One xoJane writer received a stream of negative feedback after posting an article to the website noting her former friend’s death was “a blessing.” Amanda Lauren took to the website to write an essay titled “My Former Friend’s Death Was a Blessing” with the tagline “Some people are so sick, they are beyond help.” The article received almost instant backlash with readers calling Lauren selfish, petty, and insensitive.
— Dana Schwartz (@DanaSchwartzzz) May 20, 2016
The Daily Mail reports that xoJane writer Amanda Lauren posted an essay regarding the death of a former friend who suffered from mental illness. The writer claimed that the former friend’s death was “a blessing” as some people are “beyond help.” The post chronicled the rocky relationship between Amanda and her friend she called Leah in the post.
The post received almost instant backlash with people pointing out that the essay was full of nothing but criticism for the “friend” who was suffering from mental health issues including schizoaffective disorder. The woman would eventually die after falling into a bathtub and drowning. However, instead of showing sympathy, it seems that Lauren used the death as a “cautionary tale,” noting that her friend had “nothing worth living for.” Lauren used the piece to detail her problems with her friend’s social media account by picking apart her daily postings, calling them similar to a “14-year-old girl’s diary.” She went on to say it seemed like something out of a 1990s Lifetime movie.
“While most Facebook posts, at least in my feed, are pictures of engagements, weddings, vacations, children, pets and links, her page felt like the diary of a fourteen-year-old girl with an eating disorder from a Lifetime movie circa 1993.”
Ultimately, Amanda Lauren claimed that the death of the friend was “a blessing” because her life was not worth living and was a seeming burden on those around her. Lauren quantifies this by noting her anguish having to read through her teenage-sounding Facebook posts, noting she had no accomplishments aside from being a cam girl. Lauren’s “sympathy,” if you could use that word, seems to only come through when describing her “former friend’s” life as a tragedy.
“It sounds horrible to say, but her death wasn’t a tragedy, her life was. Judging Facebook pages, we all compare ourselves to other people, what they have, what they don’t, and their accomplishments. This girl had nothing to live for. What would the rest of her life been like? She would have either been institutionalized or a major burden on her family. There was just no way she would have survived on her own. Drowning to death was relatively painless compared to what she had to endure in life.”
The harsh criticism and “me” tone to the article left many with a bad taste in their mouth. Many pointed out that she showed no sensitivity to her friend and that she was self-absorbed. Following significant backlash against the piece, xoJane removed the article and issued an apology in its wake, writing they would do a better job of vetting articles in the future.
“I apologize for an article that was posted here yesterday, entitled “My Former Friend’s Death Was a Blessing.” I deeply regret the hurt that this article has caused and understand that it has perpetuated stigma and diminished the lives of people with mental illness.”
Speaking with Gawker, the writer says that she is sorry if it triggered anyone but adds it is a cautionary tale that she felt needed to be told. Much like her original post, Lauren still did not take full responsibility for the hurtful nature of her article, saying that those “easily triggered” shouldn’t have read beyond the headline.
“I’m sorry if this triggered anyone, but I feel like…sorry I’m just so overwhelmed right now. I feel like if you read a headline like that and you’re easily triggered, maybe don’t read the article.”
Though the original post has been removed from the xoJane website, the archived article in its original form can be viewed here.
— Amanda Lauren (@AmandaLauren) September 8, 2014
This isn’t the first article by Lauren to cause controversy. Her article “Staying Hot For My Husband Is ESSENTIAL To A Successful Marriage” also received loads of backlash. One writer for The Establishment claims that her criticism of the controversial post was so ill-received by Lauren that the writer threatened to sue her.
— Jennifer L. Pozner (@jennpozner) May 21, 2016
What do you think about Amanda Lauren’s essay calling her estranged friend’s death a “blessing?”
[Image via ItsAmandaLauren]