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You- Normalising Obsessive Behaviour


The Netflix series You centers on the anti-hero Joe Goldberg, a compulsive stalker who doesn't waste any time attaining what he wants. The first season of the show was about a girl named Beck whom he met while working at a bookshop.

We can tell Joe is a psychopath from the first episode of the first season. Throughout the course of the season, he initially gets Beck to like him, then when he learns she doesn't want to be with him, he kidnaps her and eventually ends up killing her.

Season 2 introduces Love, with whom Joe once more falls deeply in love. This time, though, Love is just as fixated on his obsessions as Joe is, if not more so.

Being honest, I was a little disturbed while watching this series because it seemed to mainstream issues like obsessiveness. Obsessiveness was the subject of many memes that were widely shared on social media. Posts with the subject line "When he thinks I'm not insane" were often accompanied with a photo of Joe.



It's crucial to understand that while these jokes may seem amusing at the time, having a stalker or someone who is genuinely "obsessed" with you is scary. Posts along the lines of "If he isn't obsessed with me, I don't want him" are typical nowadays. There are songs that emphasize and romanticize the same obsessional themes, but it's vital to highlight that these jokes have an impact on how we think. Although we may believe that being obsessed with your partner is a good thing, watching You made me understand the actual meaning of fixation and reminded me that being obsessive is undoubtedly bad.

What do you guys think?




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15 Comments


Brilliant post! While I haven't watched the show myself, I remember coming across memes all over Instagram and the first thought that came to mind was: Is this not stalker behavior? If it is, why is the show promoting such behavior in the first place? It is also sad to see that while the fault of creation in such shows lies with people who actually produce and publish them, some fault lies with us as viewers too. There are so many problematic media products like You that have been hyped up and are uplifted by the audiences. This gives the media industry a green signal to continue to produce more content along similar lines.

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You displays very toxic and dangerous behavior from both men and women. It promotes obsessive and stalkerish behavior from both men and women. When the tv show first came out, everyone almost immediately brushed over the facts that Joe stalked, kidnapped, and murdered people and went straight to "he's so hot." this not only romanticizes toxic behavior amongst young adults but also idealizes them more and more young women have started believing that if their partners' arent controlling, then they don't care enough for them, and this breeds the rise of toxic relationships that only leave people leaving sad and devastated, in the best case scenario, the worst case is them having to deal with abuse of all sorts. the…

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These movies and shows promote obsessive behaviour and portray it in a way that is attractive to the viewers which ends up being very problematic as those who watch it are young and have impressionable events.

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kashaf noor
kashaf noor
Dec 11, 2022

I completely agree with the post. I remember watching this show for the first time, and I couldn't believe that people were actually putting the relationship that Joe and Beck, or Joe and Love, had in a romantic light. The worst part is people romanticizing Joe's obsessive and stalkerish behavior, and several teenage girls on social media say how 'they want Joe to kidnap them and whatnot.' This is extremely problematic since it promotes a culture of obsessiveness in relationships, where the habit of stalking, kidnapping, and being overly possessive is normalized. Young girls these days actually look for men with those traits where the men are overly possessive, and assert their dominance over the women by being abusive. It…

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Besides You as well, many shows, movies and books promote the message of extremely toxic obsessive behaviour. The worst part is that it is romanticised. My only question is why? Is this kind of behaviour actually attractive to people?

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'You' for me has been one of the most problematic shows ever. It kind of romanticized the stalker behavior of men and so its younger audience started getting attracted to this kind of behavior. 'If your man is extremely possessive for you then he is the right one'. These ideas became more and more common, and people started fantasizing of even having 'dangerous men' as partners just for the thrill of it. In the real world, this is not true. This possessive behavior is nothing short of a red flag but on our media, we have made a joke out of it and have made memes. While reading it I realized how this all starts with shows and audience obsessing…

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Yes exactly. It always starts from the media we consume and ends up in us romanticising toxic behaviour.

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This toxic, stalkerish behavior has been so romanticized that people literally cannot see how problematic it is. The show 'You' was meant to highlight how toxic Joe Goldberg is but because it was Penn Badgely, a handsome white man, people ended up fetishizing the way he stalks and behaved around Beck and Love. Even when the show began to show him murdering people, twitter and TikTok continued to romanticize his behavior. And now teens and even adults have internalized this behavior. People actually don't see a problem with obsessively stalking their significant others and may even go out of their way to do so. Such memes just prove the toxic culture that this show has created and how if one…



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I agree! Even today, if we open tiktok, it's full of videos about how they wish their s/o was obsessed with them. Videos with captions like "when he says he's going to sleep but is actually gaming" and then they attach footage of their s/o through a hidden camera. It's really messed up and obsession seems like love and everyone wants it until they have it which is when you realise it's detrimental towards your mental health.

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