Fiction is an escape from reality. Having said that how many of us are guilty of trying to implement it in real life whether it be by adopting a character’s distinctive dialogue or adopting their fashion sense? Almost all of us. In today’s world where children majorly consume visual content, what appeals to them is copied by them. In families where children do not feel a strong bond with their family members, they tend to form an emotional connection with these characters. Needless to say that what these characters portray has a definite effect on the viewer. This is not to state that there should not be characters with diverse good and bad personalities but there should be a filter to understand what needs to be glorified.
- Teen Bodies
- Series such as Glee, Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars, and the current popular show Riverdale have actors who are in their 20s playing the role of 15-16 year olds. These shows depict teenagers not as girls or boys struggling with acne, delayed beginning of periods, voice cracking or the basic struggle to know how their bodies are changing but as already fully developed adults who have flawless skin, fully formed breasts, hairless bodies, and unaffected music careers because in this fictional world there is no voice cracking. This evidently leads to body image issues.
- Unnecessarily hiding secrets
- Teenage years are a roller coaster ride and also the years where we are the most vulnerable. Manipulation and sexual abuse are rampant during these times. The shows depict an adventure that the teens have kept to themselves, sexual intimacy, and alcohol abuse at parties. All these three elements when put together could end up being a deadly combination. It is of course also the parent’s job to be open enough for their children to confide in them but more often than not to meet up with the standards of being “cool” and be validated on having a secret life not known to any parent, teens do not even consider telling them incidents which may later roll into irreversible traumas.
- How to deal with various Relations
- The nature of relationships between friends, parents, and siblings vary across countries. These shows create moulds. Equating abandonment of fathers in series with an absentee father who is just trying to do the best for the family or wanting friends who understand what you want without even communicating the same to them or expecting your boyfriend/girlfriend to magically solve all your issues in life just creates unsatisfactory relationships in life even though they all may be doing just enough.
- Mental Illness Causes and Consequences
- A person with their dream job, a supportive partner, and encouraging parents can be depressed. They necessarily need not have abusive parents or a particular incident happen to them for mental illness to show up. Similarly, one does not need to be suicidal or do something drastic to classify oneself as mentally ill. When people suffering from mental health issues do something that is not appreciated, their illness is a reason behind the act but not a justification. While people should be supportive and not desert a person in such times, one should be able to distance oneself if it directly starts affecting their mental health. Glorifying toxic relationships to the extent that one should hold onto the mentally ill person who refuses to seek help or condemn any act that may help them will only lead to more mentally ill adults later on.