Toxic Relationships In Media

Roza Spartalyan, Reporter


Today’s media is giving people the wrong idea about what is healthy in a relationship.

Toxicity in relationships is a sad reality that many people find themselves in. A toxic relationship is one that makes one or both parties feel unsupported, attacked, and even unsafe. These relationships can manifest when the relationship starts feeling like it’s hard to be in. What makes this harsh reality even worse is the representation of it in the media that is consumed by many different groups of people.

A notable example of a toxic relationship in both a book and movie is Bella and Edward from the Twilight series. The popular book and movie series created by Stephanie Meyer tells the story of a young girl, Bella, falling for a 107-year-old vampire.

While the relationship is based on unrealistic circumstances, the things the characters go through can be seen in real relationships. Anxiety attacks, suicide attempts due to being apart, and being watched while asleep are examples of events from Bella and Edwards relationship.

These behaviors are being shown to children who read the series starting from age ten which led them to believe that it’s all normal.

Senior Marianna Balian says, “I am now learning how toxic Bella and Edward were after years of seeing it.” The toxic relationship is marketed to many people, teaching them that this form of relationship is normal.

Toxic friendships can also be seen in the media. The popular television series Gossip Girl follows many characters. However the two main characters, Blair and Serena, are “best friends.” Although they are close, their relationship is one that brings both of them down. Starting from Serena being with Blair’s boyfriend Nate, the two were thrown into a constant cycle of lies and were never able to communicate without lying to one another.

“I still think they should never have been friends,” says freshman Nelly Spartalyan. The relationship is unhealthy and teaches viewers that a friendship should look that way.

Toxic relationships have been present in the media for quite a while, and the only purpose they serve is to give viewers misconstrued perceptions of a healthy relationship.


A scene from Gossip Girl showing Blair and Serena after a petty argument.

Photo Credit: Roza Spartalyan

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