May is Mental Health Month


Barbara Kruger, Untitled (Your body is a battleground, 1989), The Broad, Los Angeles, California


May is Mental Health Month, and I would like to draw your attention to this work by Barbara Kruger. This piece, executed in 1989 serves not only as art, but also as a protest. When Kruger made this work, it was a turbulent time in America, which saw countless protests against new antiabortion laws, something that we are currently experiencing with this current administration. At a time when the country was fighting for the freedom to decide what we should do with our own bodies, this work was a stark representation of what it is exactly politicians were trying to enforce, and that those in power were using women’s bodies to fight a war that wasn’t theirs. Now, 28 years later, it seems like history is repeating itself, with approximately 470,000 attending the Women’s March on Washington on January 21st, 2017, almost as much as the April 9th, 1989 march, which saw close to 500,000 attendees. And although this piece does speak about the political fight over women’s bodies, I also see another side of it, one that is a much more of an internal and personal battle. On daily basis we all, regardless of our genders, ages, nationalities and religions, struggle with an internal dialogue. Whether this dialogue is depression, self esteem, relationship woes, or just simply being tired, it is a dialogue that exists. The new age of thought is urging us to love ourselves more, to be confident, to embrace our bodies and minds, however, it isn’t as easy as social media makes it seem. On some days we wake up full of confidence, ready to take on the world, but on other days it is a struggle to tell yourself “you are great!” At times it truly feels like you are battling your own mind just to make it through the day. But all of the social media posts and online articles are most certainly onto something, in the sense that it is okay to not be okay, it is okay to sometimes wake up and just not be into it on that day. No one person is exactly the same as another, and no day is exactly the same as the one before or after it. This is my contribution to Mental Health Month, that it is okay to not be okay, and it is okay to ask for help. It sometimes feels like we are alone with no one to lean on, but that isn’t so, and there are people who would listen without judgment or prejudice, offering nothing but support and genuine care. Society’s sense of humanity isn’t lost, and we are on this planet together, and I hope that we can help one another in any way we can, so that we can leave this earth, and its inhabitants, in a better shape than what we found it in. Pictured here is Barbara Kruger, Untitled (Your body is a battleground), 1989, the Broad, Los Angeles, California



If you, or anyone you know, are suffering from depression or suicidal thoughts, please contact the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 Suicide Prevention Lifeline

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