Internet Celebrity Glorifies Self-Harm... and it's wrong

Internet Celebrity Glorifies Self-Harm... and it's wrong

She is a hero to thousands, but for the rest of us, she is a danger to our generation, and a bad influence on her followers.
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Disclaimer: My purpose when I write an article is to criticize but not bash. I make sure to be as honest as possible and to include as much facts as possible when writing an article, that way I am not committing defamation, or spreading rumors. I would also like to keep in mind that each article is to advance an opinion or criticism I have and I make sure to back it up with evidence. This article will stir up some backlash and possibly upset some readers. But I don't believe in "triggers" or leaving "trigger warnings" so I suggest you read this at your own risk. If you don't like, simply click out of it.

I only discovered this recently and already I am terrified by what I see.

Emily LeRae Smith has become an internet sensation over the past few weeks. For many people, she’s a hero; a brave soul at war with mental illness and self-harm, but to others, she is a sick individual who needs to seek professional help. She has been scheduled to appear on the Dr. Phil Show on March 27th. So DVR it! Anyway...

Emily LeRae Smith currently has over 200,000 Facebook followers, and struggles with mental illness and self-mutilation. She is a wannabe therapist who supposedly gives advice to other people struggling with problems similar to hers. She has received praise and support from thousands for her battle with Bipolar Disorder and self-harm. But like every internet celebrity with followers, Emily LeRae Smith has critics. One of them is Youtuber, Mr. Gunk. Mr. Gunk posted a video about Emily LeRae Smith on March 14th, 2017. In the video, he criticized Emily for setting a bad example to her followers and refusing proper medical treatment to her illness. Almost immediately after that, Mr. Gunk received a massive backlash from Emily and her followers. She had posted status about him and asked her followers to report his video.Not only that. But he even got his Facebook account removed because hundreds of Emily's followers reported him!

Like Mr. Gunk, I believe Emily LeRae Smith sets a bad example for teenagers struggling with mental illness and self-harm. She is a corrupting influence for anyone with said problems and if I didn’t know any better, I would say that she is encouraging people to self-harm themselves. She doesn’t take her own advice, so she shouldn't be giving followers advice.

I skimmed her Facebook, I noticed in almost all of her pictures, she has cuts on her arms, legs, neck and even chest, and in recent photos there are new cuts in places I haven’t seen them before. She also seems to wear clothing that exposes these scars, (tank-tops, sleeveless shirts, and shorts.) It’s very clear that she seems proud of these cuts, and was still continuing to cut herself despite giving whatever advice she gave to her followers. Unfortunately, I am unable to produce any photos of her, on grounds I’d have to ask for permission first, and even with her permission they would be too graphic to include. But click here if you want to go to Emily LeRae Smith’s Facebook page and view them yourself.

In a Facebook post on February 16, 2016, she claimed she began cutting because she was abused by a family member. She wrote: MY STORY: I know a lot of people are interested in my story, so I'll share a little bit, but not all. I've been reluctant to share because I know people are going to say terrible things but here it goes. Growing up I was severely abused (physically, mentally, emotionally) by a family member. I have a good relationship with them now, but for the first 14 years of my life was different. I was taught to hate myself at a young age. Once the abuse stopped I wasn't sure how to cope with things. I was hurting so deeply from depression & anxiety & I found a release in self harm at 13-14 years old. It progressed worse & worse. I hid it from everyone for so long. I lived in sweatshirts for around 3-4 years until I realized that my scars don't make me any less of a person. Whenever I had new cuts I always kept them covered. I've been battling this for 8 years. Depression, anxiety, PTSD. I've had a total of 237 stitches & 58 staples. The last time I self-harmed I hit something & realized if I kept this up I would end up unintentionally killing myself because of how severe the cuts were getting. I've been clean for the longest I have been in over 3 years. I'm not going to lie & say it's easy because it's extremely hard. But every day, every minute, every second you go without self-harm is a victory. There you go. That's SOME of my story. If you have mean comments please don't share them. This is why I started & why I ended it. Hope this answers some questions.

She claimed that she had been clean for over 3 years. And yet, after this post went up, it was clear she was continuing to cut themselves. However, she continued to livestream and post selfies of herself almost every day. She continues to receive praise from thousands of people for her supposed struggle.

In a livestream in August of 2016, which was recently taken down. Emily confessed to having what she called “a slip up.” In the livestream, new scars are visible on her body as well as a bandage on her neck. She claimed it happened after an argument with a friend, who said she wasn’t going to be her friend anymore until Emily sought the proper help she needed. This agitated Emily so badly it caused her to cut her neck. Thankfully, her mother, who is a certified nurse was able to treat her on sight. But I would personally like to ask her mother: Why don’t you get your daughter the professional help she needs? I’ll get to that question in a bit. But this livestream also confirmed that Emily wasn’t only not taking her own advice, but that her advice doesn’t work. In the live stream, she says: “It’s not me fucking up, it’s not anything like that. It was me, very sadly, getting extremely and emotionally upset and giving into urges. And I used my skills, I really did. But they don’t always work.”

They don’t always work! The “skills” I assume she is teaching to her follows didn’t work for her. That says something. Unfortunately, the livestream was taken down when negative criticisms began to surface on the internet, specifically when Youtuber, Mr. Gunk, began bringing light to the issue. (For the record, snippets of the livestream appear in the link. As a matter of fact, most of the evidence which Emily took down can be seen in this video.)

A petition was issued over the internet to get Emily LeRae Smith removed from Facebook. However, it had been ignored by Facebook, and even countered with a petition to prevent her from being removed, saying that: "She promotes body acceptance, self-love, provides coping skills for when people are in distress and educates on mental illness." First of all, body acceptance is about accepting you're body in its natural state and by continuing to inflict scars on yourself, it shows that you don't care for your body's health. Scarring can lead to disfigurement, sensitive skin, infections, and if you are not careful, death. If she is continuing to harm herself, her "coping skills" aren't working and those "coping skills" she is providing might not help those who follow her. Third, she doesn't t have a degree in psychology, so while she maybe give a good insight as a person struggling with mental illness, she is not educating. I know friends who have overcame there illnesses and they are more worthy people to look up too and learn from.

The petition to get Emily removed was created by Rene Marie Ross. She will also be appearing on the Dr. Phil show with Emily. Rene was interviewed by Mr. Gunk on March 16th in a livestream podcast. In the interview, she said that Emily's behavior on the set of Dr. Phil was quiet rude, and she admitted that she wasn't getting professional help. She claims no responsibility for anyone else who was influenced by her to cut themselves, and she accused Dr. Phil of being a bully and a hater. Along with that, Rene confirmed by some members of Emily's family, that Emily was never abused by a family member and as a matter of fact, some family members attempted to reach out to Emily to encourage her to seek treatment. Her family members also admitted she craved attention, which would make sense considering her behavior on Facebook. During the interview, Mr. Gunk's Facebook page was removed.

I was able to talk to Rene later that day, and the things she told me were very interesting. I initially thought Rene was a close friend of Emily, but it turns out that wasn’t the case. Rene Marie Ross was a concerned citizen who reached out to her and tried to help her. She said that she first came across Emily LeRae Smith on the internet in 2014 when it was all over her newsfeed. She simply made a comment suggesting that maybe... just maybe Emily could get help. Emily and her followers did not take kindly to it. Rene said to me: It was just another comment on her profile like everyone else. I don't recall the comment full on since it was so long ago, but I was asking why she did what she did and what was the purpose of her slicing her body up and it was followed by a tremendous amount of hatred from her followers which resulted in the comment being deleted and me wanting to make the petition due to the fact I did my research and felt that she was manipulating the public into doing her dirty work and that she was using them for profit.

I asked her if she felt that her appearance on the Dr. Phil show will accomplish anything, and I was shocked to hear Rene is quite skeptical, believing that it will only feed the attention Emily desires, and it all depends on if she is taking the treatment Dr. Phil plans to provide for her.

After the petition went up, many followers of Emily harassed Rene, and continue to do so. They even targeted her husband and three-year-old child! Rene provided me with screenshots of some of these people. They are shown below. I covered names and locations for their protection, and I urge any readers not to engage in this vigilante behavior. Please don't. It makes you no better.

These photos above are only the tip of the iceberg. Everytime someone has a criticism or an opinion, Emily sends her followers to go after those critics. I also found out you can'[t block Emily's profile on Facebook, you have to ask her to block you! And even then her followers will harrass you!

And if you don't believe me still... go on her Facebook and try it yourself!

I hope I’ve made it clear that Emily LeRae Smith is not role model any teenager struggling with self-harm or mental illness should be looking up to. She tries to set an example of how to overcome self-harm, but she doesn't take her own advice. She glorifies self-mutilation and new cuts have continued to appear on every photo she posts. Her photos and videos are easily "triggering" to get anyone to start cutting themselves or, if you've had a history of self-harm, to relapse back into it. She manipulates her fan base into going after people who have opinions on her, and worst of all, she doesn't take responsibility for the negative influence she has on some people.


At the end of the day, all she seems to live on is the attention she receives.

Is this an inspirational person? I say no. I believe Emily LeRae Smith is the exact opposite. She glorifies self-harm, and manipulates her fans to cyberbully people who don’t agree with her. And I had personally signed the petition to get her removed from Facebook and hopefully she will be given the help she truly needs, which Dr. Phil will supposedly provide for her. But that's my opinion.

I am not a psychologist, nor have I struggled with self-harm. But I do have friends who had. Self-harm is an addiction. It's not something to be proud of. It's not to be worn like a badge, and it should NEVER be glorified.

If you are struggling with self-harm OR a mental illness of any kind, take my advice.... no, I beg you to take my advice. Don't follow Emily LeRae Smith.

If you wish to sign the petition to get Emily LeRae Smith removed from Facebook, click here. Sign it. Share it. And prevent more teenagers from committing self-harm.

P.S. There are better people to look up too, among the celebrities. Example: English comedian, Stephen Fry is open about his struggle with Bipolar Disorder and he is wonderful.

Update: Right after I submitted this article. I found out iin a livestream on Rene's Facebook confirmed that Emily LeRae Smith actually deactivated her Facebook account.

Cover Image Credit: google images

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An Open Letter To Every Girl With A Big Heart, Except When It Comes To Herself

Because it's so much easier to love everyone around you before yourself.
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They say the key is that you have to "love yourself before you can love anyone else," or before "anyone can love you."

For those who deal with mass amounts of anxiety, or have many insecurities, that can be an extremely hard task. It seems much easier to tell your friend who is doubting herself that she looks great in that top than to look in the mirror and feel the same about yourself. It is much easier to tell your significant other that everything is going to be OK than to believe it will be when something goes wrong in your life. It becomes easier to create excuses for the ones around you than for yourself, and this is because you have such a big heart. You want those that you love to be happy and worry-free, yet you spend nights thinking about everything you have on your plate, about what you did wrong that day, fearing if someone in your life is mad at you, believing that you will never be good enough yet convincing everyone else that they are.

You are the girl with the biggest heart, yet you can't love yourself the way you care for everyone else in your life. There are many reasons that you should love yourself, though, and that's something that everyone around you is willing to tell you.

You're thoughtful.

Before doing anything, you always consider how it is going to affect those around you. You don't want to do anything that could hurt someone, or something that could make someone mad at you. It does not take much to make you happy, just seeing others happy does the job, and it is that simple. Because of this, you remember the little things. Meaningful dates, small details, and asking someone how their day was is important to you, and it makes those around you feel important too. You simply just want the people that you care about to be happy, and that is an amazing trait.

You're appreciative.

You don't need a big, fancy, and expensive date night to make you happy. Whether it's a picnic on the beach or a night in watching a movie, you're happy to just be with the person that you love. You appreciate every "good morning" text, and it truly does mean something when someone asks how you are. You tend to appreciate the person that you're with more than the things that they provide and for that, your sincerity will never go unnoticed.

You have a lot of love in your heart.

Every "I love you" has meant something, just as you remember the smallest moments that have meant the most to you. You remember the look in your significant other's eyes when they told you that for the first time. You remember the smile on your best friend's face when you told them that everything was going to be OK and that you would always be there. You remember the swell of happiness your parents felt when you decided to surprise them with a trip home one day, and you thrive off of all of that love.

You don't give up on the people you love, even if they have given you a reason to.

It is a foreign idea to just drop someone from your life, even if they betrayed you. You try to look at their mistake from every stance, not wanting to provide an excuse for them, but to give them another chance. Not everyone deserves it, and that is something that you learn along the way, but you feel good in the sense that you gave them a chance even if no one else would.

It's OK to not love yourself all the time. It's normal, and natural to stand in the mirror and think about everything wrong. And it's OK to love other people, even when you can't feel the same about yourself. But your big heart is why you should love yourself. There are so many reasons that you are a beautiful person, and the people that you spend all your time caring about feel that you have so much more to offer the world, and yourself.

So, next time you think about what you don't like about yourself, remember what makes you special –– the size of your heart and all of the love in it, and then share that love with yourself.

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50 Reminders Bob Goff Has For Any Stage Of Your Life, Good Or Bad

To say he has a way with words would be an understatement.

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Many would consider being an author of two New York Times bestsellers, "Love Does" and "Everybody Always," the founder of a thriving non-profit, and a motivational speaker huge life accomplishments, but for Bob Goff, this barely scrapes the surface.

If you want to be impressed, try a U.S. Consul for the Republic of Uganda, pilot, navigator of life, neighborhood parade host of 24 years, lover of Sweet Maria, backyard and boat owner for a proposal, master pranker, Tom Sawyer Island regular, and college professor. If you know, you know. If you don't, go read Love Does and Everybody Always. DM me on Instagram, you can borrow my copies. (@erikamglover). I'm serious.

Bob Goff knows how to move your heart. He tells the story of life and love and shows us how to be the best neighbor to total strangers. He shows us that life has a whole lot of living to be done and he makes sure that we know that love isn't just said, love does. And we are meant to love for everybody, always.

Here are 50 of his best reminders, for whatever stage of life you navigating through.

Gentle Reminders from God

1. God isn't in the business of punishing us with reminders; instead, He pursues us with love. He doesn't grimace at our failures; He delights in our attempts.

2. "I Am." When you've got all the power, you don't need all the words.

3. God delights in answering our impossible prayers.

4. Heaven leaned over the rails in anticipation; Love was about to get a new name.

Becoming Love

6. Give away love acceptance like you're made of the stuff.

7. We'll become in our lives what we do with our love.

8. That's what love does. It pursues blindly, unflinchingly, and without end. When you go after something you love, you'll do anything it takes to get it, even if it costs everything.

9. Loving people the way Jesus did is great theology.

10. Every selfless act of love is a declaration of faith.

11. Most people need love and acceptance a lot more than they need advice.

12. Make love your plan."

Being Joyful

13. Be the kind of light that makes people squint so hard they can't even see you anymore.

14, Quit waiting for permission; go live your life.

15. The canvas doesn't tell the Artist what to paint.

16. Figure out what fuels your joy, then do lots of that.

Finding Motivation

17. Don't let other people decide who you are.

18. Don't let not knowing how it will end keep you from starting.

19. Each of us gets to decide every day whether to lean in or step back - to say yes, ignore it, or tell God why He has the wrong person.

20. Don't just do what you're able to do; figure out what you were made to do, then do lots of that.

21. God's betting that we'll have the guts to be who He made us to be, rather than acting like someone He doesn't know.

22. It's easy to get distracted watching what everyone else is doing. Tend to your own fire.

Being a Neighbor

23. Next to grace, I bet God thinks having us need each other was one of His best ideas.

24. God didn't give us neighbors to be our projects; he surrounded us with them to be our teachers. Love your neighbor.

25. Arguments won't change people. Only Jesus has the power to change people, and it will be harder for them to see Jesus if their view of Him is blocked by our opinions.

26. What often keeps us from loving our neighbors is fear of what will happen if we do. Frankly, what scares me more is thinking about what will happen if we don't.

27. God intended us to travel through life as a community. Think bus, not unicycle.

Looking for Hope in a place of Pain + Despair

28. The world is full of difficulties, but it's even more full of hope.

29. Sometimes God lets us lose hope for a moment so we'll retrace our steps and find Him all over again.

30. God uses the hardest parts of our lives to prepare us for the best parts.

31. Fear only has as much power as we give it; hope works the same way.

32. God doesn't break things so He can fix them; He fixes broken things so He can use them.

33. Jesus never promised to eliminate all of the chaos from our lives; He said He'd bring meaning to it.

Finding Humility

34. Humble people dazzle heaven.

35. We won't be like Jesus if it's more important to us to be like each other.

36. God makes confetti out of our titles and accomplishments to celebrate the poor and the humble.

37. It's easy to confuse a lot of activity with a purposeful life.

38. God never compares what He creates.

39. God invites us to be part of His plans, not approve them.

Feeling Lost

40. God often waits until we're out of ideas before He lets us know His plans. He competes for our hearts, not our attention.

41. Uncertainty chases us out into the open where God's always waiting.

42. If you think your mess-up is bigger than God's grace, that's your second mistake.

43. Fear calls out our doubts; God calls out our names.

44. Be patient. Sometimes when it looks to us like Jesus is asleep in the back of the boat, He's actually fixing the rudder.

45. Small streams don't choose to be mighty rivers. We keep moving in a direction and God decides what He'll make out of us.

46. Much of what God's doing in the world, He's doing in people's hearts. Be patient. It'll make sense later.

47. We don't need to criticize the work God is doing in other people's lives just because it's different than what He's doing in ours.

48. Be patient when it gets weird. The angels explained things to Joseph after he talked to Mary, not before.

49. Figure out what you'd give your life for and you'll know what to give your time to.

50. Don't let what you're afraid of keep you from what you were made for.

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