On my Twitter feed today, one of the folks there had retweeted a link to YouTube video of a woman in an abusive relationship who took photos of herself everyday for a year and ran them one after the other like a video timeline.
This is it (and there are some pretty ugly parts, especially the longer it goes on):
Now, in the YouTube comments, there are some who cried “fake!”
Moreover, some who cried fake and then stated or implied that the video was thus pointless.
No, it’s not pointless.
It is real? Quite possibly not. I started wondering myself, thinking, why would someone do something like this, taking selfies as a project to document her abuse and willingly stay in that abusive relationship? I could not fathom how someone would think it important enough to do this and also be willing to risk their health, safety and life to carry it out. So, I myself am dubious. I’m supposed to be cautious and cynical; I’m a journalist and editor.
The bigger question, though, is whether this video is truth.
And, yes, that it most certainly is. What is portrayed is very much the face of abuse (literally and figuratively). This is the kind of thing that happens in these relationships. You’ll have a lot of good days in many of them, followed by very bad ones. And the bad days often begin to occur closer together and get ever more violent.
That is the truth.
Whether the video is real doesn’t matter. It delivers the message very poignantly and effectively.
Sometimes we don’t need reality.
We need a dose of truth instead.