Azealia Banks Isn’t A Bitch, She’s Mentally Ill

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Azealia Banks is fucking crazy.  Not in a ‘wow, that’s such a crazy thing to say‘ way. More in a mentally ill way. The majority of her career has been spent proving that.  It seems like she dropped ‘212‘, things didn’t work out the way she wanted, so she just lost it. But actually she never had it to begin with. Other than displaying clear signs of mental illness in her tweets, interviews and all round behaviour, she has admitted to having bipolar disorder. So when we say she’s crazy, it’s a little less cute.

So I guess the question is why is no one saying that? Why are we still writing about how messy her life is? And how much of a crazy bitch she is without focusing on the crazy part?

So although I’m not a qualified doctor:


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And there was the time that she started crying on Hot 97…

 


Azealia is also quite happy to alienate her (large) gay fan base by calling any and everyone she pleases a ‘faggot’; and be kicked off lucrative headline slots at festivals as a result of her ‘outspoken’ views. Even your most opinionated rapper will release a ‘heartfelt’ retraction when sponsors start distancing themselves. So it’s clear that Azealia has no regards for her fans, but more her future.

The only time we ever hear about Banks is when she’s involved in a controversy that 9/10 she started. So this is just another in a long line of story’s about Banks and the reaction is the same:

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You could be forgiven for thinking Banks was just some angry woman who made mean comments, instead of a rapper with a career; as every time her name makes headlines it’s very rarely for her music. But, this particular story comes a whole two weeks after Kid Cudi admitted he’s been battling depression for years. To which there was an outpouring of think pieces and sympathy. Which is good. But while Cudi may not quite be the character that Banks is; he certainly has a past with violent behaviour and drug abuse. So why are two clearly unstable people treated so differently?

“Because Cudi came forward and made a heartfelt admission of his problems and promised to fix them.’

Fair enough. But that’s not really how mental illness works is it? Mental illness doesn’t calmly say ‘I’m sorry for all that crazy business, I best get myself some help now.‘ And yes you can say you don’t care but as long as you’re aware that you’re saying you don’t care about mental health in general.  You can’t pick and choose what mental health looks like the same way if you support feminism you’ll have to support Beyonce’s right to express her sexuality as well as Kim Kardashian’s.

You can’t be sad about Robin Williams committing suicide and call Banks a cunt because her mental illness is too messy. Depression – crying alone in your bedroom, bi- polar  – calling a 14-year-old a prostitute. Both mental illnesses, both deserve your compassion. Otherwise your saying I’m sad about Robin Williams because he wasn’t all ‘in my face’ with his mental illness. And when a celebrity does take their life and you retweet a status about mental health try to remember it’s the celebrity that is upsetting you and not the fact that millions of people suffer from various mental health issues.

And we’re not the only ones to blame; if anything if it weren’t for the endless stories about her we’d never have anything to comment on. The hypocrisy of the media is quite telling where in the same breath that it praises Cudi for his honesty about his mental health issues; if he were caught on camera running down the street screaming naked those very same media outlets would of course run the story and all the mess that comes with it.

The media has already done a wonderful job of driving famous women to death. From Marilyn Munroe to Amy Winehouse.


Amy Winehouse is Camden’s Angel now, but it wasn’t too long ago everyone was calling her a talentless crackhead. Now she’s been hounded to death I guess we miss her. So once Banks is dead then we’ll all fondly remember what a great song ‘212‘ was.

And pretty much any appearance by Charlie Sheen when he isn’t in character is just ‘Let’s make the crazy person say things for ratings‘. Spot the difference:

 

An entire of generation  of people simply know Charlie Sheen ‘That mad tiger blood guy’ and as much as people around him are clearly exploiting him, the media gives them something to exploit. So essentially Banks is what it looks like when your mental health issue isn’t ‘kooky’ or quiet and can only be exploited in a way that makes you the villain.

Am I saying every black woman is an Azealia Banks? No, of course not. But the negativity Azealia receives is mirrored in how society treats ‘angry black women’. It’s telling that when A$AP Rocky suggested dark-skinned women shouldn’t wear red lipstick, when Banks took offence and retaliated she was condemned. It wasn’t about lipstick, it’s an age-old story of black men reducing black women to preferable ‘shades of black’ and because Banks didn’t calm down enough to write a carefully thought out essay she was the villain; instead of Rocky who was clearly perpetrating more colourism.

“So rocky takes a direct blow to my image about dark skin and purple lipstick, then as soon as I’m an offended …. I’m the bad guy.”

So I’m not saying every black woman is Azealia, but I am saying:

A petition a received over 5000 signatures for a two-year olds hair to be combed when it didn’t meet  traditional european standards.

A school in South AFRICA recently banned girls from wearing afro’s and forced them to chemically straighten their hair, as afro’s are untidy

A black woman’s value is based on the texture of her hair and the amount of melanin in her skin

And if a black woman relaxes her hair, she hates her blackness, but if her hair is natural, it’s unkempt.

Lighter skin being valued has resulted in skin bleaching becoming a huge issue among black women

And you know who has started bleaching their skin?

The same features that black women are mocked for, are praised in non black women.

Black women’s issues take a back seat in both black issues and feminist issues.

Despite being 8% of the population of America, black women account for 22% of homicides that result from domestic violence and 29% of all victimized women, making domestic violence one of the leading causes of death for Black women ages 15 to 35.

60% of black women have experienced sexual abuse before the age of 18.

And despite being the group most in need of post-rape mental treatment, black women are the least likely to complete treatment

Mental illness being taboo in the black community also results in many cases of mental illness going undiagnosed.

And on top of all this they are expected to be the stereotype of the ‘Strong Black Woman’.

So while it’s true that not every black woman develops bipolar disorder as a result of these experiences, surely it’s understandable when some do?

So this article is less about people feeling sorry for Banks and more about balancing understanding of a clear mental health issue. And that when we see Banks calling people faggots and suggesting we murder white people, these aren’t the actions of a bitch but a person battling with their mental health while being exploited by the spotlight.

Or we could carry on for a year and a half and induct her into the 27 club with Amy.