Twitter teen girls started a hashtag #CuttingForBieber (and as it is gaining momentum, they have added #cutforbieber and #cut4bieber as well) to get Canadian pop sensation Justin Bieber's attention to stop smoking weed. The pictures are graphic and the tweets are unbelievable. This is obvious self-mutilation. As a parent, this scares the hell out of me.
Can someone help these Bieber fans?! Please?
UPDATE: 4chan (a web-based bulletin board site) has claimed they engineered #cuttingforbieber. A hoax?! I say - Disrespectful to any kids dealing with self-injury issues. Irresponsible to popularlize cutting (I wonder how many unknowing teens slashed themselves today thinking it was the new cool). Awful to display graphic cutting pictures to the millions of kids, tweens and teens on twitter. My post remains unchanged because I think there is an issue that needs to be discussed...self-injury and social media.
How does one go from adoring a pop singer to putting permanent scars on one's body to get his attention?!
Someone needs to talk these #cuttingforbieber fans down because this is wrong in so many, many, ways. As a parent, this alarms me to no end. Fanatic actions? permanent scaring? public attention getting? Self harming? What do we—as parents and as a society—DO?!
I shake my head and hold my heart. Please don't let this ever be my kid. But it could well be—one day. With social media, kids are intimately connected to their heartthrobs. They know more about pop stars, movie stars, *insert well known character here* than ever before. The lines between real relationship and virtual relationship become blurred.
Perhaps these kids are thinking "he'll notice me," "this will make him stop." And maybe it will. But at what cost?!
And what about Mr. Bieber. How will he feel when he reads through the thread and sees the blood of his fans? Is this a virtual version of pop star blackmail? Should Justin respond in all caps "STOP THIS RIGHT NOW!"? Would a Bieber response be a win? For anyone?
I would be wrong to not include some sort of reference for parents or teens who are dealing with self-injury, of course. I recommend the KidsHelpPhone.ca article on Signs of Teen Self-Injury for understanding self-injury and finding ways to help.
The only help I can, personally, provide is to let parents know this is happening. #cuttingforbieber seems to be real. Parents you need to know about this.