On Tuesday, singer Kehlani Parrish posted a photo on Instagram which showed an IV in her arm following an apparent suicide attempt. The R&B artist posted the photo with the caption, “Today I wanted to leave this earth. Being completely selfish for once. Never thought I’d get to such a low point.” Kehlani also shared a photo of her ex—and potentially current—boyfriend, rapper-singer Partynextdoor, who sat by her bedside while she was hospitalized.
Kehlani’s suicide attempt was a result of her inclusion in a photo posted to Partynextdoor’s Instagram account, which showed her in bed with the OVO artist. Although the photo does not show her face, Kehlani was recognized due to her signature ‘WOKE’ tattoo on her left hand. Many believed that Kehlani was still in a relationship with NBA star Kyrie Irving, which sparked rumors that Kehlani had committed infidelity. Within minutes, Twitter was filled with thousands of slut shaming tweets that were directed towards Kehlani. Chris Brown even added his two cents, belittling Kehlani’s suicide attempt as a way to garner sympathy from fans after being exposed as a cheater.
In 2016, many of the things that millennials experience is shared on social media. From lip synching in the car, to the man-made clouds that float when smoking that good, my generation is quick to Tweet, ‘Gram, and Snap our daily moments. I have people that follow me on social media that I have never met before a day in my life, yet they can probably tell you what I was wearing on Monday, or how many drinks it takes before I start singing karaoke to songs that I am ashamed to know the words of. But one thing that I rarely share on social media are the special (or weekend) ladies in my life. One reason is because guys are thirsty and coincidentally send me snaps whenever a pretty woman is recorded on my phone. The other reason is because a relationship is something that I believe works best when a level of privacy exists. Dating encompasses a multitude of emotions and a level of intimacy that I feel is best enjoyed when it is shared between the two experiencing it. I don’t need my Instagram followers accompanying me on a date because that opens the door for opinions, which is something that I don’t desire.
The difference between Kehlani and I is that she is a celebrity, so figuratively speaking, her life is under a magnifying glass. The majority of people that I am connected with on social media are family, friends, and people that attend my school. Celebrities tend to have millions of followers on social media, with most of them being complete strangers. These followers are interested in the life of their favorite rappers and singers, but don’t necessarily have their best interest at heart. If I post something dumb on social media, my friends may laugh at me or not comment, but they wont intentionally make me feel bad. When a celebrity posts something that the public does not agree with, they get bullied. What makes Kehlani’s situation worse is the fact that the photo was not posted to her Instagram account, so the attention that the initial picture received was not created by her.
Kehlani has since denounced the cheating rumors, which alludes to the idea that she and Kyrie ended their relationship prior to Partynextdoor posting the bedroom photo. Unfortunately, the damage has already been done, and like my favorite radio personality Charlamagne has said many times, “Nobody wants to hear the truth when the lie is more interesting.” Some people can take the heat of having an open personal life on social media, while others are more sensitive. My suggestion to anyone using social media is to use good judgement when sharing your life with the world, and make sure that those close to you do not post anything that will negatively impact you. You might not be a celebrity, but we all have people who are waiting to throw shade at the first chance they get. Don’t give them the opportunity.
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