Netflix’s ‘13 Reasons Why’ | Sunday Observer

Netflix’s ‘13 Reasons Why’

With the final season now available on Netflix, we sit down with the 23-year-old actor to discuss her relationship with beauty and why it’s important that mental health is normalised on TV.

Twenty-three-year-old actor Alisha Boe was just 19 when she was catapulted to fame after landing a part on 13 Reasons Why hit show . Following a group of high-school students, as they navigate the choppy waters of adolescence, the show covers sensitive topics including mental health, cyberbullying, racism, school shootings, self-harm, suicide and sexual abuse.

Boe plays Jessica Davis, a popular cheerleader who becomes a powerful feminist activist after being raped by her boyfriend’s best friend. Like her character, Boe, whose father is Somali and whose mother is Norwegian, is somewhat of an activist in her own life, using her platform to speak out about matters that are important to her, from human rights to racial injustice. “I feel like I’ve been given this platform through this show and there are millions of people who follow me. What is the point of having so many followers if you’re just going to post pictures?” she says.

With the fourth and final season of 13 Reasons Why now available on Netflix, we sat down with Boe over Zoom to discuss her relationship with beauty and the importance of culture in changing the conversation about mental health.

Growing up, did you feel?comfortable in your own skin?

“In Oslo [Norway], I lived in a place where it was mostly immigrants, so I had a lot of people who were Somali like me, and just of colour in general. Then [aged seven], I moved to this really white neighbourhood [in Los Angeles] and identity for me was a very fickle thing. I don’t think I found my true identity or was comfortable in my true skin until I moved away from that neighbourhood.”

What was the most challenging?aspect of that time?

“I didn’t have anyone to identify with. I didn’t feel like my hair was beautiful. I always wanted to straighten it because all my white friends had straight hair. And then I had to deal with the boys in my school and everyone making offhand racist remarks, where they’re like, ‘You’re pretty for a black girl.’ Then, of course, you start rationalising, like, ‘Oh, they don’t think people who are black are pretty, but I’m the exception because I have caucasian features.’”

How did your perception of beauty evolve?

“It was this whole process of unlearning so many things and then finding people who are similar to me and learning more about my culture as an African woman, learning about the beauty of it. If you’re a minority growing up in a place where nobody looks like you, there are so many cultural differences that you have to teach yourself, which is hard; it’s a constant learning experience.”? Beauty is about representation. If you see people that look like you in spaces that are legitimised as beautiful, such as on a magazine cover or on film, then it ‘confirms’ that you are beautiful. Did you find that there were people in the media and magazines that you could relate to??

“I wish it wasn’t that way, but it’s true — we find validation through entertainment, media and fashion, especially. I definitely didn’t see much growing up, but now I’m seeing people’s voices being uplifted through big publications. It’s amazing to see darker-skinned women having a platform, for girls like me and for younger girls to be able to look up and think, ‘Oh, this is what beauty is. Beauty isn’t one thing, it’s not a mould that I have to be, I don’t have to have Eurocentric features. It’s a spectrum.’ But we still have a long way to go for sure.”

How do you feel about being a role model yourself for younger girls?

“The one thing that’s been very positive for me with 13 Reasons Why is having young girls who have similar features to me DM me or send me letters or stop me in the street and express their gratitude for being able to see someone like me blended in this primarily white high school, and being seen as a cool girl or a popular girl or a pretty girl or a girl that’s not afraid to use her voice and voice her opinions.”

Does being an actor make you think differently about how you look?

“There is this pressure when you have a fanbase that is primarily teenagers… When I first started the show, [teenagers] were very critical about how I looked. They were not afraid to voice their opinion on my social media about every little thing on my face and my body. It definitely made me more aware of how I looked, which made me insecure at times. I felt like my self-worth was kind of measured by opinions, good or bad — although, as a 19-year-old, you tend to just look at the bad comments. But self-worth is not measured by how you look and beauty is not just physical.”

What is beauty to you?

“Beauty is what you find most beautiful about yourself. It can be your hair, but it can also be the way that you handle your friendships and, you know, intangible things. I’ve learned to measure my self-worth by my opinion of myself. Since the show, I’m definitely more comfortable and happy with who I am. Outside opinions don’t really affect me, which is great, but it’s been a process.”

One of the reasons 13 Reasons Why was so successful was because of its authentic representation of mental health. It helped normalise things that people continue to struggle with today. How important is culture in progressing the conversation about mental health?

“For years it’s been taboo to talk about mental health. Even since I was in high school, which wasn’t that long ago, the conversation has completely changed. We’ve normalised words such as ‘triggered’, ‘anxiety’, ‘depression’ and ‘trauma’, and that’s because of the internet and these new TV shows that are popping up.

“It’s created the space to actually lift the stigma, which has been incredibly freeing. People who are dealing with anxiety, panic disorders, depression and PTSD, one of the feelings they feel the most is intense loneliness and alienation because they feel like nobody feels the way they do. So even small things such as reading an article or seeing a glimpse of yourself in a TV show, or reading someone’s tweets online — these moments can almost be lifesaving, because that person doesn’t feel so alone anymore.”

How do you think the global?pandemic will change the way we talk about mental health?

“As a human race, we’re all going through a very traumatic event collectively, so people will be more open to talking about things they’re struggling with because it’s a collective struggle. For two months, at least, we had to stay inside and not do anything, which I don’t think is a normal rhythm for any human in the 21st century. So I think there will be more openness between people when they return to their normal lives to talk about things that they went through. There will be more willingness to be honest and interactions will be more meaningful.”

What kind of things do you do for self-care?

“It’s important for everybody to take a break and be mindful. This year has been extremely overwhelming. I realised that my phone is just a huge stressor. Before this interview, I hadn’t turned my phone on for four days. I have just been texting through my laptop. I also practise mindfulness, taking a second to read a book or watch a good movie or documentary, do some yoga or be with loved ones. That’s all we can do right now, connect with people we love and take a little break from the outside world for an hour or two.”

What are you most hopeful for?about the future?

“The idea of togetherness. I’ve been seeing it now with my white friends and their willingness to reach across the aisle and actually sit down and learn.

I’m sitting down as well and teaching myself so many new things about other people’s experiences… (We’re experiencing) one of the biggest civil rights movements ever and I really cannot wait to see the outcome of this, because what we need is systemic change from the ground up.

Things need to be dismantled and rebuilt in order to actually help serve and protect our vulnerable communities. It’s very exciting that we might be able to have a better understanding of each other and be able to feel a sense of togetherness, hopefully building a better future for our children and our children’s children — one where you aren’t defined by the way you look but by what you do. I’m hopeful for that.”

?

?

?

Comments

成版人性视频app-亚洲做性视频在线观看