Nearly every movie is centered around a love story. Designed to gather interest, create sex appeal this is what people pay to watch. But do people just want to watch it because that’s what they’re used to seeing? Billboards on the street, Instagram, Tumblr, Snapchat, the most successful TV ads, celebrities…your surroundings make you believe the most important underlying thing in life is a significant other. The most common place to see this glamorized version of love stories is via movies; but that’s just what it is, glamorized. Life is not like the movies and it’s setting unreasonable expectations for both males and females.
Think of one movie that isn’t centered around a love story. Thought of one? Think of one significantly successful movie that doesn’t have one. Unlikely. As a female, I can discuss my perspective as a woman in which I feel targeted due to gender stereotypes pulling us towards being the wife, having the family, the white picket fence and the boozy lunches with friends whilst the hubby works. I admit it’s not that discriminative in the world today, but there is definitely some underlying factors or societal expectations forcing pressure.
Firstly, when a female is more promiscuous or more specifically has slept with a number of males, they are considered ‘slutty,’ ‘dirty’ or ‘unclassy,’ whereas a male in the same situation is considered a stud, a legend or desirable. Some may question this perspective, however, I have seen first-hand a group of females concluding that a male who has slept with lots of girls must be worth it, yet a girl who has done the same, a slut. I have also experienced a group of males take on a ‘wolf-pack’ mentality to degrade a girl whilst in a group but desire the same girl when acting individually. Thus, a female looks to settle down or yearn for that unreasonable expectation of ‘The Notebook’ or ‘The Titanic’ (there was definitely enough room on the door) without considering the sacrifices that may be made – a career, a more suitable partner, identity. For males looking for a genuine connection and relationship in their early twenties…good-luck; because time will not be on your side for another 6 six years until females decide the nice guy should actually finish first. Stereotypes are not on your side either due to the word ‘fuckboy’ being used more than the word ‘hello’ these days.
Secondly, females are more nurturing, collaborative and empathic in comparison to men and often react very more intensely to negative stimuli. Emotive cues displayed to females via movies, ads or on social media take a toll on how we receive this information. In addition, females do experience the menstrual cycle and although we admit this does have an effect on emotional processing, it is not a good idea for a male to make reference to hormones when defending themselves from wrath. For males, the biology testosterone causes males to protect, harness more aggression and to generally be more masculine. Thus, reacting emotionally to romantic movies or showing too many emotions is considered unmanly and is stereotypically unusual. This is an unfair expectation on males, considering scientific evidence often showing no cognitive and emotional difference between genders. If males feel a certain way, they shouldn’t be made to hide it. The pressures conveyed subconsciously to both males and females within movies, need to be discussed and made aware of for each individual to overcome. Stereotypes are just that – stereotypes; if you can pull apart their credibility, you will be able to find your real identity. This is to ensure our least favourite ‘step-sister’ called ‘loneliness’ is not pulling on our hair every five minutes when we’re trying to fit into the world.
Thirdly, there’s literally no way of erasing the fairytales, movies, advertisements, colour stereotypes, memories and psychological development that contributed to wanting your life ‘just like the movies.’ People of all genders, ethnicity, culture, and societies all hope for the perfect love story, however, movies specifically highlight and make individuals vicariously miss something they may have never had, or will likely never obtain. It is not a bad thing to want, yet having a picture-perfect, cinematic life is negative when it becomes debilitating. You are in control of your own life for the most part, if you want something, manifest and use the law of attraction. However, be realistic, be the best version of yourself, not the best version of Rachael McAdams in ‘The Notebook’ or Emma Stone in ‘Crazy Stupid Love.’ Make your own genuine storyline and only implement people who make you feel good, without the smoke and mirrors.