Recent photos of Justin Bieber allegedly smoking pot have caused some of his young fans to self-mutilate in a bid to get him to give up what they see as his new drug habit, and now Miley Cyrus has called for them to stop.
On Monday, pranksters posing as Justin Bieber fans originated a sick online campaign that led #CutForBieber and #CuttingForBieber to trend on Twitter, circulating shocking images purporting to show fans with slashed wrists, blades and blood.
The supposed “fans” posted the upsetting images along with messages pleading with Bieber to stop smoking marijuana, as he appeared to be doing in photos released this past weekend.
While I don’t actually know who started this, it seems to have begun as some kind of sick hoax. The trouble with that is, cutting and self-harm are real problems among our teenagers. And when you consider the young and impressionable age of your average Justin Bieber fan, the potential risks of this trend are obvious.
The hashtag #cut4bieber has become the top U.S. trend on Twitter after people began posting photos featuring bleeding arms, allegedly the result of “cutting” by disappointed fans looking to pressurize the singer into giving up his pot habit.
Someone even started a website encouraging Bieber fans to cut themselves and post photos of their self-mutilation until Bieber gives up marijuana.
It’s unclear if Justin Bieber is aware of the worrying craze in his name, but Miley Cyrus sure is. She has decided it’s time to step in, retweeting a messaging saying,
“#cut4bieber? Cutting is NOT something to joke about. There are people who are actually suffering from self-harm, this is so disrespectful.”
Observers rightly point out that fake photos diminish the real mental health and self-esteem issues related to cutting.
Many Twitter users have responded to thwart the supposed intentions of this probably hoax campaign by posting “cutting for Bieber” pictures of themselves using scissors to cut paper. So while the original #CutForBieber images seem to have been done as a sick joke by a prankster group, the “campaign” quickly took on a life of its own.
But considering how serious the issue of self-harm is for millions of young people, this hoax is particularly vile, don’t you think?