’13 Reasons Why’ needs to be taken more seriously and here’s why

Stop relating pizza or stationary to suicide

Having binge-watched pretty much everything on Netflix, I stumbled across ’13 Reasons Why’ a couple of weeks ago. At first I was reluctant to watch the show after reading the rather dark description. However, I thought I would give it a chance. I can easily say that it has been one of the most inspiring TV shows, or pieces of art, I have ever seen. I think everyone needs to see it.

Meet Hannah Baker and Clay Jensen, two American high school students. Hannah Baker moves into town and experiences both mental and physical abuse. She eventually reaches breaking point and decides to end her life. Therefore, Hannah records 13 tapes to tell her story, ‘the story of her life’. She releases these tapes to each person who had been a driving force in her decision.

So here’s where the problem is. You’ve got a meaningful show, a message to be respected, and then the rest of the world comes in and tries to adapt it into their problems. I don’t believe that sharing memes such as the ones displayed below are appropriate. Suicide is a taboo yet very real issue. Rape is a taboo yet very real issue. Bullying and abandonment are also very real issues. I think the show puts all of these topics in the real light that they deserve to be portrayed in. In fact, it does so in a frighteningly real way.

 

The show portrays a contemporary concern of women, and men, not having the confidence or assurance to report their depression or to report assault. Often victims of such abuse are too shy and worried to report these matters, and laughing about it on social media only further belittles them. It is easy to disregard these contemporary social situations when they are portrayed through a fictional TV show. But anyone who has experienced a loved one passing away due to similar circumstances will understand the reality of the show.

Yet i’m not the only person who thinks that these memes are uncalled for, and hurtful to others. Those that have tried to speak up because of their concern in taking this into real life have been battered down. Here’s an example of Facebook comments from this picture.

I just don’t agree with something as serious being used in situations in either having Tesco pizza, or not replying, for you to suddenly turn around and have a tape. The minute this happens in real life – I hope it won’t ever – then the world will suddenly grow up.

If you are considering watching the show I can vouch for it, in fact in Brazil the number of calls to suicide helplines increased by 100% since it was released. It will change the way you think, perhaps it will encourage you to think and see the best in people. It will encourage you to stand up for people, stand up for yourself, and to be true to who you are.

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