Why #Cut4Zayn is no laughing matter
It was a given that One Direction fans would be inconsolable to hear of Zayn Malik's departure from the band but some of them are resorting to scary measures to cope with their grief.
The shocking hashtag #Cut4Zayn started trending on Twitter shortly after One Direction confirmed on their official Facebook page that Malik had left.
Images of cut arms and legs with captions like, "Look what you have made me do Zayn" have been posted on the site.
So wrong on so many levels.
If any of these pictures are genuine the people need help now. To be brokenhearted when your favourite band member leaves is understandable. Remember when Robbie left Take That in 1995? There were no social networks back then but millions of fans across the world found other ways to share their pain: holding candlelight vigils, creating scrapbooks and compiling VHS tapes devoted to their idol. When Take That split up the following year the U.K. government even set up a phone hotline to help fans deal with their grief.
But to actually self-harm over this kind of thing is extremely worrying. It's been pointed out by several other One Direction fans on Twitter that if these images aren't real they are basically glorifying self-harm:
And it's also seriously undermining what people who have genuinely battled with self-harm have been through:
What makes it even worse is that some Twitter users are posting spoofs of the images, featuring arms covered in tomato ketchup and pizzas, cakes, paper, condoms and other things that could be "cut," further belittling what is a serious problem amongst young people.
Let's hope the hashtag #StayClean4Zayn, which fans have been posting alongside images of their arms (without cuts) starts trending to take the focus away from #Cut4Zayn.
For advice and information on self-harm and other mental health issues visit Mind.
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