TV Show Review: Glamorization of ‘Euphoria’ distracts from show quality

Traumatic themes of ‘Euphoria’ should not be romanticized online



Social media often aestheticizes hit shows, and in the process the important messages get lost.

SYDNEY DOWNING, Evergreen columnist

The hit HBO Max drama “Euphoria” is getting more attention every day. Throughout social media, specifically TikTok, the show has been going more viral than ever since its premiere in 2019. 

“Euphoria” features an amazing cast, including Zendaya, Hunter Schafer, Sydney Sweeney and Jacob Elordi. They truly embody their roles and make the show come to life. 

When the show first aired, the uniqueness of the outfits they wore and makeup designs went viral almost instantly. A new trend started on social media that involved “Euphoria” themed events,  outfits and recreating makeup looks that were in the show. 

It is completely OK to recreate the clothes or makeup looks that appear on the show. Unfortunately, many take these recreations too far and end up glorifying the themes of trauma at the centerfold of “Euphoria.”

I have seen so many TikToks idolizing the characters (not the actors) and posting how people want to be like them – as if we forget the characters are teenagers in high school dealing with the worst things any kid could possibly go through. 

This show is much more than an aesthetic or costume design. The plot itself is about the everyday trauma that disturbs the health and lives of these young characters.  For example, Zendaya’s character, Rue, struggles with an addiction to hard drugs.

Since the show premiered and exploded in popularity, many social media users have reacted insensitively to addiction and tried to relate to Rue’s traumas in ways that are not the same. 

Addiction is not something to glamorize; it is not something anyone should be trying to relate to.

The show is heavy. Really, most high schoolers should not even consider watching.

There are countless triggering scenes that graphically show addiction, trauma, sexual assault and even multiple instances of domestic violence.

Glamorizing addiction and the other themes in “Euphoria” can influence younger teens watching the show to want to be like the characters. They might think that is how high school and adolescence are supposed to be.

I hate to say it, but we all know people are easily dragged into following “trends.” 

The things that happen on the show like that are tragically happening around us all the time, which is why it is so important to not romanticize or glamorize them.

For example, Jacob Eldori and Alexa Demie play Nate and Maddy, two very toxic characters who manipulate and harm one another throughout their relationship. Yet, the couple is idolized by many fans of the show, with some even calling them “goals.”

In no way is this couple’s relationship a “goal” anyone should be aspiring to. They are just plain toxic.

When abuse is romanticized this way, young viewers of the show become desensitized to it – or worse, they may genuinely think it is something to aspire to. Consequently, they might not recognize the signs of abuse if it were to ever happen to them in real life.

As you are reading this, you are probably wondering why anyone would even consider watching a show so dark. 

For all the darkness, the show is still amazing in so many ways. The acting is incredible, the music choice is perfect and the show’s stylists and makeup artists on set are basically in total control of the latest trends.

After all, “Euphoria” did not gain its popularity for no reason.

With new episodes currently airing every Sunday, I am for sure keeping up with it. 

However, the themes of the show can be extremely triggering. It is important to know your limits before diving headfirst into such an intense viewing experience.

If you do decide to watch, keep in mind that what the characters are going through is not something to be glamorized or romanticized.

Also, proceed with caution – once you start “Euphoria,” you do not want to turn it off.