Monday 26 June 2023

Suicidal social media influencer quits after death threats because she killed two cats as a child

You may remember this story. It is rather disturbing in several ways. The woman concerned is Emma Claiir. Her name is spelled correctly. The headline is: "Social media influencer quits and says that she was left suicidal after receiving death threats because of her admission that she killed two cats as a child."

She is an Australian. In April, she admitted to her 105,000 followers that she killed two cats when she was a child. Her admission occurred on an episode of her pod cast, Simply Chaotic. 

Suicidal social media influencer quits after death threats because she killed two cats as a child
Emma Claiir. Image: Instagram.

It was a bizarre confession. Her co-host, Christy Jean, on the pod cast was stunned by it. She said that she didn't mean to kill the cats but that she was a child.

She said: "I was swinging my cat around. Like, I was thinking it was a stuffed toy. And I accidental let go of it."

She believes that the cat died from fright rather than because of injuries suffered as it was hurled across the room. During her confession, she giggled and explained that "this happened years and years and years [ago]". And she went on to explain that she also killed her best friend's cat by accident.

Her honest confession shattered her life. She received widespread criticism and she was dropped by makeup company MCoBeauty not long afterwards. Three more brands then cut ties with her. One of them is a vegan make up company that promotes how it does not test its products on animals. You can understand why they cut ties.

Social media influencers depend upon these sorts of arrangements to generate an income stream. So, she lost a lot of income. We don't know the precise amounts but it may be that she decided that it was no longer worth it being a social media influencer.

But it goes deeper and wider than that. She says that the story got taken out of proportion and that people started to witch-hunt her. She felt that they wanted to destroy her.

She said:

"I lost my job; my mental health was impacted massively and people were just having a laugh about it. I realised it was taking me away from my son and making me not present with him so I took a small break."

She added:

"Since my return after that people decided it was okay to spread cheating rumours, make up lies and try to continue to ruin the life of a new mother who was already pretty open about her mental health struggles in life. Not only did I have haters trying to ruin my life and spread hate and rumours but I also had close friends doing the same. Friends who I thought were there for me, friends who I trusted and friends who I thought would never stab me in the back."

She reached breaking point. She felt unsafe in her own bubble. She started to feel unsafe in her home. Her anxiety increased when she went out into public places. She felt violated. There were death threats. The lies and rumours mounted and became louder and oppressive.

She considered ending her life. Eventually her mental health "finally crumbled. I entered a very dark space that was extremely scary and unfamiliar".

She told herself that the only way to make the nightmare go away was to take her own life. She said:

"The only way to make the haters happy was if I disappeared for good and officially left this world. Maybe my son and my husband really would be better off without me and I should just let them go, maybe my friends and family will also be better off without me, so I should just let them go. These are thoughts no new mother should be having."

She left a very long post on social media in which she signed off from the role of social media influencer. It concludes like this:

"Now to end. I have and always will be a mental health advocate. It is something that is so close to my heart and something I witness every day in myself and my family. Working online I always wanted to be open about my struggles and help those who needed it, help those who needed to feel less alone or those who needed that little push to get the help they needed. I never would have gotten through what I went through if it wasn't for seeking help from professionals and those around me. Check in with your family, your friends and most importantly yourself. Take a step back and ask yourself if your actions could be damaging and dangerous to someone's mental health. And lastly always remember that the online space can be horrible, fake and harmful whether you have a following or not, so it's okay, strong and powerful to walk away when needed. With love, Emma Claiir."

Comment: I really, really think that she's much better off quitting being a social media influencer. That kind of role is indeed potentially and often actually very toxic. She made a mistake and she's paid the price. But I think there is a silver lining for her; to live a more normal life not a fake life on social media pretending to be somebody she probably isn't.

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