Society has always had a twisted perspective on the mental illness. These people are either artsy, creative geniuses that we swoon over— or they are demented violent humans that should be locked up in a padded room for the rest of their lives.
Taylor Swift’s video for Blank Space brought this topic front and center for me because its so blatantly glamorizes mental illness. Now before you say chill the hell out — its a video…just hear me out for a sec;
Throughout the video Taylor calls herself “insane” while slashing around with a butcher’s knife, ax and various other weapons. Black mascara drips down her cheeks in a nutjob kind of fashion, while she sings about deceiving her lovers (who she apparently meets at Starbucks although she’s a billionaire living in a castle).
How is this funny? Particularly in a society where this shit actually happens. For cripes sake, I’m sitting here writing this while watching a show called “My Deadly Little Secret.” It’s just episode after episode of on the edge humans deceiving one another in order to kill in horrific ways.
Truth is — it is funny. It is entertaining. And I can’t say I understand it. I guess I chalk it up to gallows humor. And I think if we are to rid ourselves of the stigma of mental illness, we need to go about it in this odd sort of fashion in order for so called “normal” American’s to give a rip about the topic.
2) Psycho Eyes
Taylor attempts the classic wide-eyed psycho chick look, which she can’t really pull off and she just ends up looking kinda lame. Mental illness lurks invisibly, many of us totally indistinguishable from the sane population, certainly not consciously widening our eyes for dramatic effect. Kinda scary hey?
3) Smashing crap
Taylor demolishes various objects, while dressed like a princess no less, in an effort to express her insanity. In real life, it would actually help if the mentally ill just smashed the hell out of something to get attention and subsequent treatment. No dice on that one, our mental health system required most to suffer in silence before ever coming out to deal with the stigma such an admission would bring.
Taylor, you can do better than this, it just doesn’t suit you. But I’m not gonna lie…its an awesome song.