The Hallmark Channel. Whether you love it or hate it, you definitely know it and its reputation for cheesy romance movies all year, but especially around the holidays. Hallmark Channel has already begun advertising their new Holiday movies coming out this year and playing reruns of movies from years past. They're immensely unrealistic, but always find a way to put me in a festive mood. They all have happy endings, and it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I'll always watch them despite being able to predict the plot of nearly every single one, but recently I've realized the negative impact they place upon someone being single.
Every main character of these films starts out single or in a bad relationship, and doesn't find true happiness until the end of the movie when they find a positive, healthy, happy relationship. Obviously, being in a bad relationship isn't something that should be celebrated, but being single should be.
These films put a lot of pressure on audiences to get into a relationship in order to be at their happiest. While watching, you can't help but wish that that kind of magical or spontaneous love story would happen to you, regardless of whether you're happily or not-so-happily single.
None of these movies revolve around a friendship or someone discovering something about themselves; they follow an individual chasing after someone else, and not being fulfilled until they "get them." This creates an unhealthy view of relationships, especially for younger viewers. This kind of plotline tells people that being single isn't something to be proud of, you should be searching for a significant other whenever you don't have one, and you can't be fully happy unless you are committed to someone else.
If you want to start a relationship, that's great! But, if you're enjoying the single life, that's great too. While I still love Hallmark movies (and will watch a ton of them this holiday season), I will now watch them with this idea in mind.