This World Is Cruel, and Also Beautiful (Lessons From Attack On Titan)
I am sure to find a smile in every day, I make it a priority and I write it down. My mental health depends on it.
I've never mentioned this before but I screenshot every single positive comment anybody makes towards me or my work & keep them in a folder on my notes app called 'cookie jar'. That way when I'm feeling down I can read all the online positivity aimed in my direction & it always makes me feel better. I also keep a second folder called 'gratitude' where I leave just one note of something I'm grateful for.
Because life is hard enough as it is, and being an online figure is fucking tough at times. Today, that's what I want to talk about specifically.
A recent example of depression and online figures is Hana Kimura, a Japanese wrestler who took her own life due to what looks like cyberbullying and trolling. She was only 22, it's a really sad story & goes to show what impact a constant stream of negativity can do to your headspace.
Within the past fortnight, I've been told my lips are weird, that I'm a body shamer, that I'm a liar, that I look like Michael Jackson, that I'm a fake anime fan, that I take steroids, & that I shouldn't cosplay because I have tattoos. That's the small everyday stuff, on the rarer occasion I've also been publicly mobbed by fanbases for having opinions they don't like, sexually harassed, & stalked by a handful of die-hard fans.
But I'm not going to let any amount of negativity stop me or my mission to help a million people use anime as inspiration to craft a better life & body for themselves.
To be a public figure you have to accept that people will sometimes hate you for no real reason other than a story they've crafted in their head. We can't simply hope that people will only say nice things about us & I find the advice of 'be thick-skinned' a little empty. Being practical, to me I had 2 options: don't read any comments or reply to as many comments as I could & save the nice ones to fall back on if the negativity gets too much.
Thankfully, I can safely say that all my protagonists alongside the gratitude & love that they give me far outweighs any hate I've received. If you're reading this, you're all amazing, thank you.
Next time you feel compelled to comment something rude, asinine, hateful, or undeserved, think twice. There's a human behind that screen who's reading what you say.
And if you're on the receiving end of it, try keeping a cookie jar and a gratitude diary. It will help remind you that although the world can be cruel 'it's also very beautiful'
Find a smile in every day, Be More Shonen