I can’t believe I’m writing a rant so quickly on the stripper heels of Alexis Bloomer’s “Elders, I’m Sorry” screed, and my wonderfully witty and carefully crafted response.
But whereas, Alexis Bloomer talking smack about her fellow Millennials was just a generalizing eye-roller, Amanda Lauren’s essay, “Friend’s Death Was a Blessing,” initially published on xoJane.com, has me so apoplectic with rage, I can barely see straight, but I knew once I read it I had to respond (and I’m not the only one who is fuming).
Here is “Friend’s Death Was a Blessing” in its entirety from an archive after xoJane deleted it from its website.
Okay, confession time. I suffer from depression and have for years. I’ve been in therapy, taken medication, read up on how to cope with depression and sometimes meet up with a support group to talk about my issues with depression (reminder: visit group next time there is a meeting because after reading Lauren’s screed you really need a pick me up).
Some of you may have heard of Amanda Lauren; for a brief time, she caused a bit of controversy when she said the most important ingredient to a good marriage is “staying hot” for her hubby. Now, I’m all for self-care and keeping oneself attractive for your lovey-poo. Who doesn’t want to be attractive for a significant other (and for ourselves)? But Lauren fully admitted she stays hot just so her hubby buys her a $400.00 Roomba vacuum cleaner. Wait. There is a $400.00 vacuum cleaner? And I thought I was a baller with my cheap Swiffer Sweep + Vac!
“I’m Hot” Lauren insta-fame came and went with a poof. But then the her essay on her friend’s battle with mental illness came to light and it was written with such callousness and lack of compassion I found myself sputtering and crying while reading it.
Okay, if you haven’t read Lauren’s cached screed, here is a brief summary. Once upon a time, Lauren had a friend named “Leah.” These two became reacquainted when Leah moved to LA where Lauren was also living. According to Lauren there was something truly wrong with Leah because she had a messy apartment and rarely dated. However, Leah did try to hook up with a guy Lauren’ crushed on (the nerve). But despite Leah’s selfishness in going for a guy Lauren crushed on, Lauren managed to forgive her. She even got Leah a job at her place of employment, but Leah just messed that up, too. Now keep in mind Leah is no longer around to give her side of the story…
Lauren later found Leah on Facebook and kept up with Leah’s FB page where she posted nude pics of herself and postings filled with self-loathing, being diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, her arguments with her parents, and possible rants about Lauren (never truly verified by Leah herself—it could have been about someone else) with a few posts about celebrities and entertainment shows. All of this offended Lauren whose other FB friends bragged of engagements, weddings, vacations and babies.
Lauren decided to block Leah and then soon found out Leah had drowned in a bathtub. Whether this was an accident or a permanent way out isn’t quite clear, but it is a tragedy, especially to Leah’s parents who already buried another daughter who died several years ago.
Now, if Lauren didn’t have all the depth of a Jimmy Choo in-step, had honed some critical-thinking skills and had any sense of empathy, you’d think she’d feel truly horrible for Leah. Leah’s death wasn’t a blessing; it was a dreadful tragedy. Clearly this was a young woman filled with pain so deep that I just wanted to give her a hug and feed her some homemade chicken soup. But to Lauren’s delicate sensibilities Leah was just a loser, so good riddance to bad rubbish. If she hadn’t died she just would have been a huge burden to her family and society as a whole.
Now after reading my brief synopsis of Lauren’s xoJane essay, are you feeling the same anger I am? Mental illness is already so misunderstood in this country, and Lauren’s essay certainly didn’t help. You would think she would have read it over, and thought better of having it published at xoJane. And you would think the editorial staff at xoJane would have read Lauren’s horrifically insensitive essay and refused to publish it. But publish it they did; and once it went viral, many readers felt the same anger I did and pretty much told Lauren and xoJane to stuff it.
XoJane quickly deleted Lauren’s essay with a half-assed apology. And Lauren being a shallow snot-nosed bitch, offered the typical “sorry if I offended you” fauxpology and probably made another appointment to get her yoni waxed and spend her husband’s money on a designer handbag.
Countless people have been in Leah’s shoes and suffer from mental illness. Some haven’t been touched by mental illness, but were willing to speak up for those who do. Here are just a few:
GOMI Blog-Also known as “Get Off My Internets”
Amanda Lauren is Glad You’re Dead
Sam Dylan Finch from Let’s Queer Things Up
An Open Letter To Amanda Lauren From Someone ‘Beyond Help’
Lyz Lenz from The Daily Dot
xoJane Essayist Says She’s Not Sorry for Writing About Her Friend’s Death Being a ‘Blessing’
Courtney Enlow from Panjiba
In Which We Attempt to Calmly Explain What the Hell Happened on XOJane Without a Rage Stroke
Jamie Peck from Death and Taxes
xoJane Sinks to New Low with ‘I’m glad my ex-friend is dead’ Essay
And Rich Juzwiak from Gawker reaches out to Amanda Lauren to defend herself. Not surprisingly, Lauren is just as detestable and vile as you can imagine.
What Was That xoJane Writer Who Called Her Friend’s Death a “Blessing” Thinking?
What was Amanda Lauren thinking? Well, not much. But fortunately there are people who are thinking and who also care. If you, or if someone you love suffers from a mental illness, there is a help. Here are a few websites for your perusal:
I hope these websites (and others you can find thanks to Lord Google) act as a catalyst for education, support and healing.
As for you Amanda Lauren, please go drink a bucket of cold cat sick.