No Laughing Matter

Maybe I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning or maybe I’m overthinking things. But I saw something on Facebook this morning that was supposed to be cute and funny and on this cold Friday morning I’m sure many others had an innocent chuckle or smile when they saw it, then moved on about the day forgetting all about it. I mean, who doesn’t love Kermit?

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But what struck me about this image was that it’s actually making light of the serious problem of mental health. If this cute photo had text joking about race, sexuality or a visible disability it wouldn’t be so funny would it? It would be offensive. But because the “joke” was about mental health it’s socially acceptable.

I know the person who posted this was only passing on something they got a chuckle out of. I know I’ve shared similar “jokes” in the past both online and offline – I’m not innocent of this but I am now aware of just how hurtful and inappropriate joking about mental health (or any other illness or disability) really is.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments. Am I being over-sensitive on this topic or is it time to adjust our thinking about what is funny?

Merlene Paynter

Merlene Paynter is a freelance writer and content consultant. When she's not working as the Managing Editor at Her City Lifestyle she's mixing up cocktails over at Madtini.com , designing websites, writing, and selling yarn at her new online yarn shop KnitCreek.com and drinking too much coffee.

1 Comment
  1. Great post and point! I completely agree – unless you can really identify on a personal level with mental health, this would seem ‘cute’ – however it is still a veiled judgmental and derogatory comment.. it does nothing to progress in a POSITIVE manner the awareness needed about mental health…

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