From hereon, the only queen I’ll be curtsying to is Meghan Markle.
Although this was well over a week ago, the conversation and the response has been lingering on my mind. Say what you will, but the backlash of the interview has been a tiring narrative from society and the media to say the least.
Of everything that was discussed during Meghan and Harry’s talk with Oprah, one of the most important topics was the conversation around Meghan Markle’s mental health struggle.
There seems to be a very limited understanding of the bravery and vulnerability that it takes to speak openly. By discussing her experience, the impact has been, in short - boundless. It’s a known fact that public figures are extremely influential. So when they speak about the problems that they face, they also help those who might be ashamed or afraid to reach out in relation to their own battles, particularly the minority.
It’s such a double edged sword. We get told to speak out about our struggles because “oh poor girl, she should’ve told someone or asked for help” and when they do it’s “oh it's obviously for attention”
This general mindset that when someone states that they have been struggling, and that being taken as wanting the spotlight is my opinion incredibly short-sighted. Even if the slightest chance that is the case...shouldn't we give them the consideration and care that they need?
Just because someone could be in a position of privilege does not mean that they are shielded from trauma.
When I really think about it, it seems that it’s more about "talk to people and do yoga", and less structural change and funding to provide better mental health support to those that need it. When someone does reach out for support, they get vilified. What sort of message does that send to others in the community who are suffering and are hoping for kindness and acceptance.
Elena Cresci wrote a tweet which to paraphrase stated that Meghan isn't going to see your tweets disbelieving her, but your friends who have been suicidal will.
Which means that now is a great time as any to check in with your friends or reach out to someone who you haven't heard from in a long time to ask how they are feeling.
how they are really feeling
Or, if it's you that is feeling slightly displaced, prioritise yourself and engage with compassionate friends and take a break from social media instead.
Here's to strong women.
May we all be brave to ask for help when we need it and break barriers to live our best lives
art by @wearenotreallystrangers
By Shreya Basu, Inclusion Advocate at GRLKND