Actress and model Megan Fox announced that she is removing her famous tattoo of Marilyn Monroe from her right forearm.
Fox initially got the tattoo because she claimed to identify with the tragic actress because they both suffered from bipolar disorder. In addition, Fox said the tattoo served as a daily reminder to avoid Marilyn’s mistakes.
Now, she just sees it as a negative reminder of someone she no longer views as a good role model. Fox recently told reporters, “She was a negative person, she was disturbed, bipolar. I do not want to attract this kind of negative energy in my life.”
Fox will not be completely ink-free. She has nine other tattoos including husband Brian’s name etched on her lower abdomen, a tribal piece on her wrist and three quotes on her back and ribcage.
While removing a tattoo is not necessarily a bad thing, Fox’s reasons for doing so have caused some controversy.
Human rights for those suffering from mental illnesses have come a long way, but there are still many misconceptions and stigmas. Several studies conducted by reputable organizations like the American Psychological Association (APA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have found that Americans still tend to view mental disorders as shameful and blame the affected individual. These biased beliefs continue even after the public has been informed that there are biological reasons for mental illnesses.
The media often propagates these stereotypes when they air stories of mentally disturbed individuals committing crimes.
Celebrities have the power to promote awareness of mental illnesses, which is why Fox’s outspoken intolerance particularly powerful. There are, however, other celebrities who take another approach.
Emmy, Golden Globe and Tony Award winning actress Glenn Close has not only played the part of women with mental illnesses, she is also dedicated to advancing knowledge about the topic. She even wrote an article for the Huffington Post addressing the serious issue of the stigma surrounding diseases of the mind in which she cited personal and professional experiences.
Brooke Shields stood up to Tom Cruise in 2005 when he denounced her use of antidepressants to treat postpartum depression. Shields publicly stated that Cruise’s comments were “dangerous” and served to increase stigma against people suffering from mental disorders.
Hollywood has always had a unique relationship with psychological disorders, both on and off screen.The question is, do they have the power to do more harm than good? Or can they advance knowledge and compassion?
What do you think? How has mental illness affected your life or the life of someone you love?