Gossip Girl turned 10 years old this year and it was a bit of a celebration. It trended on Twitter and we saw pictures and gifs popping up all over social media. Don’t get me wrong, I love Gossip Girl! As a matter of fact, I have been watching the show since it started. I have all the episodes stored on an external drive and often watch the entire show all over again on Netflix. Yet, there are few things that really bother me about the show.
1. Abusive relationships
Let’s start with the most obvious point. Abusive relationships. Best represented by the idealized relationship between Blair and Chuck. In season 1, he is emotionally and psychologically abusive towards Blair: he blackmails her, destroys her, betrays her. And he does not get better in the following seasons: he gives her hope about building something with her to ultimately break her heart while preventing her to build any relationship with anyone else. Then he sells her for a hotel. As much as I am trying there, I don’t see anything romantic in his behavior. The fact that they are the main relationship of the show is just idealizing an abusive relationship.
Serena, Blair and Jenny are all three victims of slut-shaming. Serena through her past experiences and her reputation, that her boyfriends keep on reminding her of. Blair when she sleeps with Chuck to finally get back together with Nate and being shamed for it. And Jenny went she has a one off with Chuck. Whether they have many adventures or just a one off, the treatment is the same. They are shamed. Sometimes in a subtle way, sometimes in a not so subtle way. Sometimes by fellow students, sometimes by friends or family. And always women of course.
3. Twisted female friendship
Some people might say that the friendship between Serena and Blair is strong and friendship goals. Sorry but no. In 25 years of existence, never have I been acting in such a way towards my female friends. I may not have always been a model friend but never have I gone so far. Sleeping with your best friend’s boyfriend just out of revenge? Come on! Even within Blaire’s clique where girls are ready to do anything to be in spotlight and turn on each other for no reason. It just shows that female friendship does not really exist and is just motivated by opportunism. Not such a good example for young girls watching the show
4. Bullying glamorized
Something that didn’t shock me when I started to watch the show, and I apologize for that. I paid more attention when the discussion about bullying was out. Now that I think about it, the message sent by the show is awful. Blair is a bully. If someone stands up to her, she destroys them. Disagreeing with her, same treatment. If someone seems smarter than her, there you go again. And even though she pays from time to time, she still gets back to being a bully to get what she wants. She never gets fully punished for her past action and ends the series untouched (even though she improves in season 6). I don’t think Chuck or Serena are better by the way, because even if they are more subtle, they still happen to be bully in their own terms.
5. The double standards
Probably my favorite. The double standards you can see everywhere in the TV show. Starting with Serena and Chuck. Both have a reputation of having a busy sexual life. While Chuck does not face any consequences, Serena is clearly described as being the local whore. When Nate cheats on Blair with Serena, nobody makes a big thing of it. When Blair sleeps with Chuck before getting back together with Nate, everyone shames and humiliates her. In season 1, Dan, 16 years old, dates Serena, everyone finds it adorable. In season 3, Jenny, sixteen years old, starts dating Damian, she is schooled: she is too young, she has to focus on school, he is too old for her, etc. Double standards as strong as they can be!
Again, Gossip Girl is a show I really enjoy watching. Yet, the more I watch it, the more I find disturbing things. I just wanted to share them with you and hear you out on them. I hope I didn’t ruin the show for you and I still think it is worth watching as it also has its pros.
Did you watch Gossip Girl? Did you like it? Was there anything that ever bothered you? If yes, what? Does this post make it you look at the TV show from another eye? Tell me what you think!
Thanks for reading. I hope you liked this post.
See you soon,