Saturday, January 26, 2013

Does he exist?

Ack! I should really stop watching chickflick/romance movies (and books). Every time it makes me long for a sweet, well-built, perfect guy who usually doesn't exist. Tonight some friends and I watched Leap Year, which is a funny movie about a girl traveling to Europe in order to propose to her boyfriend on leap year. However, the trip does not go as planned, and she meets a rough Irish brogue (God did good on Matthew Goode!) and of course, eventually falls in love with him and all that.

This movie is fantastic (I've seen it 3 times), as are most other romantic movies, such as Pride and Prejudice, Ever After, Pearl Harbor, etc. And I know it's fine to desire to be married to a godly young man, especially at my age. But does this man exist? I think the young women in our culture tend to idolize romantic love and create men who do not have many flaws. As I've mentioned before, most books aimed at teenagers and even younger have relationships in them, and many of the young men in these stories are unreal. For example, Edward in The Twilight Series, Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice, Todd in the Christy Miller Series, Peeta in The Hunger Games, Kai in the Matched Series, and several others. Of course these characters have flaws, one must consider the context of the story, and the flaws of the men are usu. harder to spot because they are not the main character. And I like all these stories.

I just feel like we don't portray the struggles of relationships in books and movies very well, and sometimes put men characters on pedestals in (at least) young adult fiction for girls. Of course not all fiction does this, some show the boyfriends as humans who make mistakes; I'm speaking generally from what I've noticed. And if we write stories with the boyfriends raised up, then this will leave girls looking for someone who does not exist. There is no perfect man, there is no perfect relationship.

I struggle with this in my own writing. I want to portray characters, both male and female, who have faults and arguments and lives like ours, albeit in different worlds. I hope at least some of this makes sense; I'm processing it as I'm writing. And remember, I'm not against romance novels or books with love in them (as you'll see in the books I read and review). I just think we need to portray men and women as real people so we're not let down when we can't find a man like the one in the books we've read.

So, what do you think? Yay or Nay? Can you think of any examples of men characters on pedestals or as regular people in the media today? What effect, if any, will it have on our culture?

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