Review: '13 Reasons Why' and what it taught me.

I'm not gonna lie, I put this on because I ran out of things to watch on Netflix and thought it sounded like the earlier seasons of Pretty Little Liars.  So I thought 'why not?'. Boy, was I wrong? 

It was late on Thursday night, I'd been gutting out my wardrobe and decided I needed something on in the background. Little did I know this would capture my full attention.

I soon realised this show was not like the dramatic, thrilling, but totally unrealistic Pretty Little Liars. It was something that was very real.

The series depicts the 13 reasons why Hannah Baker decided to take her own life. It's sort of like a suicide note in the form of tapes, you hear her telling her truth. And she sends them to the people who are involved.

Throughout the story you begin to realise that Hannah was bullied, a victim of slut-shaming and even sexually abused. The series gives you the honest and raw insight into teenage life and how important social status can be to a person. Not only that but just how damaging one photo can be to a young person's reputation.

You see Hannah fight, remain true to herself and try to overcome her problems. You see her begin to lose hope, seclude herself and give up. It's a heartwrenching story. 

The producers did this story justice. Not only do you see Hannah's life spiral and the effects it has on her mentally, you see how her suicide affected everyone else and how other people's stories played out. And to give them their due they didn't hold back on the scenes that were uncomfortable to watch.

There's so much stigma and taboo surrounding certain subjects but the producers tactfully and effectively approached them, which had such a vast impact on me. I mean they really touched me deep down, although it was so uncomfortable to see I think it's important to show these very real situations. 

Shying away from subjects such as suicide, mental health, and sexual violence doesn't help anyone; not the viewer, not the victims, not the potential victims. It won't change the world to see these situations in such a raw and brutally honest way but it will get people talking. And talking is the first step to overcoming these issues.

We need to talk about mental health and break down the stigma that surrounds it. We need to talk about bullying and the long-lasting and deep emotional effects it can have on someone. We need to talk about sexual violence and show victims that it is okay to talk about it and not to be embarrassed or think it's their fault. We just need to talk more. 

In a society where people have access to so much information and can communicate to vast amounts of people at the touch of their fingertips, why is it we still feel the need to hide away?

I'm not saying this is always the case but not talking about these problems and being a victim of trauma over and over led Hannah Baker to give up on living and feel so worthless to the point she took her own life. 

I didn't know this was a book, or I would have read it before the series. In fact, I probably will try to read it anyways. But I genuinely believe everyone should read the book or watch the show and take note that your words and actions can have a massive effect on a person's life.  

You never know what is going on in someone's life. 13 Reasons Why has made me appreciate the people I love that little bit more, appreciate my own life and be that little bit kinder to others.

I've always been one to try and smile, be polite and patient with strangers. But even a smile or a kind word can go a long way, I know if I get a compliment from someone it can brighten my whole day. 

If we all tried to be that little bit nicer maybe people won't feel so alone? Either way, it's worth a shot, right?