Unfashionably Ill

Mental health is something we’ve been hearing a lot about over the past few years.  And no, this doesn’t mean mental illnesses have increased, this just means we have a greater understanding, and wider spread awareness.  But what does the fashion industry have to say about this?

The fashion industry is often given a bad name when it comes to mental stability around body image; constantly blamed for promoting unhealthily slim looking women, and airbrushed skin that is not achievable in everyday life.  But rarely do we stop and consider a model or designers mental health, rather than their physical appearance.  Of course any occupation can effect mental health, but fashion is often a fast paced and a high pressure working environment.  The need to constantly please colleagues or bosses by coming up with new ideas can be emotionally draining.  Having your work under a microscope while your mentality is “nothing you do is good enough”, can make anxiety a lot worse.

Often we find ourselves blaming “society” or “media”, but when it comes down to it, all society and media is, is just people.  One in four of these individuals (of whom work for media companies) will at some point in their lives experience a mental health problem.  Often people we know and care about are suffering in silence due to fear of judgement or lack of understanding from others.  Though mental health is becoming a common internet topic of discussion, it is still often forgotten when it comes to the everyday practicalities of these health problems.  How often do people share content on social media about supporting mental health, then think their own friend weird or rude for hiding away and not joining in social activities?

It is essential not to smother, or to ignore a friend who is suffering; but to offer an ear to listen, a shoulder to cry on, or simply silent company.  Sometimes the smallest evidence of a friend who cares can make the difference between life and death.

Copyright © 2019 by Anna Turnell






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