Why Hollywood needs to stop romanticizing toxic relationships.

By: Alia Meas

Are you a fan of YOU? Euphoria? Gossip Girl? Chances are that you have either seen or heard about one of these cult-favorite TV Shows and whether or not you would like to admit it, all of these shows embrace toxic and abusive relationships. Maddy and Nate from Euphoria? Every time I see a fan edit with the caption ‘relationship goals’ I get triggered. Did the audience suddenly forget that he nearly strangled her to death? Just because a man is hot, this does not justify all the harm he has done and vice versa.

Hollywood and social media has to stop normalizing violence and unhealthy relationships as this could have severe psychological impacts. Intimate partner violence is a very dangerous issue that has been prevailing during quarantine as couples have been forced to live in confined areas for longer than they have been used to. Many shows perpetuate stalking, catfishing, cheating and partner abuse and as these shows often manipulate viewers into feeling sympathetic towards the toxic character. Take the Netflix show You as an example. The story is narrated by the protagonist and the show twists the audience to hate the victims and to be empathetic towards the main character, when in reality he is a psychopathic serial killer, hiding behind a pretty face. Stalking is a scary real threat to many women. Although I love the shows mentioned above, we do have to draw a line on normalizing abuse culture.

Sadly, on social media many young teenagers tend to express their love for toxic, abusive characters which lowers societal standards for a healthy relationship. Being in a relationship often blinds the person being abused as they think that this violent behavior is normal which is why they do not seek for help. These are not things that we are taught in school and not many people are educated on what to do if they are being harassed. In the US alone more than 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men will experience stalking, physical violence, sexual abuse by a partner which is a horrifying statistic.

Let’s all come back to reality from the fictional world and promote healthy, joyous relationships.

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