We are surrounded by popular culture. Even the hipsters who make it their life goal to avoid popular culture cannot deny that it is EVERYWHERE. We have music, films, books, social media and even memes giving us expectations of what we should do with our life or how it should look. This can be inspirational in a few cases, for example, being interested in the eco-system and being environmentally friendly is now so much a trend that people pick up litter when jogging or on holiday; travelling and spending money on experiences is more valued than materialism and consumerism. However, how does popular culture bode on our ideas for relationships?
Jamie from Friends With Benefits sums this up perfectly: “I've got to stop buying into this Hollywood cliché of true love. Shut up Katherine Heigl, you stupid liar!” Yep Jamie, life is definitely not like a Katherine Heigl movie, be it The Ugly Truth, Knocked Up, or 27 Dresses, whichever way the plot may take us to 'true love'. Chick-flicks and romantic comedies in the past have made us women believe that we either have to go through a complete physical transformation to ‘bag the guy’ or manipulate them into doing what we want them to. It tells us it's because we can’t just act ourselves, we have to lie about our interests or our jobs so that they'll be interested in us. Or on the flip side, be interested in someone who has no interest in us, and ‘end up with’ the nice guy in the background all along. No wonder men fear the ‘friend zone’ so much — whatever that is (a made-up concept by males that think a woman is their property, leaving egos deflated when they're ‘rejected’, even though the women made her feelings clear in a polite way). It literally tells everyone that if you act like who you truly are or are nice, you're ‘settling’.
Apparently the ultimate guy must have the nice house already, the car and the high-paying job before he's attractive to a woman. So not only is this unfair on us women for being taught to value those things in a potential lover, but it's highly unfair on the great men who perhaps don’t have those things in their life, or hold different values, as well as perhaps not looking like a Hollywood actor. Having a nice relationship with a nice guy is not settling, that’s what a relationship is! Find someone cool who gets you and you them, do cool stuff together and if inclined to, have lots of sex!
Luckily this trope is now becoming outdated and are standing aside for movies like Bad Moms, The Other Woman and Bad Neighbours 2 where women actually stand together, they have personalities that don’t meet the stereotypical ‘girly’ woman, and bagging a man is not the end and only goal. And they don’t radically change themselves in order to do so. However, I'm yet to see a film that celebrates the other types of relationships, such as casual dating for fun, fuck buddies, exes who remain friends without resentment or jealousy or polyamorous arrangements, for example, without wanting an attached thang at the end.
Can one of you film badasses direct a chick-flick or rom-com anytime soon?
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