fuelling it. Some fans of 1D are calling for people to ignore the trend and one said “GUYS! You all know that Zayn wouldn’t want anyone to
#Cut4zayn – think about that before any of you do something stupid!!!” (@archesUK).
This trend needs to stop. It should never have begun, and the unhealthy state of society that harbours it needs to be halted.