13 Reasons Why ‘Thirteen Reasons Why’ is SO Important.

Wow I still have a blog. Who knew?? Apparently not be considering, as I clearly predicted in my last blog post three months ago, I’ve been drowning in college work. I’ve also not really had anything I’ve wanted to write about considering I spend my life eating sleeping or at college or work. But this week I found something so important that I wanted to write my views on.

13 Reasons Why.

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Netflix’s latest phenomenon that has the entire world talking, and in good reason and for ONCE for something that beyond needs addressing. In case anyone’s been living under a rock however, I’ll bring you up to speed. WARNING SPOILERS FROM HERE ON OUT PEOPLE.

Thirteen Reasons Why is a 13 episode long TV series based on the book by Jay Asher, about a girl named Hannah Baker, who commits suicide and leaves behind 13 tapes. Each tape focuses on one character who impacted Hannah’s life, and each episode focuses on one tape, however it is all listened to from the perspective of Clay Jenson, ideally the one character not guilty of negatively impacting Hannah’s life completely. Focusing on various tough topics alongside suicide, 13 reasons why really focuses on the tough reality of high school today, although definitely from the harsh negative not a variable in between, even though it does show some good parts its predominantly negative which is probably one of the only bad things about the show. But let’s not skip ahead, here are my 13 reasons why it is so important and should be watched by everyone;

  1. It doesn’t shy away from the hardest topics and scenes. This might sound like a terrible thing to be good, but no. In TV today, harsh topics often go unmentioned, and when they are it definitely comes in euphemistic fashion. Although they are awful scenes to watch, and I know many people skipped them, the scenes of suicide and also rape in the show are not shied away from. The fact that they are hard to watch identifies just how awful these things are, that actually happen, if you weren’t already horrified or aware that is.
  2. It also shows how everyone is affected by suicide, especially the families. It doesn’t hide from the idea that you’re leaving something behind (and no not the tapes), you’re entire life. And things could get so much better, you have a whole life to lead to give up even if things are beyond awful and you feel alone, there’s always someone who is still stood by you.
  3. God forbid we needed a blunt a lesson as words hurt, but that is made very clear. Even if you think you’re making a joke or not bothering someone, just be very careful what you say because you cannot rely on someones opinion. At first I thought this was such a 5-year-old me lesson, but in reflection I decided it’s probably more important now than then. I can definitely say I’m more prone now to speaking without thinking, and also at 18 years old some people may think oh they’ll be fine don’t be childish. But words hurt. It’s something to remember.
  4. It also addresses the ever important, controversial and realistic topic of rape which again is a hard one to display at time it is more common than ever before. And it again sheds light on sides of the situation many people do not understand and how a survivor would come to terms and live with what’s happened to them, and also the effects it has on the people closest to them.
  5. It also shows the side of victim blaming which is ever-present in today’s society and honestly makes me so sick to even think about. I see at least one comment a day on social media about victim blaming or protecting a white male who committed such a crime, and honestly it just makes me so angry. But it’s this type of topical issue the show was not afraid of, stepped up to and portrayed well and realistically.
  6. In continuation of point two, this programme says that there is always someone who cares about you. To never forget that you are loved, especially if you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.
  7. Also in light of number 5 they show how rapists can be protected in our society and not made out to be a criminal. All you have to do is look at a news headline or go on social media and you’ll see it. Rape culture is such a rising problem that obviously was not the key topic of the programme but was probably addressed more in 13 episodes than I have ever seen televised in my entire life.
  8. Now for this one I am in no way neglecting the horrible things each character did, but there are also references made to horrible things that can go on in a teenagers life people may be unaware of that they hide or act out because of, eg. Justin’s mother and Courtney’s sexuality struggle. This enlightens more the idea to be nice to people because no one truly knows what goes on behind closed doors.
  9. Post Hannah’s death her school puts up suicide prevention posters which are soon teared down by Alex referencing the fact that you can’t prevent something that’s already happened. Which is definitely the biggest problem with this topic overall. We talk about it more when the statistics are high, barely acknowledging that people are still dying when they’re low. It’s a topic that needs constant attention, mental health is so important 365 days a year, not just mental health awareness week.
  10. Following on from this the idea that schools aren’t doing enough, letting students watch and discuss the programme would probably be more than we’re doing now. It’s! Important! Show! It! Fix! It!
  11. It’s amazing in general that it’s got everybody talking all at once about controversial topics that, as you’ve probably gathered but I’m going to keep saying it, need more attention until prevention is important and actually working. It’s helping more people see that suicide and rape are common in our society for all the wrong reasons. Hannah Baker has left a lasting effect on your life and so she flipping should.
  12. I have read a few things since watching the programme debating whether their should be a season two until I saw one that really struck out and basically said that it shouldn’t because we should be left wondering. The cliffhangers should play on our mind as though it was our real life, and we can see how easily we possibly missed Alex’s signs (if he committed suicide that is) and how we should continue to talk about it. A lasting effect.
  13. Now I did have a point thirteen until I realised it was basically repeating three things I already said, which many of these points probably are let’s be honest. But another thing – if you didn’t watch ‘Beyond the Reasons’ when you finished the show go back and do it because it’s the characters and some experts discussing all the problems I’ve highlighted SO much better than I just have, and again for all the right reasons.

 

If you’ve read all this and haven’t already seen the show you definitely should, it’s something I personally think everyone should watch, especially those who don’t know much about the topics (and those of you who can watch after I basically spoiled half of it). But like I said I am so glad someone has created something speaking about things people are so afraid to talk about, even though they’re so common. And we need to get to a stage where we can talk about these things for the right reasons not an endless amount of wrong ones.

Hopefully I’ll be back with a blog post soon but I can’t promise anything. (See you in 3 months blog it’s been fun.)

Thanks for reading. Until next time.

*side note* If anyone has been affected by any of the topics I have linked two online help sources here and here. If you want a non-professional just to have a chat with my social medias are linked above. đŸ™‚

Let’s Talk About: The ‘Fangirl’ Stigma.

Hello blog I have missed you. I really hate it when life gets in the way of me writing, but I’m hoping to be back to regular posting for now. I’m also looking to write a quick chatty post and update all the people who don’t care on my not so exciting yet ever so busy life, because why not.

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Anyway, onto todays post. I really enjoyed my last ‘Let’s Talk About’ post, and thought I’d write about something a little more overlooked today. Now I mean I’ll admit it, I’d more than likely be considered a fangirl, but it’s not as much something to be ashamed of as some people might think. There are definitely the crazy fans who send their idols beyond revolting presents and chuck all their bras on stage and chase moving vehicles and camp outside their house and basically stalk their every move. However. This is the stigma I’m trying to address. Because it isn’t like that at all. It’s so far from it. Even so I’m preparing to expose all my cringey ‘fangirl’ secrets whilst writing this so please still love me, I promise I’m sane.

Now the first thing I’ll have to admit is that I do have seperate Twitter accounts for the seperate fan bases I consider myself to be a part of. This is something I have definitely heard to be called ‘sad’ but personally I think it’s efficient. Put it this way, all of my school/college friends aren’t going to want to see my God awful cringey tweets about my favourite band’s new album on release day, however, my friends within that fandom might love to read those opinions. It’s a filter in my eyes, and gives me a way to seperate the two sides of my online life. Like Hannah Montana, if she had Twitter.

Having another account also helps you to make so many new friends you could never dream of meeting without it, or without the band for that matter. Personally, I could do a whole other post on internet friends etc. so if you’re interested let me know. What I will say here is that internet friends in a fanbase could be some of the best people you ever meet. My account helps me find and keep in touch with so many amazing people who I meet at concerts and events. It’s crazy because when you go to said places it’s almost certain these people will have a ‘fan-account’. What bugs me most is when people claim ‘You can’t make real friends online.’ I know so many people who have met their best friends online, and they’ve ended up living literally round the corner from them. But like I said, completely different debate. (Also revolves around staying completely safe!!!!)

There are literally so many pro’s I could never consider it to be sad. I am living the life of Miley. (Yes Miley not ‘Riley’ I’m linking to my Hannah Montana reference shut up.)

Now it is definitely safe to say that one of the best things for many fans is the happiness the artist brings. ‘Fangirl’ or not, you almost definitely have that one album you can listen to that will put a smile on your face no matter what. And that is literally all a fangirl thinks too. That little spot of sunshine on the bus in the morning listening to your favourite song. I mean come on, anyone can relate. The only difference is these specific fans dedicate a little bit more time into knowing how that artists day went and hoping for a little acknowledgement of their existence from their favourite band member, but wouldn’t you do the same? It’s a broad standing I think. I mean a fan is a fan. We all do the same things nowadays. Post a few pictures, write a few tweets, try not to die when said artist likes said picture or said tweet. It’s a fine line, is it not?

I think a definite stigma is the relation of depression to ‘fangirls’ which is a tentative subject on its own to say the least. I’d argue that many fans probably have used the band/artist to get them through tough times, sadly sometimes even as far as mental health issues. But there’s a recurring image of the girl who won’t come out of her room and cries because they love them and they’ll never know them. We’re stronger than that, give us some credit.

Finally I want to touch on the ‘stalking’ stigma of a fangirl. Now I’m not going to deny that I’ve waited outside a hotel to meet a band, or gone to a venue a few hours early to try to meet the performer. It does seem a bit farfetched to wait outside a hotel, I can see the line of argument. But the fact of the matter is, why not? If you know that your band/artist doesn’t mind stopping for fans outside hotels and venues given the chance (which many don’t as it’s so common now) then why the hell not? May as well have a few pictures with the people you’re ‘dedicating your fangirl life and soul to’ while you have the chance hey. It’s not like we don’t still have boundaries, most of us anyway. There are lines I personally would not cross like going anywhere near their hotel rooms/houses unless accidental or invited etc. They’re human after all. We don’t forget that.

My point is obvious really. A fangirl isn’t a 12-year-old girl/boy crying and kissing a poster, hoping that one day they will finally walk down the aisle and become Mr/Mrs Bieber. Only eat sleep and breathing song lyrics and fun facts. No. Just your average 15+ years old boy/girl sat in bed, watching Netflix and tweeting basic things, until that topless picture of their fave is posted…

Well this was a little out of my comfort zone but hope you enjoyed.

Thanks for reading. Until next time.

Let’s talk about: Slut Shaming.

So I’ve decided  that whenever there’s a serious topic or current affair sort of thing I want to write about I’m going to call it a ‘Let’s talk about…’ Cos I’m cute and original okay. This week it’s really bothering me how much women are judged on what they wear and how they look and how in similar instances, men are not judged the same.

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Obviously this has been a problem for centuries, but I think recently it is becoming apparent to my generation just how backward things are going in terms of equality for women, and how bad the double standards are. This problem really hit me on Sunday night when, incase you weren’t aware, Little Mix performed their new single on The X Factor. They were absolutely amazing and looked just as good, and then I saw complaints online about their on stage outfits. Written to be ‘inappropriate for a family show’ and ‘like stripper outfits’, some viewers definitely weren’t happy. But can somebody please tell me what planet they’re on. I mean correct me if I’m wrong but it is 2016, right? Us women are allowed to show our ankles and whatever skin we damn well please and are comfortable with. Comments about the show being aimed at families were just as hypocritical. Most of these middle-aged women (who were probably jealous of how amazing the girls looked), will more than likely still be buying tickets for their daughters to see the girls in concert where they always wear stage outfits of similar fashion. The four girls were wearing either a bodysuit (not swimming costume as many exaggerated) and over the knee boots, or Leigh-Anne wore a shirt dress with the same boots. So virtually only the tops of their thighs were on show. And apparently people were scarred for life. God help us for seeing a woman’s thighs. It’s pathetic.

In cases like this it particularly grinds my gears when women slate other women. Are we not all fighting the same battle? Do you want equality for women or do you want to be covering up everything but your ankles again? Get a grip. Body shaming each other and criticising everything in an age where it is highly unlikely a woman is body confident is saddening and in my opinion, unacceptable. We should take pride in the women who are confident enough to show off who they are and express who they are and their individuality, no matter what their shape or size. Don’t criticise what you can’t achieve yourself.

Then there’s the bigger picture. If a boy band were on stage all performing topless there would not be an outrage. It would not be considered ‘inappropriate for families’ and they would not be compared to strippers. They would be encouraged and complimented. The same happens online, for example on Instagram. A female celeb posts a picture looking stunning in a bikini and there is uproar. A male celeb posts a topless picture (or even when naked pictures of Justin Bieber leaked) everyone loves it. Where is the logic? We should embrace anyone in any way. A guy wants to post a topless picture. Good for him. A woman wants to show off her amazing figure in her new bikini. You go girl! Where is the rule saying it can’t be the same treatment for everyone, what is the barrier stopping it from being a thing? Now I’m obviously not endorsing everyone posting indecent images exposing themselves or celebrities to perform naked (because that would be extreme, I mean if you have the confidence go you I just wouldn’t recommend posting it online, or performing naked.) but equality really isn’t too much to ask for is it.

At the end of the day, a woman should not be sexualized for wearing, or not wearing,  particular things, or having parts of her body on show that would not be sexualised with a man. If you still believe that what you wear signifies who you are and what you represent you are taking hundreds of steps back into history. What you wear should express who you are and if you disagree with how someone presents themselves, keep your opinion to yourself because it could have a serious effect.

Anyway rant over I really wanted to get my views of my chest and what better place. Please feel free to share your views with me on this topic I’d love to hear more opinions. And any ideas of future blog posts or ‘Let’s talk about’ rants would be fun too.

Thanks for reading. Until next time.