The much awaited and anticipated Netflix series '13 Reasons Why' is finally here, and boy has it coped some backlash. Based on the 2007 novel by Jay Asher, was released March 31st. The show follows Clay, who is trying to recover from his friend Hannah's Suicide. Hannah leaves behind 13 tapes for people to listen to and relives the harrowing events leading up to her death.
I know what everyone is thinking, its just a show right? Why is everyone going on about it? Why is this show all that people are talking about? It is just a show, yes. But a show of utter importance in today's society. Its a show people needed to break down the barriers around taboo issues people are sweeping under the carpet. People have been waiting years for something like this to happen. I want to cover why we shouldn't be ignoring the main message this show is providing.
This show is trying to raise awareness about Suicide in teens. Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in the world, and we still have little to no resources to cover the topic and educate the masses. If everyone remembers their high school years, Suicide was barely even mumbled in a classroom session. Throughout the show, you can see the school only takes action AFTER the death has occurred. A lot of people are complaining how it didn't show how to prevent the Suicide. They didn't show because they didn't know any better before hand. It was only afterwards that they began to take action. It was showing how Suicide should be spoken about on all occasions, not just after a death has occurred.
Bullying and rape are the other main topics shown through out the show. The show is trying to make us think about how our actions have consequences. No one was taking any accountability for their actions and had a victim mentality. Hannah was the issue even though Hannah had taken her own life. Hannah was the 'crazy bitch'. No one was coming forward until the very end when everything was beyond their own control. They tried so hard to control the situation instead of being honest to everyone around them. They showed through out the show that honesty is the best policy as it allows closure (Ie When Clay went to Jeff's parents house and told the truth). You can see in that scene how content they were in knowing they finally got some closure on their son's death. This is showing you a valuable life lesson you can use in real life and how far the truth can go. Taking responsibility for your parts can allow others to heal in the process. We can safely say that everyones actions had repercussions and made Hannah feel so over whelmed to the point she didn't want to be alive anymore. This happens in real life.
Bringing rape to light was huge in so many ways as well. We live in a society where women (and men) are afraid to come forward when rape is presented. So many girls have a mentality of its their own fault, no one will believe them, no justice will be served, they were 'asking' for it ect. The show portrays how it is still ignored. Hannah had tried to speak out about it only to be told to 'move on' from the event. If anyone has been raped, that will stay with you for the rest of your life. It is traumatising, violating and there is no excuse for it, even though we live in a society that does try justify it.
We follow Hannah's journey right to the end. Due to the bullying, it has left her feeling so isolated. This happens in reality and people feel so alone that they resort to taking their own lives, and not by choice. If Hannah felt like she had another choice in the lead up to her death, I believe she would of taken that. This is where people are missing the message. This is how a Suicide happens in real life. The show captures the reality of it perfectly. I understand the end scene was distressing, as someone who has been in a bathtub before myself with razors, that surfaced a lot of issues for me. But I found comfort in knowing that they realistically bought that scene to life. The end Suicide scene is what it looks like in real life. I believe it was a positive to make so many viewers uncomfortable watching that. Uncomfortable feelings is a door way for growth. Not glamorising Hannah's suicide was a big statement in itself. That is the REALITY of a suicide.
As someone who battles on the daily from Suicidal thoughts and a survivor of 7 attempts, I am comforted in knowing that Suicide has finally been bought into the mainstream. Mainstream as in a way it is being normalised and captured for what it really is. It may be a just a show to you, but to everyone else who has been there, this is a gateway of hope and relief. It gives us the bravery to confront issues head on and speak out, rather than ignore them as they eat away at us internally.