Watching movies with my daughter this week I have started to realise how unhealthy some of the ‘romantic’ plots really are. Some of them are slightly uncomfortable, and some of them are downright creepy. But we have been conditioned to believe that these things are ‘romantic’ and desirable, and when you think about some of them, and the things that we are teaching a whole new generation of young girls. It’s unhealthy.
Here are some of my top examples from various stories:
The romance – Prince beats his way into palace and kisses Sleeping Beauty and she awakens from 100 year sleep and they fall in love.
The issue – Random bloke hears about incapacitated woman and decides to cop a feel. Can we say sexual assault?
The romance – Prince opens glass coffin to kiss ‘dead’ princess because she is so beautiful.
The issue – Prince opens glass COFFIN to kiss DEAD princess because she is so beautiful.
Beauty and The Beast
The romance – incarcerated woman learns to see past appearances and falls in love with her ‘captor.’
The issue – young girl sold by father to stranger plus Stockholm syndrome made sexy.
The romance – downtrodden young woman has makeover, goes to ball, enchants Prince and they fall in love.
The issue – appearance is everything.
The Little Mermaid (the real story, not the bastardised Disney version)
The romance – mermaid gives up everything for the love of a human
The issue – mermaid gives up everything for the love of a human who doesn’t want her so she drowns herself. Moral of the story – you can’t live without a boyfriend
And that’s just fairy stories. When you take into account novels, movies etc, and really look at some of the things we are told are romantic, you’ll get chills. Twilight is an example I use a lot when talking about this. Everyone coos over how ‘romantic’ it is until you point out how controlling and emotionally abusive Edward is and how he slowly strips Bella of all of her opinions and choices – she doesn’t even get a say in the clothes she takes on honeymoon with her, let alone where she lives or how it’s decorated etc. She becomes completely and wholly dependant on him. It’s not romantic, it’s a warning to young girls everywhere.
I’m actually quite scared now of what we are being led to believe is acceptable and romantic, when in reality it’s just a cover for something much darker and much more disturbing.
Bet you’ll never watch a Disney movie the same way again.
Til next time,