Hi, guys! Its Brittany again. I’m sure by now we’ve all heard of 13 Reasons Why. I mean, if you’ve been on any social media, you’ve probably seen a thousand posts about the emotional instability it puts you in. I know I cried at least 13 times (yes, I did that on purpose) during one episode. I wanted to make a post about why we needed this book and show. Forewarning, there will most definitely be spoilers in this, so I advise either watching the show in its entirety before reading this post, or you can read it and know what to expect. Its up to you.
My first reason: it really opens your eyes to the subject of suicide. You’re no longer just getting a lecture about the warning signs of suicide, you’re seeing it fold out in a pretty realistic way. It also didn’t hold back any of the details of it. It even goes as far as showing the act. I really think that the media, shows, and movies make suicide much cleaner, for lack of better word. It doesn’t leave your mind to wonder about how she did it or what it was like for her. You see it, you see her pain, you see her struggle. They normally don’t show it, I for one haven’t seen many movies or shows that involve the actual scene. It normally just implies that it happened.
Reason number two: it doesn’t sugar coat rape. It shows the emotional impact on the person once they’ve been raped. Its another difficult subject that all means of entertainment have tried to stray away from. This is a serious problem. It doesn’t avoid it and it doesn’t change scenes when it gets uncomfortable. You should feel uncomfortable, this isn’t something you should feel comfortable with. I also think that it does a good job at showing the society’s response, or at least the response of the people who knew about it. They all tried to keep it a secret, not only from the authorities but also the girl that it happened to. Also, this a clear example of the “Well, if she wasn’t drunk, it wouldn’t have happened.” NO! This is all the way wrong. Wrong all over the place. Had the guy been able to control himself in the presence of an unconscious girl, it wouldn’t have happened. Rape is never the victims fault. It also showed the struggle for Clay to understand HOW they could not have said anything.
Reason three: WORDS AND ACTIONS HURT! I capitalize that so the people in the back can hear. I’ve seen some posts that have just burned me up. One that really got to me was where they were making small of the reasons Hannah gave each of the people on the tapes. All of the tapes were reason enough. They all did something to affect her. They all played a part in her decision. Back to the first sentence in this reason— Words hurt. I don’t think people realize how deeply what they say can cut someone. (SPOILER ALERT) Justin spreading the rumor about her wasn’t a small reason. Zach stealing her notes wasn’t a small reason. Alex and Jessica breaking off their friendship wasn’t a small reason. Tyler taking pictures wasn’t a small reason. The rape wasn’t a small reason. (DONE WITH SPOILER) None of her reasons were small. None were insignificant. You do not know how much your words or actions can affect someone. This is why being kind is always the best route.
Four: It shows the life of a high schooler. Everyone thinks that the drama and stress that someone in high school goes through is just pointless and insignificant once you get out of school and start your life. This isn’t the case. I know. I know. Well, Brittany, you’re in high school, where do you get to talk? I am in high school. I know that people think that the stress that I am going through right now is dumb and that I should get over it. But high school is all I know right now. I don’t know what its like to have a family of my own, to be out of school, to be in my career. I don’t know any of these things. All I know is the six classes that I go to (well, I go to three right now) and the teachers that I see every day. What may seem like dumb stress that isn’t needed to someone thats already on their path through life, is my whole life. I’m almost through. I am just weeks from walking across the stage at graduation. That’s my biggest stress. So, when you see Hannah, getting knocked down over and over and over, it’s not just stupid high school drama. It is her life. It is all she knows at this point. She doesn’t know that it changes. She just hears those words and thinks, “That can’t possibly be the case, this is far too bad.” High school stress and “drama” isn’t insignificant or pointless, it is our lives.
Five: It shows what happens to your family, classmates, and friends after you’re gone. It even said in the show, “They’d be better if I wasn’t here.” That’s not the case. In 13 Reasons Why, it shows Hannah’s parents struggling so much, trying to find the reason why she did it. Why they hadn’t caught that she was so upset. It shows them just grasping at strings that they think will lead them to the answer. With Clay, he is so angry at himself. He knows that he did something, but he can’t figure out what or why he didn’t try harder to love her. He was trying to find what he could have done differently. Alex and Jessica wanted to know why they hadn’t just stayed friends with her. All of these questions are whys. Sadly, most times, there’s nothing that could have been done… after. During her life, they could have seen, but that can be difficult. They could have just been kinder and not have avoided her. But when something this tragic happens, so many different actions that could have been taken rush through the minds of the people that were left. Although seeing everyone so distraught and helpless made me feel so upset and emotional, I think seeing these actors portray the struggle that a loved one might face was seriously incredible because it felt so real.
Six: She was a normal girl up until the point that it happened. I say normal loosely because I like to think of everyone as unique. She wasn’t antisocial she didn’t mope around, she was a “happy” girl. Although she showed the warning signs, she didn’t seem like she was going to commit suicide. She cut her hair, that’s one of the warning signs- changing your appearance. Okay, this isn’t very noticeable though. People cut their hair. This is one overlooked warning sign. Everyone just thought she had wanted a trendy new haircut. There were countless other signs, I would go into detail about the others, but this paragraph would be too long. The problem with today is that we don’t go around looking for the warning signs of suicide. We really don’t. If you do, kudos to you. I wish there were more people like you. I wish I was like you. I think that 13 Reasons Why will open up everyone’s eyes to the warning signs, though. I really hope that it does.
Now, I had planned to do thirteen reasons, but honestly I think you might get my point. Saying this show is stupid and making jokes about it doesn’t do anyone any good at all. I understand not liking the show, people have different preferences, but honestly in my opinion, I think everyone should watch it. I think we needed this representation of suicide. I also encourage people to read the book. Guys, seriously its super good and I think that it helps show you what’s going through Clay’s mind a lot better and you can feel what he feels. I don’t think we should downplay suicide, bullying, and rape like we do. I think it should be talked about and I think we should try as hard as we can to stop it.
If you feel like you need to talk to someone or feel as if suicide is the only option, please call. You’re life is worth far more than you could possibly believe. Don’t let yourself feel like you’re not worth it.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline