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’13 Reasons Why’ Glamorizes Suicide, And That Is Not Okay

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Photo courtesy of Netflix

Killing yourself won’t hurt your bullies

Trigger warning for anyone who struggles with depression, spoilers for anyone who wants to watch this dumb show.

Here’s an opinion: 13 Reasons Why is a bad show that glamorizes suicide! And yet people are celebrating it. Here's an idea: Maybe people should not celebrate a show that glamorizes suicide?! 

As I type that I can hear a chorus of people behind me crooning that the Netflix drama about 13 reasons (or rather people) that caused a teen to kill herself “starts a discussion,” and that it “encourages people to realize that you have to be careful because you don’t know what’s going on with others.” 

To which I’m going to reply with: Yes, well, hanging mannequins wearing signs that read “teen suicide exists” in public places would certainly start a discussion; however, it wouldn’t be a discussion that was very sensitive or helpful to anyone dealing with mental illness. 

As for whether or not you should think before bullying people: fucking duh. I do not think that not knowing the most basic kindergarten tenet of life… exists? Did people who cite the show's anti-bullying message as a reason to watch it just not know that anti-bullying messages are already prevalent in our society without the troubling addition of a tacitly pro-suicide narrative? 

But so, let’s talk about the show, and the way it presents suicide. In 13 Reasons, a teen named Hannah (who is, by the way, played excellently by Katherine Langford) is relentlessly bullied until she takes her own life. The show begins after she’s killed herself. Before doing so, she left 13 tapes, each one of which is directed toward someone she feels drove her to this state. The people on the tapes—who had raped her, stalked her, slut-shamed her, spread around racy pictures of her—are largely despicable. But while issues like sexism and assault can and should be addressed, Hannah’s suicide as a result of these things is still really problematic. 

First of all, crediting suicide to one single factor, like bullying, is a gross simplification of the myriad reasons that people wind up killing themselves. People who struggle with depression may have suicidal impulses regardless of the external circumstances of their lives. Barring one attempt to visit a counselor, Hannah’s mental state is never really examined, and that is a huge flaw in the show.

That said, the psychological consequences of bullying are real. (Which, if you are dealing with bullying, visit here.) But as much as telling people not to bully or sexually harass people is a good message—which it absolutely is!—telling kids that if they kill themselves all their bullies will feel bad or be punished is a horrible message if you are being bullied. 

Because while all of Hannah’s bullies do feel terrible—not only because they are both psychologically tormented and fearful that their treatment of Hannah will be shared and get them in trouble, but also because they finally see that there was so much more going on with Hannah than they'd known—that is not some sort of definite outcome in reality, not by a long shot 

For anyone who thinks that suicide might provoke this specific type of result: Suicide will not make bullies feel guilt about what they did to you. It will not give them newfound awareness about the world. It will not make them all throw rocks through one of your abusers’ windows, as it happens on the show. Bad guys on the basketball team will often continue being bad guys until they either have a change of heart of their own accord or become bloated, bitter, sedentary Fox News watchers.  

Killing yourself will not make your high school bullies feel bad. Most of them aren’t that self-aware. After Columbine, most bullies just doubled down on their treatment of oddballs. When asked if they felt bad about bullying the shooters, one replied, “Sure, we teased them. But what do you expect with kids who come to school with weird hairdos and horns on their hats?... If you want to get rid of someone, usually you tease 'em. So the whole school would call them homos." 

The only thing that will make high school bullies feel bad is your growing up and doing cooler stuff than them, at which point they will awkwardly like all your photos on Facebook. 

The people who will be hurt by your suicide are not the people who hurt you. The people who will hurt are the very people you love the most. Those people will be shredded, and not in a fun, dramatic “this is an interesting, entertaining mystery to solve” way. 

A show where suicide reads as a revenge fantasy is troubling enough. But it’s even more troubling that 13 Reasons Why chooses to graphically show the suicide on-screen. And they do show how Hannah did it, step by step. The show’s creator—who I have no doubt did mean all of this in the most positive way—has talked about how he was dissuaded from committing suicide because he remembered the horrible ugliness of a friend’s suicide attempt. He’s remarked that showing Hannah slitting her wrists on-screen was, “to dispel the myth of the quiet drifting off, and to make viewers face the reality of what happens when you jump from a burning building into something much, much worse.” 

Suicide is certainly a very ugly business. It is full of pain and vomit and blood and everything but “drifting off.” But recalling that it’s ugly is very different than having a how-to guide splashed across your Netflix screen. Especially if you’re a teen who is being bullied and thinks that suicide looks like a way to direct some hurt back to people who deserve it. 

All of this may seem like too much outrage directed to what’s intended as thought-provoking entertainment. But given that we know that younger people can be more susceptible to suicidal ideation if they see others doing it—according to the New York Times, “analysis suggests that at least 5 percent of youth suicides are influenced by contagion”—it’s one of those topics that needs to be handled very carefully. But that’s not how this show is executed. Instead, this show implicitly glamorizes killing yourself because it allows you to think that it will do precisely what it won’t: Solve all your problems, make your enemies feel remorse, and give you some sense of justice. But justice can only be felt by the living. And you? You’ll be dead.

So, if you’re experiencing bullying, go hereIf you’re having suicidal thoughts, this hotline is greatAnd if you’re looking for something to watch on Netflix, I hear Girlboss is supposed to be pretty good. 

Photo by Imani Givertz

Premiering today via NYLON

Small Talks, aka Cayley Spivey, has come a long way since starting a band, then becoming the entire band herself and forging her own fan base from the ground up. On her recent album A Conversation Between Us, she began to unpack any lingering baggage with one particular song: "Teeth." Today, she premieres the accompanying music video exclusively via NYLON.

"'Teeth' is about my personal battle with letting go of the past," Spivey tells NYLON, admitting that it's easily her favorite song off of A Conversation Between Us.

Watch the video for "Teeth" below.

Small Talks - Teeth (Official Music Video) - YouTube www.youtube.com

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FROM THE WORLD WIDE WEB
Photos by Joe Maher/Getty Images, Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for TIME

Must have been pretty awkward

Taylor Swift and Sophie Turner were guests on the U.K.'s The Graham Norton Show together, which must have been awkward for Turner's husband, Joe Jonas, seeing as he also happens to be Swift's ex. I wonder if his name came up?

The interview doesn't come out until Friday night, but promotional photos show the two sharing a couch. Swift is making an appearance to perform her new single, "ME!" while Turner is promoting her new film, X- Men: Dark Phoenix. But it seems necessary for the two to be asked about Jonas.

Swift was just on the Ellen DeGeneres Show earlier this month, where she brought up the fact that she felt bad for putting Jonas "on blast" on DeGeneres' show back in 2008 by telling the audience that he broke up with her in a record-setting short phone call. But, according to Swift, she and Jonas are chill now, since it happened pretty long ago, which means she's probably already hung out with Turner and maybe even gossiped about him with her.

We can only hope that they get the chance to spill some tea on television.

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Screenshot via YouTube, Photo Courtesy of HBO

"That's! His! Auntie!"

Leslie Jones has rewatched the Game of Thrones finale with a beer in hand, Seth Meyers at her side, and a full camera crew ready to take in all her glorious reactions. Spoilers ahead, but, if you haven't watched last week's episode already, that's kind of on you at this point.

When Jon Snow started to make out with Daenerys, also known as his aunt, only to stab her through the chest moments later, it was emotional whiplash for everyone watching. And, Jones' reactions—both from her first and second viewing—sum it all perfectly.

"That's! His! Auntie! [gagging noises]," Jones says before making an aside about calling the police if her uncle ever tried to do the same. But then the knife goes in, and Jones screams. "Did you see that?!" Jones asks, "Yeah bitch, that's a knife in you." Meyers points out the funniest part of all: "Why are you so upset about someone kissing their aunt but totally fine with someone killing their aunt?" Jones replies, "Because that bitch needed to go," and, well, same.

Other highlights from the comedians' rewatch include comparing Dany's victory speech to a bad improv gig, predicting that their dogs would have less of a reaction to their deaths than Drogon did to his mother's, and more.

Watch all of Jones' reactions from this Late Night clip below.

Game of Jones: Leslie Jones and Seth Watch Game of Thrones' Series Finale youtu.be

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These lyrics are a lot

Robbie Tripp, aka Curvy Wife Guy, is back with a music video, titled "Chubby Sexy," starring his wife and a trio of models. In it, Tripp raps about his bold choice to find women with an average body size attractive.

The video begins with a series of statements laid over some pool water: "Curves are the new high fashion," "Chubby is the new sexy," "We Out Here." Tripp posits that these queens deserve an anthem, which they do. What they do not deserve is this Cursed Song. As he lists all the names he knows to call them by (thick, thicc, and BBW), one model (who I really, really hope was paid well) squirts some lotion down her cleavage, and Tripp begins dancing.

"My girl chubby sexy/ Call her bonita gordita," Tripp states in his chorus, before going on to compare "big booty meat" to the peach emoji. Another thing he mentions is that his wife can't find a belt that fits her waist, and that's why he calls her James and the Giant Peach. He then tries to dab. Here are some of the other Cursed highlights from his, uh, verses:

Got those Khaleesi curves/ Knows how to dragon slay
She like a dude that's woke/ We like a girl that's weighty
Some say a chubby girl that's risky/ But they ain't met a curvy girl that's frisky
Imma dunk that donk like I'm Andrew Wiggins.
Thick like an Amazon/ Built like Big Ben.

Tripp says one thing in the video that I couldn't agree more with: "She don't need a man." No, she does not. Please run. If you must, watch the entire video, below. Or send it to your nemesis!

Robbie Tripp - Chubby Sexy (Official Music Video) www.youtube.com

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Photo by Emma McIntyre / Getty Images.

See the promo here

It was bound to happen. The Kadashians and Jenners have committed themselves to letting the cameras roll on their lives, for better or for worse. So if you thought that the Jordyn Woods and Tristan Thompson cheating scandal was off limits, you thought wrong. The trailer for Sunday's episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians was just released, and it involves the famous family working through the fallout of what happened when Woods went to a party at Thompson's house.

The teaser includes the infamous clip of Khloé Kardashian screaming "LIAAAARRRRRR." It's still not explicitly clear who prompted that strong response. She could be responding to Thompson, who clearly isn't always honest. Or she could be reacting to Woods account of the events on Red Table Talk. But the most revealing moment comes when we see Kylie Jenner—who was Woods' best friend before all of this happened—react for the first time.

In a heart-to-heart conversation, momager Kris Jenner says, "For you and Jordyn, it's like a divorce." Kylie only offers this in response: "She fucked up." Based on Woods' version of events—which I'm inclined to believeThompson is the one who fucked up. Still, I'm hoping for some kind of reconciliation between the two longtime friends. Perhaps we'll have to wait until next season for that.

Check out the promo video below.

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