Why did it take a Selena Gomez show to make people actually care about suicide?
While you were watching one episode of ‘Thirteen Reasons Why’ four real people committed suicide
I, just like many of you, have been binge watching Thirteen Reasons Why since it came out a week ago, and although the overwhelmingly positive responses are great, it’s bullshit that it took a fictional TV show to make people pay more attention to suicide and bullying.
On average someone commits suicide every 16.2 minutes. That means about 88 people take their own lives every single day, yet it takes a fictional teenager on a Netflix series to make people think that suicide is a problem.
What is so wrong with our society that the real, personal stories of people taking their own lives leave little affect on us, but one beautifully told fictional narrative has us in tears?
My first year of college one of my best friends committed suicide, and his funeral was easily the worst moment of my entire life. He was the most loving, kindest human on the planet, but his life wasn’t always easy, similar to Hannah’s, and this narrative is true for so many real teenagers.
Yet, the faces of these kids appear on the news for one day, maybe two. We post heartfelt messages on their Facebook walls, and forget to evaluate how the way we treat people needs to change. We essentially move on with our lives and forget that real people are hurting so badly that they feel the only way out is death. We only decide that there is a problem when Selena Gomez directs a beautifully written television show.
Why do people only care about suicide, when a beautiful girl dies on TV? Why do people only care about rape when it happens to a cheerleader on a Netflix series? Why do people only care about bullying when it’s not real?
Not to mention the narrative surrounding the main character Clay in Thirteen Reasons Why is dangerous and heartbreaking.
Creating the I should have been there, I should have seen it coming, I should have been able to stop this, if only I would have just loved her a little harder narrative is disrespectful to people who have lost loved ones to suicide, because sometimes a teenage boy can’t make a person decide they want to keep breathing.
Often, suicide is the result of serious mental health issues that can’t be solved by a simple “I love you”, and placing the same amount of blame on Clay as on the people who made Hannah’s life a living hell is disgusting, and inaccurate.
Hannah didn’t commit suicide, because Clay didn’t express his love for her she committed suicide because she likely had an untreated mental illness and countless people made her feel like they didn’t care, by pushing her down, bullying her, and harassing her.
So, yes Thirteen Reasons Why is an incredible series that sheds light on extremely important issues, but these issues have been important for a long time, and if took a TV show to prove to you it’s important to be nice to people shame on you.