Celebrity death vultures have been busy the last week picking over the bones of 20 year-old, South Korean model Daul Kim, who was found hanged in her Paris apartment in an apparent suicide November 19, which may explain why her blog, I Like to Fork Myself–scoured by reporters as though it were a suicide note (before the alleged existence of an actual suicide note was revealed)–has since been switched to invite-only and is no longer available for public
I, too, have been guilty of participating in this scavenger hunt, the search for the why behind her death. A year-and-a-half ago, I wrote about Daul Kim and the things I liked about her: her goofy-cool factor, her bangs, and her blog, which I described as a “zany, irreverent diary of her fashism experiences.” When I read of her death, my first impulse was to return to the site and figure out what I had missed. I mean, zany and irreverent? Were these words one could really use to describe someone who had taken her own life? What dark thoughts and creeping shadows had I failed to see on the edges?
There are plenty of clues as to the why on Daul’s blog, admissions of depression, insomnia, loneliness, fatigue. She had two author identities, Daul and DaulMonster. There are entries that suggest she’s hiding something terrible from the world, as in this post from August, where she obliquely references her “painful past” and “the horror” she went through:
i tell myself
i dont need to show
my painful past
no one needs to know
the horror i went through
i grew up too quick
and no one, saw past my surface
i dont know how to hurt people
i dont know how to be loved
i dont know how to love
but im strong
and im perfect
And this one from the same month, which is titled “.”:
dont people understand
do you really think
im happy ?
Then again, a life story reads differently once you know its ending.
Two author identities on a blog is no longer random play, suddenly it’s a sign of emotional disturbance, perhaps borderline personality disorder. Angst-filled poetry that may have seemed typical issue from a person her age necessarily takes the shape of a cry for help. A period as a title, perhaps an afterthought, crystallizes into a kind of fatalistic Morse code.
The thing that struck me after I revisited the site, however, was that even among the evidence of the why, the “zany” and “irreverent” girl I’d first encountered in those pages was still very much intact: the girl who liberally used <3′s in her posts, the fan who was obsessed with house and trance music, the up-and-coming model who proudly displayed her best work, the young woman who was just beginning to realize that she no longer had to please everybody, like in the August 2009 post, “say hi to korean bullies,” when she addresses her Korean haters and writes, “im not gonna say sorry for living my life,” the fashion junkie who could wax poetic about a fur coat:
i feel like incomplete
but when i wear
These posts are clues, too, signs of a complicated, curious, intelligent person, someone who couldn’t be reduced to just another pretty face, as her profession might have had you believe she was, or a final act, as her suicide demands. It’s a shame that I Like to Fork Myself has been shut down so that people can no longer remember Daul Kim in her own words. My fear is that, as time goes on, and the investigation into the why continues, and the suicide note she left is revealed, then dissected, and more details about her last days emerge, her life, a fledgling life but a full one, filled with so many beautiful, disparate wonders, will be broken down into pieces and swallowed up by one thing and one thing only, the thin, hard mouth of her death.
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