This week was always going to be one for the history books. Had Hillary Clinton emerged victorious from what many have branded the most brutal election campaign in American history, the 69-year-old would have become the first woman ever to lead the so-called land of the free. But triumph she did not, and instead the world must now come to terms with the fact that Donald Trump, a businessman and reality TV star, a man who has no political, diplomatic, or military executive experience, has been elected as president.

Credit: PA

In a matter of months, a figure who has always seemed more like a caricature than a fully-fledged human being underwent a metamorphosis so extreme, many initially dismissed the possibility with raucous belly laughter. The 70-year-old New Yorker began the race as a novelty act, gradually mutating into a credible option in the eyes of 47.5% of the voting electorate, or at least more credible than the former Secretary of State and First Lady. Amidst the racism and sexism, Trump's approval rating soared, and the hope which characterised both of Obama's presidential campaigns has been replaced by fear and intolerance. Trump is by no means to blame for the current state of the world, but he has taken advantage of the worst aspects of human nature and spun them into victory. It's like Black Mirror, except it's real and it's happening.

Credit: PA

That is why we need David Attenborough more than ever. Without wanting to sink to the level of fear-mongering that Trump built his campaign on, the world feels distinctly darker- as if it's taken one too many punches over the course of the past year and has waved the white flag of defeat, exhausted and incapable of striving for better. The world's moral compass has taken relentless knocks, jolted out of joint by the tyrants of the world who operate in all spheres of life, from governments to the media. But for one hour on a Sunday evening, prejudice and fear take a backseat, with nine million people tuning into the first episode of Planet Earth II, revelling in the majesty of nature in ultra HD.

Credit: BBC

It was the finger snap which brought us all back from the madness, just for a moment, to the very essence of the world in its purest form. Instead of apocalyptic headlines and hyperbolic doom saturating our retinas, we watched with bated breath as a newborn iguana chose life, wriggling from the coils of ravenous racer snakes to reach the safety of the sea. Our hearts soared as a penguin couple were reunited after weeks apart, their monochrome bodies performing the bows and bobs symptomatic of joy. We grinned like Cheshire cats as a pygmy three-toed sloth took to the waters in search of his mate, and our jaws slammed to the ground as two armoured Komodo dragons fought for supremacy. The hashtag was trending even before the programme aired, and it continued long after.

Credit: BBC

Despite Attenborough's work being a feature of many of our lives for many years, now, more than ever, the need feels greater. The timing feels especially important in light of what has happened in the United States because while people are giving in to the dark side of humanity, this documentary showcases the traits which we should champion and protect at all costs. These creatures are fighting for their lives. Fighting to keep their heads above the water. Fighting to be free. They must survive, as we must, even in the face of adversity. If that isn't a motivation to be better, I don't know what is.

Featured Image Credit: PA/BBC

Abby Robinson

Abby is a writer for Pretty 52. She's an animation enthusiast, daydreams about roaming the wild with all her animal friends, and is failing to conquer her trainer addiction.

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