Have you ever watched a show and thought, “if I did this in real life, I would probably end up in jail”? You most probably have and it is in your best interest to not emulate everything you see on TV.

Here are some examples of the questionable traits:

Toxic masculinity:

Toxic masculinity is defined as adherence to traditional male gender roles. These roles consequently stigmatize and limit the emotions boys and men may comfortably express while elevating other emotions such as anger. In the Kissing Booth, Noah Flynn is depicted as the hot-headed and bad boy love interest of Elle Evans. His violent streaks are romanticized and Elle puts it upon herself to serve as his rehabilitation centre because it is the girl’s job to fix her ‘broken’ boyfriend. Yikes.

 The strong but submissive leading lady:

This trope is used to excuse the questionable behaviour of men towards women and again romanticize sexism and misogyny. Shows want us to believe that, because the leading lady is “strong”, it is acceptable for her to be seen as a toy that can be dominated. She obviously consented so there is no reason to be alarmed. Miss Bala, does an excellent job of flipping the narrative.


Is defined as unwanted and/or repeated surveillance by an individual or group toward another person. Stalking is a criminal offence, yet You does a brilliant job of making us not bat an eye. In fact, the show romanticizes stalking. Are you starting to see a pattern?


The movie, 365 days, is a perfect example of the Stockholm syndrome in action. It refers to feelings of trust or affection felt in many cases of kidnapping or hostage-taking by a victim towards a captor. The lead actor is so hot he made us forget that kidnapping someone is a criminal offence. It has a strong but submissive leading lady and once again, the violent bad-boy who doesn’t understand consent is romanticized.  

Lack of diversity:

Most Caucasian-dominated shows have that one token PoC, “thick” actor or gay best friend. It is disappointing to see their lack of visibility in the media. Minorities are exceptionally talented and deserve more recognition. There are people out there ready to represent their communities but aren’t getting gigs, because of what they look like.

Locker room culture:

This culture is associated with male-dominated humour and prejudice, sexist, racist, and homophobic so-called banter. The locker room culture can be found in almost all shows containing high school students; this can lead to teenagers emulating these conversations and behaviours in real life. As they get older, they might think their locker room culture is acceptable outside the confines of the locker room.

The glorifying of criminal offences and behaviour that is outright creepy and discriminatory only sets us back as a society.

Shows have the power to influence tons of impressionable minds. it is disappointing to watch them produce content that perpetuates harmful stereotypical cultures. Some viewers don’t know how to differentiate reality from fantasy, so those who do need to start calling out these types of shows and movies.

*Pictures obtained from Pinterest.

Follow Francineth Kate Bauleth on Instagram: @absolutely.literally.no.one

Check out her book ‘You Promised’ on Wattpad: Oneuponatime2002

Francineth Kate Bauleth

Hello there, my name is Francineth Bauleth. I am 18 years old and I would like to see myself as an advocate for those who cannot speak for themselves. I enjoy reading and writing. Writing makes me feel at home and that is why I love writing for Afterbreak Magazine. Being a contributor for this magazine has always been my dream and I can say dreams truly do come true.

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About Afterbreak Magazine

Afterbreak Magazine is a Namibian Teen Magazine that strives to be the leading young adult platform that educates, empowers and entertains the Namibian youth to form a community of growth.



July 2020