Euphoria dealt with the effects of pornography on children and teenagers

Nate finding his father’s porn collection at a young age is a cause for concern on his personality now as a teenager.

Hold on… I need to catch my breath because this second episode of Euphoria’s first season was more than I asked for. The whole experience for me was like a new friend giving too much information about her during our first hangout and I have no choice than to listen and squirm internally while acting like I am totally not freaking out.

First of all, I enjoyed the narration of Zendaya this episode. She sounded high as fuck but I needed her voice to guide me through this crazy town especially when we were given a back story into Nate’s childhood. I suppose even assholes need enough screen time to explain how exactly they became who they are. Assholes have a story too. 

One point for representation. Am I right?

Nate’s discovery of his closeted father’s porn collection scared me. Scratch that… it scarred me. I cannot imagine what it must have felt like for him as a young boy to discover his father was not just actually gay but a dominant male who enjoyed sleeping with younger men in motel rooms with a camera at hand. 

This resulted into a ripple effect of how a twelve year old Nate began to see himself. He strived for perfection and to be seen as the perfect son, the perfect quarterback, the perfect boyfriend. However, perfection comes with kinks and in Nate’s case it came with an obsessive preference for females who had specific features and disgust for those who did not.

Watching his father call his sexual partners who were mostly males and transgender females words like ‘’slut’’, ‘’whore’’ had an effect on how he viewed women as sexual beings. It also had a negative effect on his masculinity as it was very difficult for him as a teenager to feel secure around males in the locker room. He hated the whole ordeal which was deconstructed using flashing scenes of male nudity for about thirty seconds on this episode. Pornography has been around for a long time and how it is viewed in many cultures differs, the social stigma is wearing off as each generation pass along. However, exposing children to it at a very young age can be dangerous.

Speaking of our generation and their views on pornography, another character was faced with an enormous challenge this week. Kat’s supposed rendezvous with that strange dude from last week’s episode also brought a bit of drama on this episode. Apparently, there was a video being passed around on the first day of school from the Mckay’s party and the news spread quickly that it was Kat who appeared in the video.

Of course it was her but that is not the point. The point was that she never knew she was recorded in the first place. The sketchy video which only showed her back view was posted on a porn site by one of the twins who were in the room with her at the night of the party. Most people are failing to realise that consent is really important during an act of sex. You cannot post pictures or videos without the knowledge of the people involved. Unfortunately in most of these cases, the females are usually blamed and stigmatised. We see this make rounds on Nigeria twitter often and it is usually the female who are attacked. This was also the case in this episode with Kat. No one cared about the person who uploaded it in the first place. The news spread like wildfire within hours about who the female was and once someone told someone who it was. Kat was labelled the slut who had sex on camera.

Kat had a smart way of turning the story around in her favour. She knew no one could fully prove it was her in the video. So she stuck with the denial by telling Jules she was not the one in the video. A smart move she made was getting the twins to not only take down the video by threatening to report to the police of being a victim of child pornography (she is seventeen) but to debunk the rumour that she was in the one in the video. And when it seemed like everything was okay again, she was called to the Principal’s office.

The video had caught the attention of the principal and while the school cannot prove it was Kat in the video; Kat used this to her advantage by insinuating the principal only presumed it was her in the video because she was a fat person. This scene was beautifully done and as someone who is also fat, I never knew there could be a time on TV where you could use fat shaming to your advantage.

Is it because the girl in the video is fat? I’d appreciate it if everyone stop assuming it’s me. It’s one thing for my class mate to body shame me but coming from you Principal, it just shows how insidious and systemic body shaming is in this country…

To conclude, even though Kat was able to avoid her parents being called by the school about their child being involved in pornography she was still anxious if the road was clear. The video was taken down by the twins; however it had already been reposted by other users on the porn. The comment section showed how other viewers admired the female in the video to a point of someone saying he would pay to watch her have sex. This prompted Kat to sign up to get paid for making porn videos. I am not sure I am ready to see how this influences Kat in the coming episodes. 

However, I love how the issue was pornography has been tackled in these two episodes so far.

In a show depicting how teenagers navigate their lives amidst drugs, sex, violence and mental illnesses, you never know what each episode will bring you.

EUPHORIA airs every Sunday on HBO. But if you are Nigerian like me, wait a day after to watch it.

 

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