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.

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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A Senior's Last Week Of High School

The bittersweet end.

Well, this is it. This is what we've worked so hard the last four years - who am I kidding - basically what seems like our whole lives for. This is the very last week we will set foot as a student in our high school's hallways. As most schools are getting ready to set their seniors free at last, it all begins to set in - the excitement, the anxiousness, and also the sentiment and nostalgia.

For seniors, the years since our first day as a freshman at the bottom of the high school totem pole have seemed endless, but as we look back on these last few weeks, we realize that this year in particular has gone by extraordinarily fast. It was just yesterday that we were sitting in our classrooms for the very first time, going to our 'last first' practice, and getting our first taste of the (very real) "senioritis". With all that's going on in our lives right now, from sports and clubs, finals, and the sought after graduation ceremony, it's hard to really sit down and think about how our lives are all about to become drastically different. For some it's moving out, and for some it's just the thought of not seeing your best friend on the way to fourth period English; either way, the feels are real. We are all in a tug of war with the emotions going on inside of us; everything is changing - we're ready, but we're not.

THE GOOD. Our lives are about to begin! There is a constant whirlwind of excitement. Senior awards, getting out of school early, parties, and of course Graduation. We are about to be thrust into a world of all new things and new people. Calling our own shots and having the freedom we have so desperately desired since the teenage years began is right around the corner. Maybe the best part is being able to use these new things surrounding you to grow and open your mind and even your heart to ideas you never could before. We get the chance to sink or swim, become our own person, and really begin to find ourselves.

Things we don't even know yet are in the works with new people we haven't even met yet. These friendships we find will be the ones to last us a lifetime. The adventures we experience will transform into the advice we tell our own children and will become the old tales we pass down to our grandkids when they come to visit on the weekends. We will probably hate the all night study sessions, the intensity of finals week, and the overpowering stress and panic of school in general, just like we did in high school... But it will all be worth it for the memories we make that will outlive the stress of that paper due in that class you absolutely hate. As we leave high school, remember what all the parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors are telling you - this are the best times of our lives!

THE BAD. The sentimental emotions are setting in. We're crying, siblings are tearing up, and parents are full-out bawling. On that first day, we never expected the school year to speed by the way it did. Suddenly everything is coming to an end. Our favorite teachers aren't going to be down the hall anymore, our best friends probably won't share a class with us, we won't be coming home to eat dinner with our families...

We all said we wanted to get out of this place, we couldn't wait, we were ready to be on our own; we all said we wouldn't be "so emotional" when the time came, but yet here we are, wishing we could play one more football game with our team or taking the time to make sure we remember the class we liked the most or the person that has made us laugh even when we were so stressed we could cry these past few years. Take the time to hug your parents these last few months. Memorize the facial expressions of your little sister or brother. Remember the sound of your dad coming home from work. These little things we take for granted every day will soon just be the things we tell our college roommate when they ask about where we're from. As much as we've wanted to get out of our house and our school, we never thought it would break our heart as much as it did. We are all beginning to realize that everything we have is about to be gone.

Growing up is scary, but it can also be fun. As we take the last few steps in the hallways of our school, take it all in. Remember, it's okay to be happy; it's okay to be totally excited. But also remember it's okay to be sad. It's okay to be sentimental. It's okay to be scared, too. It's okay to feel all these confusing emotions that we are feeling. The best thing about the bittersweet end to our high school years is that we are finally slowing down our busy lives enough to remember the happy memories.

Try not to get annoyed when your mom starts showing your baby pictures to everyone she sees, or when your dad starts getting aggravated when you talk about moving out and into your new dorm. They're coping with the same emotions we are. Walk through the halls remembering the classes you loved and the classes you hated. Think of the all great times that have happened in our high school years and the friends that have been made that will never be forgotten. We all say we hated school, but we really didn't. Everything is about to change; that's a happy thing, and a sad thing. We all just have to embrace it! We're ready, but we're not...

Cover Image Credit: Facebook

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How To Know That You're In A New York State Of Mind

"New York is the city that other cities can only dream of being."


A New York State of Mind does not mean you reside in the city, it is a way of life that you live, in which only some people can handle. Here's how to know if you are in a New York State of Mind.

You've got goals, baby.

Setting your mind on your goals, knowing that you'll achieve them is the number one step. You'll do anything to pursue your goals, which is what any good New Yorker would do.

You're not afraid to be alone.

New York is one of the largest cities in the world, which might make it one of the most lonely. Being okay with being alone is a trait only some can hold.

You keep life moving at a fast pace.

You want to do things, and you want them now. Like the queen Ariana Grande says, "I want it, I got it."

You are accepting of all people.

People are people, and everyone deserves the same love as one another, and if you're in a New York State of Mind, you know that.

You know that failure is not an option.

If you fail at something, you don't just quit and give up, you simply find a new, and better way to do that task.

You stay authentic to yourself.

You know who you are, you don't need to prove yourself to anyone. If they appreciate you and want you in their corner, they should make that clear to you.

You have a plan for everything.

You are prepared for whatever is it that is coming at you.

You know the sky isn't the limit, because you're reaching for the stars.

People will think you're crazy, or your dreams are too big. If you're in the right state of mind, you simply ignore them. There's no point in dwelling on other people's thoughts, when you know what you want.

Possessing these personality traits, shows that you are in fact in a New York State of Mind. If you are, you're a bad ass who knows who you are and what you want, and you'll get it, no matter what obstacles life throws your way.

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