No breathless updates on Jon Hamm’s search for love. No headline coverage of Ryan Gosling’s struggle to conceive. No suggestion that they are incomplete until or unless those milestones are achieved. You have to wonder what lessons this teaches little girls.
Maybe you don’t think it teaches any particular lesson. Maybe you’re inclined to dismiss the narrative precisely because it is media created. Maybe you believe it says nothing about the mindset of real women in the real world. Maybe you’re right.
One the other hand, the fact that the narrative endures, that it continues to sell movies and magazines, suggests it has more resonance for more women than one would like to think.
There is nothing wrong with love or with wanting or seeking a life partner. But we should question the idea, implicit in the narrative, that finding said partner is the singular goal of a woman’s life, her only route to happiness, and that until she has achieved it she is incomplete, even if she is as accomplished as an Oprah or as celebrated as a “Jen.”
Back when Snow White sang, “Someday my prince will come,” waiting on a prince — and raising his babies afterward — constituted pretty much a woman’s entire range of options. Seventy-five years later, women have options their grandmothers could scarcely have dreamt. So is it asking too much that we relegate this tired narrative to the junk heap where it belongs?
Snow White is a fairy tale, not a lifestyle.