When stationery entrepreneur Jen Gotch and the heavyweights at jewellery brand Iconery sat together at a table, they decided to work towards ending the stigma around mental illness.
Their intention in creating dainty ‘anxiety‘ and ‘depression‘ necklaces was, no doubt, admirable; Gotch is a popular businesswoman whose Instagram following of almost 200,000 was built upon candid transparency about her own clinical depression. The 14K yellow gold vermeil necklaces – which retail for $48 – sold out within hours of hitting social media. Gotch has promised that all profits from the necklaces will be donated to Bring Change To Mind, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to quashing misconceptions about mental illness.
It’s a lovely sentiment, and in creating some pretty jewellery Gotch and Iconery have really started an important conversation.
But as someone with anxiety – who has taken ‘mental health leave’ from Mamamia multiple times in the past, and sees a psychologist regularly – I am torn about conflating mental illness with fashion.
Anxiety is having a moment in popular culture right now, and has been for a couple of years.
Some examples: Buzzfeed publishes listicles of celebrities who have anxiety year on year. The shoes on the London Fashion Week catwalk three weeks ago had ‘ANXIETY’ emblazoned on the front in glittering jewels. The cover of this month’s Harper’s Bazaar US is the most followed woman on Instagram, Selena Gomez, speaking about her anxiety and the obstacles she has overcome.