Why Depression and Beauty are mutually exclusive

I have a strong feeling that the proverbial human ignorance has pervaded this issue too. The issue being the general perception of depression, and not depression per se.

Thanks to popular culture our understanding of depression is blatantly unrealistic. It is NOT alluring. It does NOT have a charm to it. And honestly, no one loves someone for their essential ‘damaged goods’ quality. But if someone chooses to love someone DESPITE their brokenness, then that is different altogether.

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Some writers continue to exploit this serious mental condition. John Green, for instance – makes it a point that his female characters have a delectable troika of Depression, Beauty and a Fancy Vocabulary. (He goes on to glorify escapism, pointless rebellion and medical diseases like cancer and possible schizophrenia. But if we begin to criticise his ‘paper’ characters, we’d get nowhere.)

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What does this reinforce at the end? That if you’re hurting, then it instantly makes you attractive and enigmatic. The incessant romanticising of everything unpleasant is very much in vogue these days. These notions are far-fetched and extremely disrespectful to the millions of people battling with this condition out there. It undermines them who have to grapple with self-decimation and crushing isolation.

More than a phenomenon, it’s a feeling. A feeling that is subjective and can have any meaning for the person experiencing it. But I do know what Depression is not- it’s not a fashion trend in making. It is not a rag doll that writers can mutilate every now and then. It is not equivalent to a pedestal that we construct. A pedestal premised on sympathy and compassion.

It is grimy, devastating and ugly in its nakedness. It is not a statement, nor is it a cocktail-party conversation. So before we praise ‘beautiful’ and ’emphatic’ depictions of Depression, we need to step back and evaluate what it really is.

– A

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11 thoughts on “Why Depression and Beauty are mutually exclusive

  1. Very well-written! I really enjoy your informed yet casual writing style (I feel as though I am learning new things but also just being chatted to, which is a very nice thing indeed).
    I have dealt with the depression side of bipolar disorder countless times, but even I have been guilty of romanticizing it a little. In my case, romanticizing the unpleasant is a coping mechanism. For example, if death is beautiful, despite all the pain and agony, then I don’t have to fear or become anxious about it. Romanticism can be a distraction, and a way to ignore the inevitable.
    Not that I don’t agree with you. Depression is not at all an attractive, pleasant state. And to show someone who hasn’t experienced it that it is, that is both false and disrespectful to those who suffer from it. For any progress to be made, issues need to be addressed realistically and not through a “pleasant” social filter. Thank you for this post! It has made me really consider my own way of expression. Very interesting!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree how we ourselves do gloss over the issues we face, as a coping mechanism. But somehow I feel its an evasive strategy that can’t be employed in the long-run. Since I have had a brief stint in this area, I am appalled at how pop culture represents it to be something heroic and inexplicably attractive. That’s just glorifying a state that crushes your bones and makes you wonder if you’ll ever make it to the next Thanksgiving.
      Thank you for taking the time to read it and formulate this delightful comment.
      Lots of love. 💜💜

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Related to this topic is the notion that geniuses are always disturbed. The more troubled, rude, tempestuous, and simply cruel they are, the more our society freely assigns them genius status. Is it possible that success merely breeds ‘being impossible’ in people?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with you. People freely use the term ‘eccentricity’ for someone’s quirks. But there are two sides to this observation –
      1. That maybe they are just weird and people just coined a fancy term for weirdness when it comes from someone socially privileged.
      2. Or that these so called geniuses are actually normal but society functions on the age-old stereotype that genius mixes seamlessly with a certain level of madness.

      Think about it.
      And thank you for reading!

      Like

  3. Depression I think is catching up faster because of so much pressure -work. Money, love….
    I guess a large number of population has suffered depression at some stage in life!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for your follow
    I have deep roots in this subject
    I am a survivor of suicide
    And have suffered with just about all sides of this disease/illness
    I try as hard as I can to share as much of my experience, strength and hope as possible
    And to anyone who is in need
    I am always just a click away
    And if you go back far enough in my blog
    You can see and read a lot of my story
    One most important note
    I have found there isn’t any shame to being who you are
    As long as your comfortable in the way you look, feel, and act
    The Sheldon Perspective

    Liked by 1 person

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