We’ve all experienced the Honeymoon stage of a fresh relationship. “This is IT” you think, as you playfully daydream of your wedding day to this man of your dreams. You’re a 16 year old girl again, doodling his last name with your first and babbling nonstop about him to your friends. The contentment you feel is incomparable, as it’s in a class of its own. Infatuation does that- and frankly, it’s a bitch. When your perfect new relationship begins to disintegrate, you quickly deem it a “bad match” and are peppered with “I told you so” from miserable people who hate themselves. Here’s a notion: many of today’s relationships are doomed- not because of a bad match, but because today’s society prevents true intimacy and commitment from happening in the first place. The main culprit is the Media, as they are literally in our heads every hour of the day: websites, television, stupid E! Network, and emerging dating apps are causing your potential shot at love to fail. How, you ask? Read below:
1. Celebrity break ups/cheating scandals are glorified: Seriously, this needs to stop. Why are we so obsessed with their love lives? Why do we care? Oh, that’s right- because we are forced to. Websites advertise this gossip via social media, and we are victims to an uncontrollable amount of coverage that flood our phones, computers and televisions. Twitter allows us to stalk the celebrity in question, and we squirm in angst awaiting the post that directly/indirectly addresses it. The media has made the lives of celebrities extremely accessible to our society, and we feel as if we know them. They are our friends and we are entitled to know their personal life. What we are not realizing is how this is affecting our lives on a most personal level. We have accepted break-ups, cheating and serial dating as the norm, since it is so common among the ones we admire.
Example: Brangelina. Today, this iconic couple maintains an untouchable reputation of a “lasting relationship”. We glorify their union and praise them endlessly for charity work and adoptions. Um, HELLO. You must have forgotten that they betrayed the most sacred bond there is: Marriage. The media shifted from the “Brangelina Scandal” to the “Brangelina Love Story” and powerfully influenced us to be their advocates. This is what they do, every. single. day. We cheat because we are brainwashed to believe that it is justifiable. We betray each other because we are taught that selfishness is the key to success and happiness. The worst part is that we have zero control over this influence, as it’s literally everywhere.
2. We are not allowed to love ourselves, therefore we cannot love others: Yes, you read this correctly. Body image is a huge topic of debate and controversy in today“s culture. Fat Shaming” and “Skinny Shaming” are recently trending terms that literally insult one’s God-given shape. People hate you if you’re fat, and people hate you if you’re thin. The media has manipulated the concept of “self-acceptance” into a world of criticism. Also, I feel it’s unnecessary to mention the already obvious obsession with being thin.
Common terms such as “Thinspo” (“Thinsperation”- typically a fitness model who shows off her perfect bod on Instagram) have taken precipice over more attainable goals… such as, I don’t know, leading a rich and fulfilling life? The Media is not dumb. They’ve learned to capitalize on the Health trend, promoting body perfection as an attainable aspect in order to sell, sell, and sell. Example: The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. We are all obsessed, I get it. They’re flawless, legs-for-days goddesses, and we are unworthy to even watch them WALK. How do you think we came to this assumption? More importantly, how do you view yourself after watching this fashion show? Not great, I bet. We will never attain the perfection that is marketed to us regularly via the Media. As a result, we shame each other in self-defense, aching to feel some type of physical superiority. This directly influences any relationship with another human being, as self-hatred spreads like a virus. It’s deeply saddening to come to this realization, especially since it is not your fault. You were doomed the moment you turned on the TV.
3. Dating websites and apps have become shallow, and only promote promiscuity: Tinder, Tinder, Tinder… how you’ve fooled so many of us. This dating app has taken the world by storm, due to its convenience and shallow selection process. While more reputable dating sites such as EHarmony and Match promote commitment, Tinder has turned us into a “hook up” generation, as we shallowly select our matches based on physical attractiveness. This app is directly marketed to our generation, as it floods Facebook with its never ending advertisements. Again, the Media is convincing us that physical appearance and sexual attractiveness is the only thing that matters. As a result, we are failing to recognize the right qualities to look for in a potential partner: kindness, respect, intelligence, goals, etc. Here’s an example to ponder: I have a friend who literally prevented herself from liking a WONDERFUL man, simply because he was her height. She made a deliberate, conscious decision to cut him out of her life, because of an easily-overlookable physical characteristic. Today’s dating apps have turned us into “swipe left or right” robots as we interact with each other, preventing us from committing as we fixate on flaws. This is how we date, ladies and gentleman.
I’ve only touched on a few points relating to the Media, and how they are affecting our relationships. These, I felt, were the most important to bring to light. Given the power of the Media, stopping their influence is an impossibility. All we can really do is simply reduce the amount of trash we watch (Bravo network should be banned) and view daily. Read real books, with substance, relating to a time where people courted each other. Go outside, you know, into the real world, and allow yourself to meet people naturally. Lastly, be nicer to yourself, both physically and mentally. And please, please, please… delete Tinder.