Quick Question: Have You Ever Used Beauty To Help You Cope With Tragedy?

On Tuesday, kidnapping victim Hannah Anderson posted photos of a manicure she'd gotten in memory of her murdered mother and brother.
Publish date:
August 15, 2013
manicures, Quick Question, in the news, selfies, current events, coping, grief, Hannah Anderson, tributes

Grieving behaviors are extremely diverse and unique. When a tragedy grabs national attention, those behaviors are often made public, with or without the victims' consent; they're scrutinized and, unfortunately, criticized by onlookers who find fault with a stranger's emotional process in reaction to a situation they either can't understand or, if they had a similar experience, reacted to differently.

On Tuesday, three days after her almost week-long kidnapping ordeal, 16-year-old Hannah Anderson took to ask.fm to field questions from strangers about her experience with her captor and the loss of her mother, younger brother and family dog. Of the hundreds of people she interacted with, many asked her to post pictures of herself to prove it was really her (her grandparents have since confirmed), and she posted selfies, along with this photo:

Anderson told chat participants that the accent nail is half-blue for her brother and half-pink for her mother.

But the perceived triviality and casualness of Anderson's actions have come under fire, with psychologists disagreeing with each other on whether or not a teenager turning to social media to talk about her nightmarish experience so soon after it happened is "normal."

It's onlookers on social media who have been especially judgmental, though.

I guess everyone reacts to grieving differently, too.

Personally, I think her manicure is intended as a sweet, simple tribute--something to help a teenager cope with a situation most of us can't comprehend. It's not an indicator of how sad she is or isn't, nor is it a way to measure how much of a victim she is.

One of the ask.fm commenters asked Anderson, “Why are you talking about this on social media? Are you sure [you're] a victim? You seem completely fine about it.”

Anderson replied, "Are you kidding me? I'm answering these questions so people know the truth. So [expletive] like you don't assume things like that."

You do you, Hannah.

So, how about you? Quick Question: Have you ever used beauty to help you cope with tragedy? Were you met with acceptance or judgment?