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Let’s Talk: Stop Romanticizing Things That Hurt

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at PS Behrend chapter.

Romanticizing bad behavior has become a cultural trend. Whether is be about showing how “beautifully damaged” a girl with depression is, or how “dreamy” that a**hole bad boy looks or even how restricting your body for beauty can be “brave”. Romanticizing these things is beyond harmful and dangerous for people on either side. The seriousness of some of these issues is completely forgotten while the cinematic drama of the stereotype takes precedence. These things should not be happening and need to be addressed:



When I was a senior in highschool, I remember scrolling through Tumblr and finding a post that talked about anxiety. But the way the person talked about their anxiety wasn’t like any anxiety I’ve ever experienced. Awkward was seen as adorable and cute and feeling voided from every emotion was cool. I didn’t get it. How was it possible that something that I struggled with and was ashamed of was seen as “cute” and “cool”. It didn’t make sense then and it doesn’t make sense now.


That was the first time I saw someone romanticize mental illness online and it sure wasn’t the last time I saw it. Every time I would see a post like this I would feel a burning rage go through me -and I’m not even the type of person that gets angry about things I see online. By romanticizing mental illness you’re making light of a situation that should never be taken lightly. Ever. Mental illness is not only real, but something millions struggle with and are ashamed of, so how dare you call my panic attacks adorable. How dare you call self-deprecation silly. Panic attacks are literally one of the worst things I’ve ever experienced and self-deprecation often hides something more serious behind it.

Being broken is not a facade you want to portray, trust me.


Hannah Carlino: 

“Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do? Whatcha gonna do when they come for you?” Lets face it, girls. We have all been attracted to the bad-boy type somewhere along the line. But what about girls attracts us to this type of boy? Is it there perfectly combed hair, their “way with the ladies,” or their perfect physique? While it could be any or all of those options, I believe it comes from a deeper part of our minds. We make this bad-boy out to be the perfect and most wanted human on the planet, and we get upset if they do not want us back. Some girls romanticize this bad behavior because they seek the attention of someone that is unwilling to give them undevoted attention. It acts as a way to show that we are the Alpha female, that is, if one is successful in getting the attention from this bad boy.


A bad boy also has a unique characteristic that a lot of girls seek. This is the “constantly needing to fight for his attention” quality. As unsatisfying as it is to say, a lot of younger inexperienced girls do not like boys who give their undivided attention. Girls who like the bad-boy type enjoy the feeling of having something to fight for. In this case, his attention. They take for granted the nice boys who would otherwise do this out of natural habit. It does not end there. The girls who fall for bad boys are also often looking to change him. Like the perfect Cinderella story, she wishes for the fairytale ending of a bad boy who has fallen to his knees for this one girl. The majority of times this will not be the end result, leaving the girl heartbroken. It is a dangerous cycle for girls that fall for bad boys.

Perfect love stories are the simplest of ones, they are not boastful and most certainly do not involve having to change someone. Love comes when you are least looking for it, and remember, never go searching for love because true love will find you when you least expect it. Cherish the people around you that are always willing to be there, and who do not expect something in return for their favors. It is OK to watch these relationships develop in movies, TV shows, or books, but remember that fiction means fake.



How beautiful you are with your flat stomach and soft, thin hair. Your nails always polished and your breath forever minty-fresh.

Actually wait… please let me alter that slightly. How beautiful you are with your flat, aching stomach, and your hair so thin and brittle from malnourishment. Your nails forever polished to hide how destroyed and ugly they are, and your breath so minty-fresh to cover the smell of bile. You do not feel beautiful. In fact, you are only trying to make yourself feel as such.

If you look online nowadays there are numerous posts romanticising girls with eating disorders, and that is not OK. It is not a beauty trend or a special type of diet. An eating disorder is, like its title, a D I S O R D E R. These blogs show you a pretty a girl with a thigh gap, but what they don’t show is her bent over a toilet. A girl who is dry-heaving with mucus, tears, and drool running down her face to make sure all the food she ate is digested by porcelain instead of her swollen bowels. Getting stomach pains from not being able to digest the small amounts of food that she tries to keep down is not beautiful. The dark circles that are permanently under her eyes are NOT beautiful. The feeling she gets when she looks in the mirror is NOT BEAUTIFUL. This romanticization of something that could kill a person is absolutely repulsive and only feeds the statistics. 

Seeing girls fall to their knees out of self-hatred is anything but beautiful. These pro-ana, pro-mia, thinspo and bonespo blogs and sites need to be stopped. An eating disorder is a disorder, and they are deadly.


Image Credits: 1 2 3 4

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Kayla McEwen

PS Behrend

Kayla A. McEwen: President and Campus Correspondent  Senior at Penn State Behrend Marketing & Professional Writing Major Part-time dreamer and full-time artist Lover of art, fashion, witty conversation, winged eyeliner, and large cups of warm beverages.