“You…complete me.” (Do you really?)

“You… complete me- Jerry Maguire

Wanted: Right Mate

Wanted: Right Mate

The infamous quote of the century. My question is, how did Jerry KNOW that Dorothy could in fact COMPLETE him? Like she was the missing puzzle piece to his heart? (or she had his wallet…) There are countless movies, lyrics and books where they all in a round about way mention if you find the right mate who completes you, they will finally fill your every need and make all your dreams come true. (kind of a high standard right?)

From the textbook, “Sex, Love and Romance in the Mass Media,” dating expert Mary Laner suggest, ” that the depersonalization inherent in our mass media society might lead to unrealistically high expectations and individual longings for a close relationship in which one person will satisfy every need. “ Does the song … “Some day my prince will come….Some day when my dreams come true..” sang by Snow White ring any bells? Admittedly, we have all grown up thinking there is only ONE person out there that can truly complete us and make us happy. The reality is, the higher the expectations, the harder we fall when they aren’t met.

We see it in the movies, like most Disney and chick flicks, and also music lyrics with titles like “I can’t live, if living is without you,” and “You’re nobody till somebody cares.” Or you can go to the bookstore and buy the book, “From Your Lips to God’s Ears…Finding Your Right Mate in 10 easy Steps. (All for the small price of $12.95)  Some excerpts from the book,  “Are you lonely? Do you long for that special someone to complete you? Do you think that the right mate is impossible to find? This is a very unique little book on how to find that special someone that may have been eluding you in this lifetime.” (Not only do we have to find the person who completes us…but they may have been hiding?)

Having such idealistic views on who and how the right mate will complete you can only lead to disappointment and depression once your anxiety issues hit the fan. The path to success is to complete yourself instead of using that line, “You had me at hello,” every chance you get.

The following are examples of where we might have gotten this illusion.

Books – Cinderella, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Sleeping Beauty, and most romance novels

Movies – Pretty Woman, When Harry Met Sally, You’ve Got Mail!, An Officer & a Gentleman, Last of the Mohicans, Only You, Sleepless in Seattle, City of Angels, Only You

Television – 90210, Mad About You, Ozzie & Harriet, Dawson’s Creek, I Dream of Jeanie

Music – You Complete Me, Because You Love Me, All of My Life

True Love … is it predestined?

Haven’t we all heard that we have one true love and one day that person will come to us and we will just KNOW?

Dr. Galician number one love myth in her text, Love Sex & Romance in the Media is known other than:

“Your perfect partner is cosmically predestined, so nothing/nobody can ultimately separate you.”

Courtesy from ABC AustrailiaSure it seems surreal, but there are many who truly believe this love myth. In fact, according to Dr. Galician’s text, a “Rutgers University National Marriage Project study of 1,0003 young adults ages 20 to 29 showed a shocking majority (94%) of the never-married singles had a romantic, unrealistic view of marriage that included staying single until they found a ‘perfect’ mate.”

It has also been known that media critics suggest television is partly responsible for these irrational viewpoints since the majority of TV writers are young and single. Love is one of the oldest and widely praised emotion that is constantly exploited on TV such as the reality dating shows. Media critics have more than once calls these shows, “fruitless searches for the perfect mates.”

One blogger posted up a snapshot of her journal doodled with a checklist of what a perfect mate has to have. (39 points to be exact)

Another blogger had doubts, but after a month worth of lame eharmony.com advertisements on TV did she sub scumming to filling out of those dating surveys anyway. Realized after that 200th question of compatibility including, “Would you like her to respect your views?” After a grueling process of answer idiotic questions when honestly some should be left unanswered, she finally said, ‘There’s never a Perfect match.’

Below is a short list of what forms of medium are illustrating this love myth.

Movies -Bridget Jones’s Diary, Brigadoon, Cinderella, Fools Rush In, Grosse Pointe Blank, Only You, Sleepless in Seattle, Sliding Doors, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, What Dreams May Come, When Harry Met Sally, Women on Top

Music - You Are My Destiny, You Were Meant for Me

Television – Dharma and Greg, Friends, Sex and the City

A YouTube video below shows several women describing their “perfect” mate.

Love = Great Sex?

As that saying goes, SEX … it’s what’s make the world go round. (Is that how it goes?.)

It is one of the many characteristics that we humans have in common with all species. (Yes … including the praying mantis and probably ferrets … weird I know)

It is also a characteristic that sometimes makes or breaks-up relationships. Mary-Lou Galician’s textbook, “Love, Sex, Romance in the Media” has identified 12 love myths, including this one.

If your partner is truly meant for you, sex is easy and wonderful.

I can’t help but add that this idea sometimes leads to divorce when all the couple needed to do is work it out…but I digress.

Sex is an intimate subject that is used as a driving marketing tool for most media outlets. Magazines are a big part of this. According to Galician, “Magazines are often considered cultural barometers.” Women magazine’s are just as explicit as the ones that targets men.

Sex is promoted as an elixir to our society and as Galician puts it, “sex sell.” With these magazine covers advertising sex in an enticing way, it helps supports the publications while also fueling the minds of male and female readers of what love and sex are suppose to mean.

Glamour Magazine has an online sex survey that asks for the reader’s thoughts on whether being in love improves their sex life or vice versa.Here are some headlines on some popular magazine covers.

Courtesy from Cosmopoltain

Cosmo

“7 Relationship Truths Every Women in Love Must Learn” (That we MUST learn they say…)

Courtesy from Cosmopoltain

“Every Guy’s Private Marriage Checklist” (wow…a checklist?… Really?)

Courtesy from Maxim

Maxim
“SEX ME! – All Roads Leads to Her Bed” (wow…that sucks to be us…what if the guy is a douchebag…)

Influence … Video Games?

It’s been a known fact that experts and Joe Shmoe say that video games influence those that play them.

Then there are those that argue they don’t.

I say there are some that do … and don’t.

Courtesy from ps2media.gamespy.comLet’s take the well-known game, “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.” According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, it is “the hottest selling and, by reputation, one of the most violent game on today’s video market.”

In the defense for who do believe games influence gamers … to violence, teenager Devin Moore is a prime suspect for this suspicion. In fact, in 2005, he killed 3 police officers claiming he was influence by the video game, “Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.” According to The Inquirer, Moore said, ““Life is a video game, you have to die sometime.”

Ironically, the same parent company, Take-Two Interactive, that made “Grand Theft Auto” invented a game released 4 months later that say will “will prevent any excitement or emotional involvement, inappropriate or otherwise, on the part of the player.”

Can you say…cover-up?

One can’t deny the fact that any form of medium, whether it’s video games or television, does have some sort of influence to our society.

In my opinion, I think the biggest difference is when the viewer does not know what’s real or not.

According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Zack Hunter may think that, “Video games like “Grand Theft Auto” appeal to kids ‘who don’t know the difference between fiction and reality.’”

Blogger, Jay C posted a video of a documentary that depicts how video games affects our culture. He says, “Directors Marcin Ramocki and Justin Strawhand have created ‘8-Bit’, a film that examines the affect video games have had on our culture, whether it be through art, music or other creative outlets.

An artwork below from hardcircle.net uses our favorite Nintendo characters as players of violence.

Courtesy from hardcircle.net

A perfect woman? Impossible…

As a society, we love the media. Sometimes it seems like entertainment is the only reason to live. (Grey’s Anatomy…Hero’s…come on!) However, sometimes we have to question certain myths and stereotypes that arises that inevitability affect our society. Dr. Mary-Lou Galician’s text, “Love Sex & Romance in the Media,” once again focuses on a stereotype that has affected our society for ages.

“To attract and keep a man, a woman should look like a model or a centerfold.”

Courtesy from Maxim.comIn entertainment, there are beauties galore. From the fashion world, to movies, TV, book covers … even the hand models for lotion. It’s a huge stereotype that has affected real-life relationships and self-perception resulting in hazardous health and depression.

According to Dr. Galician’s text, “Unrealistic Playboy-style pictures of attractive women can have attitudinal and behavioral effects on men and on their real-life relationships. Real women can’t measure up to these seemingly real fantasies.” Unfortunately, this also affects young girls who feel they have to grow up to a certain irrational standard of beauty. On the flip-side, young males are also depicted as having to always have muscular body-builder bodies as oppose to feminized male physique.

Dr. Galician did a survey at Arizona State University on this particular question. Very few men or women agree that woman should look like a model or centerfold to attract and hold a man. As a result, within those small percentages men are far more likely to agree (around 15%-compared with only around 3% of the women).

Courtesy from USATODAY.com

Photo on the left by By Bru Garcia, AFP/Getty Images. USATODAY .com said the picture is of models who were to wait backstage during a Madrid fashion week. The Madrid fashion show, which ended Saturday, banned overly thin models, saying it wanted to project beauty and health. Organizers said models had to be within a healthy weight range.

USATODAY.com wrote an article asking if thin models warped girls’ body image. An excerpt from the article said, “The promotion of the thin, sexy ideal in our culture has created a situation where the majority of girls and women don’t like their bodies,” says body-image researcher Sarah Murnen, professor of psychology at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. “And body dissatisfaction can lead girls to participate in very unhealthy behaviors to try to control weight.”

For the folks that absolutely have to look like the cover model or the actresses on TV, there are actually self-help websites, blogs, books that say, “How to look like a Model.”

One blogger posted several pictures of celebrities without their make-up trying to prove how powerful make-up can be. This posted received a comment from an anotomyous blogger who said,

“Totally true. Plus a good hairstylist, good lighting, and good photography can make anyone look, if not glamorous, at least arty. When I was a kid, my father did some professional photography (really high quality stuff). He made everyone look beautiful or, for those with atypical proportions, visually striking. And I still use some of the tricks I picked up during a brief modeling stint 30 some years ago. Even now, I can look much “hotter” than I really am, though it takes more effort than I usually care for.”

Another blogger from NYC posts her own experiance. She wrote, “I wish I could believe that appearances don’t really matter, but we all know they do.” She goes on and mentions an encounter with a friend who constantly apologized for not looking as “hot” as she used to. She wrote, “After eighteen years of marriage, the wife of this ridiculously ripped man kept prefacing sentences with, “I know it’s hard to believe, but I was a catch when he found me” or “I used to be much thinner”. She felt like she had to apologize to the world for her appearance, even though she had found a beautiful man to love her. Now, no one rolls out of bed looking perfect.

Nicely put.

After the recent post, Cristina, a blogger, posted a comment in reaction to what I had to say:

Comment: “Gee, well…. it’s really hard. But I’ve started to accept my body, even though I can’t say it out loud, I just think I do. I’ve suffered from Anorexia since age 14 (I’m 27 now and recently entered treatment last June) and sure the media does tell women how they should look and how it will make them happy and crap. But it’s all a lie.”

Here’s my question to Cristina’s response:

Q: I’m glad you are in treatment and started to accept your body. If you don’t mind me asking, was one of the reason why you suffered from Anorexia as a young girl due to what you saw from the media?

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