“Welcome to your tape”
Probably one of the harshest words someone can listen. 13 Reasons Why has created a big impact on all Netflix addicts, and very well deserved. This show leaves a mark, it’s emotional, raw, real, full of love and disgrace, but mostly, is revealing.
By now you’ll probably know what is about: Hannah Baker is a teenager that commits suicide and leaves 13 tapes with 13 reasons why she did it, and each tape is dedicated to one person. It may seem a bit too heavy for a TV show set in a High School, but hey, High School is harsh. Abuse is something too often hidden under social stereotypes and loser/winner labels that we keep pursuing and embracing at every step of our life. So yeah, maybe not that harsh after all.
When you’re an adult is because you (kinda) survived to adolescence and you’ve made peace with your inner fears, but those never really leave you and keep hunting you in shape of low self-esteem, emotional instability and lack of social skills. Some of us manage to live with that, maybe even seek for emotional aid like therapy, a night out with your friends or a weekend or binge watching Netflix. When you are a teenager you don’t have that many resources to keep up, to help you go through all of this and wake up the next morning feeling secure of your actions and your future, and most of all, you trust no one, not even your parents.
Bullying, aggressions, violence, verbal and nonverbal abuse are, unfortunately, a huge reality when it comes to High School. We’ve all been there, as victims and aggressors. While I was watching the show I felt how bad can be, for instance, to slut shame someone. How many times you’ve called bitch to a girl? How many times you’ve laughed at the nerd/weirdo with no social skills? Well there you go, you’ve been also in the dark side, you’ve become the bully without even notice.
I’ve been on both sides, I befriended the less fortunate and made them proud of themselves and I’ve slut shamed girls who didn’t deserve it. I’ve been pushed in school for not having a fancy haircut and for being vegetarian since age 4, but I learned to grow out of it and learned to be the best version of myself and learn self-respect (still in the making).
The point is that Hannah, as many other teenagers, has no reference, not enough tools to get out of a prison that is judgement, and even if suicide is not the best option, unfortunately, it is for many kids and teenagers who commit suicide every year (And that’s just in the US). This is a very important matter that needs to be taken care of, and the first step is to raise awareness. Is Netflix the best idea to do it? Why not? It is the leading company streaming online content and reaches millions of houses every day, perhaps is exactly the right tool that we need to start, at least, talking about the issue. Guess what, even if there’s critics, pro/cons and many articles talking about the show, some of them agree some not, we are talking about it.
Some of the scenes represented in the show are harsh, and that’s another controversy people cannot get over. Violence is represented on TV in so many ways, so many times. This is something real, happening every year in our respective countries, and it looks like it needs much more awareness than we thought. It may shock us because this is no random act of violence caused by criminals, no. The aggressors are people like you and me, people we went to school with. Our neighbors. Our family. That’s the scary part, right?
I encourage everyone to watch it. Parents, watch with your kids. And talk, talk about it. I feel one of the luckiest girls in the world because I had a mother that cared about my emotional intelligence and cared enough to seek professional help when needed. Talk about feelings and everyday problems and the fact that my mum listened to them instead of judging me, made me who I am today, and believe me, the path wasn’t easy.
I wish everyone a fulfilling experience. And please, today is the era of the internet, and for all the hate out there, there are millions of people who will hear you out, who can relate to you in so many ways, who will listen and will help you.
Love. Always. And Movies. Infinite movies.
Some positivity to end the post with 13 tips for High School from the actors of the show.