The world loves a storybook romance, a Prince and Princess tale that always ends with a happy ending. Every blockbuster success has always followed this formula and women everywhere (myself included) have flocked to films, products, media posts, articles, books, magazines, fashion to purchase symbolic relics of that myth of a magical union.
Hey, I Bought the Twilight Books Too:
I can’t say that I wasn’t aware of this. I definitely was not an innocent bystander. I genuinely enjoy the concept but not in a traditional way. I am a woman who believes strongly in Women’s Rights, Feminism, and Equality. I’m also an artist. Put those together and you get a very perplexed, pensive, concentrated woman itching to get to the bottom of why I do the things I do and make the choices I make. Plus, I am prone to naturally analyze everything, so I was shocked that just about everything I liked had these archetypes in them.
Why I Enjoy A Happy Ending:
I’ve watched some sad movies and read sad books where the endings weren’t easy to discern and there were many shades of gray. It’s not that I reject these completely, it’s that it’s not as satisfying. Documentaries that “make you think” and full-length indie films that challenge the viewer with downright unlikeable characters or characters that you cannot relate to at all are okay in small doses. I’ve come to realize that my personal response to Cameron Diaz dancing around a table with Kate Winslet, Jack Black, and Jude Law gives me the warm fuzzies.
It all boils down to hope. I want to believe that the fantasy of a perfect relationship can actually exist. I want to believe that everything (no matter how sordid or twisted the plot-line) will eventually work out in the end. Maybe there’ll even be a wedding or a kiss at the end. Then, I can sigh and pretend and wish and dream and then move on with my life. It’s like taking a breath after being submerged in water. Because, let’s face it–we live in uncertain times. Every day I see a news article about the terrorist group ISIS, or see another darn commercial about saving a life (the two and four-legged kind) and have to endure a heap-load of reality before lunch that would turn anybody’s stomach. Too much makes me feel like the walking dead.
So I like to be able to go to the supermarket magazine rack and pretend to know what the future King and Queen of England are planning. I like to watch Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt finally walk down the aisle and see their children’s doodles on her veil. I like to believe that all’s well somewhere on some remote plane and that my access to it is just a movie ticket away.
I. Get. It. I’ve been indoctrinate since birth. I will always respond to “heartfelt” sentiments on Valentine’s Day, the big, warm sweater-hug from a cup a cocoa during the Christmas season, and will always cave to buy a ticket to the latest Titanic-Avatar-Harry Potter-Twilight-epic-blockbuster-of-the-year. I can’t help it. I even want to buy into the mythology extending these moments with rides at some theme park, super-expensive passes to fan conventions, and the occasional purchase of marketed products and gimmicks for a more visceral experience.
But then it happens…
Regret. I mean, it’s not so much that I didn’t enjoy myself immensely as I participated in these novelties; it’s the fact that afterwards, I create my own backlash.
The price of purchasing the Prince and Princess products (alliteration, yay!) is that you are literally giving yourself the same type of temporary high you would if you were shopping for a sweater and end up with a cart full of “impulse” purchases. We all do it. But, why do women who truly are loving every minute of it returning to Debbie Downer mode once the craze is over? In addition, when we continue to “buy into” the marketing for whatever it is, why do we feel so dang ashamed for coming full circle and behaving the way we have been regimented to behave? Why the self-loathing? Why the guilt? Why the yard sales?
Wouldn’t it be a much stronger position to accept ourselves just as we are? Why can’t I say unabashedly that yeah, I dressed up in fantasy clothes like Bella from Twilight because I liked it? *gasp!*
*hushed voices from the peanut gallery*
Isn’t it more empowering to shamelessly say, “Yes, I bought this lipstick shade because Beyonce Knowles wore it at the MTV Video Music Awards.” Or to charge a heap-load of cash for a scaled model of the Starship Enterprise? I mean, who cares, right?!
The fact is that I live in a free country where I have the ability to enjoy these things. Images and celebrity can be a lot of fun as long as you’re not stalking anyone, stealing anyone’s identity, or turning your home into a hoarder’s paradise.
It’s just an escape that can be held onto long after the lights have come back on and you’re heading to your cars before another work week. And what the heck is wrong with that?