After reading a recent article written by the Huffington Post titled "Disney Princesses Who Would Probably Be Divorced By Now" got me thinking about the relationship between our favorite Disney movies growing up and divorce. Think of some of the factors that come into play in a divorce. There's money, infidelity, loss of passion, etc. the list could honestly continue for days. Has anyone really thought about reasons such has mental conditioning as a child? I know it sounds a little ridiculous - I mean who would even bring up an accusation like that. Well I am and this is why.
When we were young some of our fondest memories revolved around our favorite movies and television shows ranging from Disney princesses to Disney princes. All giving us a sense of what true love really is. Who didn't want to walk into the forest for a casual sing along with the local bluebirds, catch eyes with a gorgeous prince or princess and think to yourself "We will get married, have babies, and live happily ever after in a huge castle with Wi-Fi" Seems so realistic, and plausible when you are five and the biggest issue you have is whether or not you should drink that third Hi-C before your nap. Now don't get me wrong Disney movies gave us great role models to give us a strong perspective of what chivalry really is and how we as men and women should treat each other with a possible spouse. The issue is they show the butterflies without the poisoned apples that arise with any relationship.
After the "and they lived happily ever after" what happens? Did Princess Lamborghini tell Prince Less Charming that he needs to get off the couch and get a real job? Or did the prince get mad at the princess for getting hooked on fairy dust? We will never know because we don't see that part of the story. What we are conditioned to see is the perfect relationship over and over again without seeing the problem solving, bickering, and the basic balancing act that's marriage.
I am a 26 years old and I have never been married, but I have plenty of experience in consoling my handful of friends that thought they found their soul mate only to have their fairytale come to an end. Whether there was something Disney thrown into their vows, a Disney song playing at the reception, "Happily ever after" painted on the back window of their limo, or the fact that any guy or girl can sing the majority of the lyrics to Lion Kings "Circle of Life."
So the question is, did the movies that we watched when we were growing up impact our perception of what true love and marriage should be? Some would argue no way I had my parents to show me, others would say Disney is just for little kids. I wonder if my generation has been fooled by storybook romances. I get that divorce happens very often – maybe as often as 50% of marriages. But I also continued to be surprised at the number of "young marriage" divorces that happen. Is it old school Disney pulling wool over our eyes? Is it our new fast paced "social" world making everyone else's life look so much better than the one we live in? Probably a bit of both with a number of other things mixed in.
But maybe Disney has played a part. Why couldn't it impact the way we see love? We will never know but it is a good conversation topic. Though i'd rather have the fairytale kind of love, we all know the real kind deals more with washing dishes and finding time for each other between soccer practices.
Hakuna Matata everyone.
A 20-something Thinking About Divorce
PS- Are you a 20-something affected by divorce? If so, what is your perspective?