Can someone explain to me why in movies, TV shows, musicals, and more, when a guy knows every detail about a girl and has been in love with her for like four years but has never talked to her, it’s seen as cute or adorable? And yet, if a girl was in the same boat, she’d be seen as creepy and annoying.
Take for example, "Dear Evan Hansen" (don’t get me wrong, I love this musical) or "To the Bone" (also very good). In these stories, the main characters know tiny details about the person that they are supposedly “in love” with. In "Dear Evan Hansen," Evan Hansen sings a whole song dedicated to telling this girl things her brother had said about her to Evan. However, the brother and him had never been friends; Evan was telling her all the details about her he picked up on. In "To the Bone," a boy falls in love with a girl struggling with anorexia. They had known each other for only a few weeks when he decides he’s “falling for her.” It’s portrayed as though he wants to save her with his love, and as sweet as that might be, not everyone needs a hero; everyone should really be their own hero, in my opinion.
To flip the page, in "Friends," specifically the episode “The One Where No One is Ready” Monica listens to a voicemail from Richard and debates on calling back. Well, things spiral to her hacking into his answering machine, deleting her voicemail, and then accidentally recording him a new greeting. Over this breakup, they portray her as obsessive and crazy. In "Glee", Rachel adores Finn, yet she’s portrayed as obsessed because she’s so head over heels for him. Her “insanity” becomes a great source of comedy for other characters.
The entertainment world has caught society into the trap that guys can be obsessed and infatuated but girls can’t. I don’t know where these ideas came from, but it’s absolutely absurd. If a guy knew the small details and everyday habits I had but had never talked to me before, I’d find it creepy.
Problematically, infatuation is then disguised as love, when in reality infatuation and obsession is far from love. It’s unhealthy, and I’ve watched relationships turn from a positive addition in people’s lives to literally consuming their lives. Love is wanting to be in their presence all the time. Infatuation is needing. Love should be freeing; it shouldn’t matter who liked who photos, and who has streaks with who. Let’s be real: if you’re worried about your girlfriend or boyfriend having a streak with the opposite sex, then we’ve got bigger problems. Like c’mon people, they’re just streaks! The entertainment world has ignited this idea, but social media fuels it. With Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, and VSCO, you have the potential to see what someone is doing almost all the time. Going along with that, if the idea of a stranger knowing random things about you is bothersome, go private, and don’t let strangers follow you.
Let’s not forget how girls cannot exist in a film together without talking about guys. This is actually a test called the Bechdel test. For a movie to pass, it has three rules: the film has to have at least two women in it, they must be talking to each other, and the conversation must be about anything other than a man. Seems really simple, but think about it. Do men really think that while we all sit around we're talking about them nonstop? No, we talk about how much we hate our bodies or complain about school or how annoying people are in general.
I wouldn’t say I’m a feminist or have ever been in love, so maybe I don’t have the right standpoint on these, but I cannot be the only one bothered by it. Entertainment has made unrealistic expectations for love, women, and even men. Don’t be naive or too prideful to admit this: you’ve probably fallen into this trap once or twice.