How Rom-Coms Change How We See the Real World

For centuries, we have been fantasizing over the idea of "the perfect love" through romantic films, songs, literature, and other forms of art. Our innocent, lovey-dovey minds have been injected with some sort of chemical that persuades us to think that this is what love looks like; a beautiful woman with a tiny figure and a charming muscular man holding each other with such sincerity, staring intensely into each other’s eyes with joy, and leaning in for a passionate kiss. The media is constantly endorsing expressions that are related to the three romantic ideals; love is kind, love can happen instantaneously, and love conquers all.

However, the ugly truth does exist. The prince charming might not be head over heels over us, the one and only Valentine's Day gift we get could only be from our dads, and we might even be (God forbid) ghosted on Snapchat.

But we do have to admit that none of these would hurt as much if we did not plant any expectations in our heads. And as much as we do love to snuggle up under our cozy blankets and watch all the rom-coms on Netflix, this is where we get our expectations from. So here's a list of how rom-coms change how we see the world:

1. The Prince Charming

Romantic films have influenced their audience through unrealistic expectations, such as expecting their future partners to be undeniably handsome. It's no secret that the media influences young people’s beliefs about matters, such as beliefs about body image and size. We are taught that the ideal husband would need to have a tall figure, a sharp jawline, and an athletic body regardless of their personalities. Women are taught to seek an appearance rather than the character and the heart of their ideal partner.

2. Consumerism

Rom-coms delineate how women are introduced to the glamorous lifestyle of the male characters and are showered with luxurious gifts. In Pretty Woman, Richard Gere, who plays as a wealthy businessman, spoils Julia Roberts with fine dining, a polo game, and a shopping spree. In Fifty Shades of Grey, Ana is flown on an upscale helicopter by her love interest Christian Grey. This has taught the younger female audience that it is a necessity for men to come bearing gifts in order for their apologies to be accepted. Moreover, this may also affect girls in the real world, where these movies are able to transform intelligent young women into "gold diggers" to create an idea that a gentleman without money is not worth fighting for and make "sugar babies" a normal occupation for women in the present day.

3. Instant Love

Connection and love are depicted as things that happen instantly in rom-coms. One day you might see a couple on their first date, and the next day the male character is introducing the girl to his parents as they're planning their future together. But in the real world, it might take days to get the second date appointment, weeks to get to know their likes and dislikesand months to actually be introduced to their friends. 

In the end, we do have to realize that serious relationships don't happen very often in college. In fact, no one really has their future all figured out yet. So lower your expectations, but don't let people walk all over you. Until then, focus on yourself, boo

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