Kanye West has won 21 Grammy’s and 84 of his singles have gone platinum in America, but these days he seems most famous for his erratic Instagram posts.
He has recently taken to the platform to call out popular brands Adidas and Gap, for their designs which he felt imitated his Yeezy slides. This led to him posting pictures of executives from both of the brand’s boards with lengthy call-out posts.
We have previously seen Kanye use the social media platform to threaten Pete Davidson for dating his ex-wife, Kim Kardashian. During this time, he also denounced Kim’s co-parenting skills and shared screenshots of their private texts.
All these posts have been deleted, as it seems uses his posting as a form of venting which he subsequently regrets.
This is not a healthy way for anyone to sort out their personal or business feuds. Another argument can be made for the sexist undertones in his many posts about Kim.
The Chicago-raised rapper has been labelled crazy by the media for a long time. His sometimes-outrageous behaviour is like gold for celeb news pages desperate for clicks.
He has given the Internet countless memes and his outbursts are often turned into viral tweets.
What I feel is forgotten in all this is that Kanye West has spoken openly about his bipolar diagnosis. A personality disorder that is both widely misunderstood and stigmatised.
Recently speaking on the Drink Champs podcast, West said “there’s a lot of people who will say, ‘I don’t believe that you are actually bipolar’.”
He went on to say that he feels as though he is often dismissed as someone who is just crazy. I think that people suffering from personality disorders such as bipolar and borderline personality disorders often face this type of stigma.
In 2016 research by the Illinois Institute of Technology found that the general public doesn’t know a lot about these types of mental illnesses and those suffering are “perceived as purposefully misbehaving rather than experiencing an illness.”
This type of attitude can so easily be related to how the Internet sees Kanye. As some ‘crazy person’ who is making trouble for himself rather than someone who is suffering. As a literal billionaire and a person who assumedly has access to any mental health professionals he wants, who will probably not suffer too much from being turned into a meme.
Kanye is allegedly un-medicated and unwilling to treat his bipolar disorder. Every day people who are battling this illness will also see the memes framing Kanye as a crazy person.
They will read the articles that pin all his behaviour on his illness and neglect to mention that he is not currently being treated for it.
The Illinois study found that there is already a lack of understanding in society about personality disorders, so is putting Kanye West as the figurehead of bipolar really helpful?
Memes that may seem innocuous and often deserved may actually be working in further stigmatising an already stigmatised illness.