If “13 Reasons Why” glamorized suicide, “All the Bright Places” obfuscates it. Light pours on Violet, who is floating on her back along the endless lake waves of Indiana’s Blue Hole. Horse Girl. But by the time the story reaches its tragic end, I was left wanting to host an All the Bright Places conference with the film’s staff, a slew of mental health experts, and teens to explore the layers of grief, trauma, and emotional injury the film raises but resolves too easily. And that special feeling is out-of-the-world. It’s important to have conversations about the role Hollywood plays in shaping our understanding of abusive relationships, so with recommendations from our Mighty community, we analyzed four times Hollywood romanticized emotional abuse. When a Twitter user posted, “Is it weird that I ship joe&beck? In roundabout ways, All the Bright Places affirms important truths: Without insight and recurring discussion about our mental health, conditions such as depression can remain mysterious to ourselves and others. Terms, “I think it wasn’t the writer’s idea to make them ‘couple goals.’ I think that’s just the people who think, ‘Wow she loves him no matter what!’”, recommendations from our Mighty community, most successful young adult series of all time, As I alluded to in the intro, before even knowing Bella, Edward creeps into her room every night to watch her sleep. These narratives require even more collaboration between medical professionals, entertainment executives, and creators in rooms where decisions about how mental health stories are greenlighted, written, edited, produced, cast, and promoted. For more information, call or visit www.suicidepreventionhotline.org. Ana is just a blank slate for women to put themselves in her place. The books and movies both contribute to the stereotype that women are a place for men to heal themselves at the expense of a woman’s mental health. Caitlin Roper, a blogger for The Huffington Post U.K., describes Christian’s abusive behavior in this way: The “romantic” lead is Christian Grey, a deeply disturbed individual who immediately begins stalking the naïve and virginal Ana. Why can’t we see more stories where people are truly seen outside of romance? Augustus Waters dies from osteosarcoma in John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars; Rachel Kushner dies of leukemia in Jesse Andrews’ Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. Even though they too have their faults, movies like Silver Linings Playbook, A Beautiful Mind, and Girl, Interrupted do a more accurate job of depicting mental illnesses than most others. From throwing her to his pet hyenas in classic DC comics to offering to “give her” to a random gangster in the movie “Suicide Squad,” it’s hard to believe anyone would look kindly on The Joker and romanticize his relationship with Harley Quinn — but yet, here we are. Many psychological and mental health organizations condemned t he show, with the National Association of School Psychologists saying, “Its powerful storytelling may lead impressionable viewers to romanticize the choices made by the characters and/or develop revenge fantasies.”. Early in the film, Violet’s friend Amanda warns her about getting involved with Finch, but it’s later revealed that Amanda is in treatment for bulimia and two prior suicide attempts. We Know Why Police Went Easy on the Pro-Trump Terrorists, A List of Everyone Complicit in This Coup Attempt, The Most Terrifying Threat to America Is Middle-Class White Guys Cosplaying a Fascist Uprising, Sex Has Evolved Beyond ‘Sex and the City’, Who You Insult When You Call This a ‘Wasted’ Year. He even attempts to persuade Ana to sign a contract that allows him complete control over her, from making herself available to him for sex on demand down to dictating what and when she can eat. This is a fact nobody can dispute, and I don’t want to try. “Growing up is realizing he was a stalker/manipulator who had to have control.”. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, researchers observed an uptick in suicide rates for teens between the age of 10 and 17 within a month of the show’s release. When any of those steps are overlooked, often it leads to uneven results. Privacy Christian is jealous, controlling and manipulative and has a penchant for sexual violence (this man just has “catch” written all over him). The film shrouds mental health in the trappings of YA romance. Edward threatened suicide if Bella died. Because left unchecked, people go around spewing every dumb thing they learn from movies and shows that are really just using mental illnesses to advance a plot and make a buck, instead of teach us anything useful. The film follows Violet Markey (played by Elle Fanning), a high school senior reeling with survivors’ guilt after the death of her sister, and Theodore Finch (Justice Smith), a 17-year-old struggling with bipolar disorder and manic depression. For more, check out this article examining each of the National Domestic Hotline’s criteria for an abusive relationship, and how Edward ticks off every box. The promotional material for Netflix’s new young adult novel adaptation, All the Bright Places, would have you think it’s adding another sappy romance film to its collection. To give you some context, “50 Shades of Grey” originally started out as erotic “Twilight” fanfiction, and is now a bestselling book series-turned film franchise. It’s like, oh my gosh, it’s a whole new audience, and I felt a whole new wave of responsibility,” Niven told GEN. “And I had to tell myself the same thing: All I can do is write this story the way I lived it.”. TV shows or movies often romanticize or stigmatize mental illness. “Harry Potter” is all about confronting fears, finding inner strength and doing what is right in the face of adversity … “Twilight” is about how important it is to have a boyfriend. Image Source: iperfectedthesmile1 Especially on social media sites, like Tumblr and Instagram, some communities have developed a very problematic way of dealing with mental illness.They describe mental illness as ‘tragically beautiful’. For more resources and information about identifying emotional abuse, head here. Of the show Mighty contributor Brenna C. wrote, The new series on Netflix “You” highly romanticizes emotional and psychological abuse. Still, it was a struggle to construct a mental health narrative that “gets it right.”, “I had to tell myself the same thing: All I can do is write this story the way I lived it.”, “In writing the screenplay, I felt that same wave of nerves. But, dammit, someone has to do it. Mighty contributor Megan C. said of the pair. And that is dangerously tragic itself. An essay on how the media (in particular films and TV) tend to fetishize mental illness. I mean… he literally pushes her through windows and ignored her existence the majority of the time. A Glamour U.K. headline, for example, declared the film “The rom-com we need in our lives.” That’s not quite right: All the Bright Places is a soaring love story with witty characters, but it isn’t a rom-com. They both cling to each other in a way that’s obsessive and creepy, not romantic. And so far, Hollywood has struggled to reconcile the reality of illness with its penchant for glamour. After all, it’s important to show life as it really can be. It will take depictions of intimacy of all kinds to continue to coach us through the hard task of really talking about our mental health in the context of relationships. Whether it’s some trendy post about what mental health “is” or how people with mental health illnesses “actually” are, it’s pretty likely to be somewhere in the social media sphere. ... movies … Based on writer Susanna Kaysen's account of her 18-month stay at a mental hospital in the late 1960s. ), Edward controls where Bella can go and who she is allowed to see. Mighty community member Carla W. wrote. As all forms of media romanticize mental illness, people may find faking mental illness to be interesting or to seek attention. Not sold yet? "There are three main characters, and at least two of them have confirmed mental illnesses. Not only is Christian’s behavior abusive, Ana has very little agency and character development — which some argue shows the controlling role of the abuser in her life. The film was optioned in 2014 — before the book was even released. Let’s break down some of the facts. Instead of high school love taking center stage in Netflix’s next big mental health narrative, I long for different relational lenses to explore depression and suicide: friendship, siblinghood, extended relatives, or spiritual communities. A Closer Look at the ‘QAnon Shaman’ Leading the Mob. It will be all the motivation I need for season 2. https://t.co/fy2hojauDG, — Penn Badgley (@PennBadgley) January 9, 2019. However, love stories within the context of depression, mental health, and teen suicide are far more delicate to construct. Let us know in the comments. What fictional relationships did we miss? As a collective, doctors, storytellers, and culture-at-large are floating too in the sense that we’re finally talking about what it feels like to drown. With the rise in loneliness, depression, and other mental health struggles among teenagers, there is a growing desire for cultural depictions that better reflect their new reality. Was the Capitol Hill Attack an Inside Job? “I personally feel it is a bit of a social experiment,” he said on a press tour. In particular, tumblr has allowed teenagers and young adults to share and create unfiltered posts about mental illness. Social media has become a platform for young people to express themselves and connect with their peers, but it has also become a hub for romanticizing mental illness. If we want to really swim when it comes to art about mental health, we will have to show — with utmost sensitivity and thoughtfulness from cover to end — what it looks like to sink. Love is one thing. It appears you entered an invalid email. “You” was meant to be a social satire challenging toxic masculinity, social media identities and hipster culture, but many viewers found themselves “shipping” Beck and Joe, the latter which (spoiler) is a violent stalker. Penn Badgley, who plays Joe in “You,” thought the reaction to the show would be telling of our cultural norms surrounding privilege. Love interests in movies involving mental illness almost always give off the idea that a romantic relationship can cure mental illness… He claimed he views it as “motivation [he needs] for season 2,” ostensibly for convincing viewers Joe is not actually a good guy. Second on the list is basically still “Twilight” — just way, way less PG. The allure of romance isn’t what will compel viewers to a story about grief, depression, or suicide. Even though joe is a stalker,” the official Netflix account of the U.K. and Ireland responded “yes.”, — Netflix UK & Ireland (@NetflixUK) January 2, 2019. pagespeed.lazyLoadImages.overrideAttributeFunctions(); This Twitter user isn’t the only one to have “missed” the intention of the series — which begs the question, did the show do a thorough enough job of showing Joe as the bad guy? As blogger Robin Browne put it. 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