Romanticism Going All Wrong


Courtesy of HBO Max

The award winning show, Euphoria, has gained attention from many young viewers. It talks about multiple issues present in the daily lives of teens.

Present in today’s media is the spread of romanticism and it has taken a turn for the worst. The definition of romanticism is the quality or state of being romantic ( Seen in TV shows and movies are a glorification of many mental illnesses, drug-related issues, and turning evil historical figures into something eye-catching. In American Horror Story, the show cast the famous Nightstalker as a catching young-looking man who many described as handsome. Social media hasn’t helped the misinformation spreading around as the platforms’ users would go on to make fan pages dedicated to these notorious people. With the modern misuse of romanticism spreading wide, so have the posts hoping to share the correct information.


The use of social media has caused an over glorification of many mental illnesses and social issues. People online would go onto self-diagnosis to be considered “different” amongst their peers while those who have been medically diagnosed with such illnesses can be seen as a black sheep to others. Some even considered having a mental illness to be trendy online as they’d post videos seemingly bragging about their issues. This has caused awareness to go around as those affected by it quickly hopped on to encourage seeking out a professional before calling themselves “crazy”. Those online who post about basic mental illness knowledge recommend speaking with someone before claiming to have such illnesses. Along with the mental health awareness spreading around, so did warnings of drug use. Katelyn Larsen (11) said on the matter, “we buy things we don’t want with the money we don’t have to impress the people we don’t like.” Oftentimes, people would post about the use of drugs and them being under the influence. Adding onto the pressure of being “cool” for using drugs, this could set in the glorification of drug use.


On the social media platform, Tiktok, users have made accounts dedicated to the famous serial killer, the Nightstalker. During the 80s, here in California, multiple serial killers terrorized the nation as they grew their count. One of them was Richard Ramirez, who was deemed the Nightstalker by the media. Users would make fan edits of them romanticizing being in a relationship with the man who was assumed to kill 13 people. The murder wasn’t the only crime Ramirez committed; he was charged with sexual assault, kidnapping, and many others. The romanticism of serial killers has been seen before in the past with the famous national serial killer, Ted Bundy. His trial was shown on the news and it caught many people’s attention. Girls would go on to describe how “cute” he was and they believed he was innocent even with the evidence against him. The admiration of the killers has upset many and come across as disrespectful to the families of the victims. Many have called out those who encourage the romanticizing of such criminals.


Hollywood has not helped with the issues as it presents a beautiful idea to something that is literally much darker. The Netflix Original, Thirteen Reasons Why follows the tapes of Hannah Baker, a girl who committed suicide. Throughout the show, the viewers follow the reasons leading up to Hannah’s death, even featuring a scene of her suicide. This outraged many as they perceived suicide to be beautiful and hopeless. A show that represents the causes and effects of drugs and mental illness well was the HBO Original, Euphoria. It follows the story of a recovering addict, Rue Bennent, and those around her. The show goes on to picture the damages of using drugs. Euphoria’s director, Sam Levinson, was also a recovering addict, so many assumed this is how the show was able to properly demonstrate what it is like to be an addict. However, people were still able to call out the glorification of the drug trips as they say it was more beautiful than what they can actually be. Drug users often tell how they felt more paranoid than ever while being under the influence. 


While widespread news and information can be good, it can also be easy to mess up. Hollywood has messed up delivering difficult issues properly but has encouraged many to spread awareness on these real-life topics. Seeking out help or proper information on many issues isn’t complicated. A call to a local doctor’s office to schedule an appointment to see if there are any signs of mental illness is always available to one’s needs. Drug abuse and the surrounding issues are more present than one might think and there are resources to learn about the physical and non-physical damages. Romanticism can be beautiful, but it can also be dangerous when the right information isn’t there. It can spread misbeliefs and harm to those who have access.