I am talking about three words even more powerful – three words that can take down a relationship faster than the above words can forge one.
HAPPILY EVER AFTER.
Oh Mr. Disney, the power you took over us with that catchy phrase – and the power you took over nearly every single legendary romance in pop culture history as well!
You see, happily ever after doesn’t actually exist – at least not in the “The End” kind of way it does in film, television, music, poetry and books. But, deep down and no matter how wise and mature we grow, most of us secretly still think we are looking for our happily ever after.
Thankfully, both Abbie and I were cured of this disease years ago – thanks to Dr. Mary-Lou Galician, creator of REALISTIC ROMANCE®: The Thinking Person’s Relationship
Remedy™ and founding head of media analysis and criticism in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communication at Arizona State University. (I was her student, while Abbie worked with Dr. Galician on her master’s thesis).
Dr. Galician sees it her mission to focus public attention on unhealthy, dangerous media myths and stereotypes and to honor the rarer portrayals that provide healthy models of coupleship that can help media consumers “get real about romance.”
As part of her mission, each year, Dr. Galician works with a team of communications professionals – including her hubby, also a professor at ASU – to seek out and call out the best and worst portrayals of the media’s skewed version of “Happily Ever After” with the Stupid Cupid Awards.
Now in its 12th year and always announced on Valentine’s Day, the Stupid Cupids focus on 12 areas where the mass media – especially Mr. Disney and his merry band of stereotypes – is being dumb about love, including:
Among this year’s “honorees” are:
(She also actually honors 12 additional recipients, each showcasing a more realistic view of love and romance in the media, which are detailed here. Oh, and it should be noted that Dr. Galician and the team LOVED many of the above movies and television shows – it is okay to love them, just don’t model your romantic life on theirs.)
Now – the fun part! Try and guess which of the above movies, TV shows and songs fit which stereotype, then check your answers here. And, be sure to comment below with any of your favorite characters, shows, movies or songs that fit one or more of the above Myths. One of my faves – Sam and Diane from Cheers for #8!