This post was originally published on our SAY Media sister site, xojane.com. We're republishing it with permission as a follow-up to our story, Oh Grow Up: Inside The 4chan Hashtag Hoax #cutforbieber.
I’m 15 years old. I have Justin Bieber posters on my walls even though I don’t listen to him as much as I used to. I still think he’s gorgeous.
I don’t talk about it much, but when I was younger, I allowed myself to be influenced by my friends and tried cutting myself. I only did it once years ago, but it was such an awful experience, and definitely not something to joke about. That’s what I don’t get. Who would think it was funny to try to convince me to cut myself?
I was in eighth grade at the time, and I was still dealing with the fact that my parents were divorced and getting remarried, and I thought life sucked. I had seen some stuff about cutting on TV, and my friend’s sister had cut herself before. I thought maybe it was a good idea. But I realized it doesn't solve anything. If anything, it makes things more complicated. I did tell my sister about it ahead of time, and she told me she thought it was a dumb idea. Unfortunately, I didn’t listen.
I used a protractor on my arm because I was feeling really mad, and I thought maybe I could express the anger and pain that way. But I just started bleeding and then I cried, and then when my mom found out, I felt worse than ever. That’s when I started going to counseling, and I still go. I find that writing and doing physical things like sports (I play volleyball) let me work out my feelings in a way that is really healthy and, after I’m done, make me feel so much better (instead of worse) about myself.
Like all of my friends, I have seen the #cutforbieber and #cuttingforbieber trend on Twitter all this week after some people thought he might be doing drugs. Now it turns out the whole thing was a cruel hoax or a joke.
The message board 4Chan said: "Lets start a cut yourself for bieber campaign. Tweet a bunch of pics of people cutting themselves and claim we did it because bieber was smoking weed. See if we can get some little girls to cut themselves.”
It makes me sick to think that an anonymous group of people want young girls or teens like me to hurt ourselves. I think if you want to hurt Justin Bieber, you don’t have to encourage harm to children or even to make a 15-year-old girl cry. That seems sad to me. Do they pick fights with middle-schoolers? Pick on someone your own size, please.
I also really do think Justin is old enough to make his own choices and know which ones are wrong. I love Justin as a person. I used to be obsessed with him. He's an amazing dancer, and he is just amazingly talented. A lot of my friends have matured and don't listen to him. He's still one of my favorites and my mother’s, too.
People make fun of Justin Bieber fans. But we are just kids. It’s okay for us to be kids and like a singer without adults on the Internet trying to give teenagers or anyone who might be going through a lot of pain a bad idea like cutting. It’s not funny. People actually did cut themselves because of this supposed joke.
Everyone was talking about the cutting hashtag on Facebook and Twitter this week, even if they didn’t like or even care about Bieber. That’s how many people 4Chan reached. Plus all the stories about it. Even this story, I guess.
All I know is that posting a lot of pictures of people cutting themselves and making a joke out something that seriously, seriously hurts a lot of kids (including this one) doesn’t help anyone.
I still think about what I did, and I only did it once. It hurt me and it hurt my family a lot. They were really scared.
I hope that if 4Chan reads this maybe they will look at my picture or look at the pictures of any of the young fans of Justin Bieber and think about their little sisters or their daughters. We’re just kids. Please leave us out of these kinds of “jokes” in the future.
No one is laughing.