My Love/Hate Relationship With The Bachelor And The Bachelorette

My heart skips a beat when I see an advert for The Bachelor. You’ve got women in stunning dresses, men in gorgeous suits and of course, Andrew G (Osher will never catch on, it’ll always be Andrew G!). But as this season’s Bachelorette draws to a close, with the finale this week, I can’t help but reflect on my love/hate relationship with the TV show.

The 'contestants' on The Bachelor. Source
The ‘contestants’ on The Bachelor. Source

So I feel like I don’t have to go into too much detail as to why I love this show. It’s dramatic, it’s easy watching, it’s funny, awkward and entertaining. Don’t get me wrong, I’m completely aware that it’s created by producers, it’s not natural and it’s all for entertainment purposes, but sometimes my moral brain kicks in and asks ‘why are you watching this shit?’ So here comes the hateful side of this relationship… and it ain’t pretty.

There’s just something so morally wrong about fighting others for the affection, attention and eternal love of Sam (just in case you’ve been living under a rock, both the Bachelor and the Bachelorette’s names are Sam, so I’ll be referring to ‘Sam’ as both the bachelor and bachelorette). Why should we be competing for someone’s attention? It only encourages insecurity and doubt whilst fuelling bitchiness and the breach of the ‘brocode.’ Just think of it locally, on a small scale… imaging you and your three best friends all had a crush on the same guy. You wouldn’t spend the next few months flirting with him and going on weird group dates. In fact, you and your girlfriends would probably just settle on going out for dates with one another. The whole concept is just wrong!

It’s ridiculously white washed and clone-ish. As in, all the girls are attractive, tall, thin girls… and the guys are attractive, tall, muscley, blokey fellas. Has Channel Ten heard of diversity? It’s extremely misrepresentative of Australia and the men and women who live here.

Nice group of average height, toned, white clones, I mean men.... source
Nice group of average height, toned, white clones, I mean men…. source

Love isn’t a game. The amount of times the phrase ‘i’m looking for true love,’ is mentioned is enough that my friends and I managed to turn it into a drinking game. While yes you may be looking for true love, would you like some high resolution glasses because I think you’re looking in the wrong place. Literally. Think about it. For one minute. Imagine all of the millions of people we’ve passed in our lives, subconsciously thinking ‘they could be the one,’ and then being put in a mansion with 12 people and apparently, one of them is your ONE! Nope, nuh uh, don’t buy it.

How does living in a beautiful mansion and wearing dazzling dressed and suits allow you to get to know anyone personally? Wand to get to know people for who they really are? Take them camping for 3 months to the middle of a forest or dessert. I’m pretty sure that dealing with real life situations and not dates where you get a private helicopter tour is a much more efficient way to get to know someone. Also, it’s kind of setting the whole relationship up for failure. Unless the Sam’s can actually afford the frequent helicopter ride or bridge climb or snow trip or insert over the top romantic date here date… then they’re going to be disappointed when their weekends consist of movie nights in a dominos pizza.

However, we do learn some very valuable lessons…

Guys can be emotional.

A sequined dress doesn’t guarantee true love.

A kiss over 4 minutes long on top of the harbour bridge is just awkward!

Ritchie is the cutest human alive and shouldn’t marry Sam… hello Ritchie… I’m single.

And… the bro code should NEVER be broken… isn’t that right David?

Don't break the brocode David. Source
Don’t break the brocode David. Source

What do you think? Do you love it or hate it? Let me know in the comments below!

Researching Love and Romance in Films: Analysis of Text

‘From Love at First Sight to Soul Mate: The Influence of Romantic Ideals in Popular Films on Young People’s Beliefs about Relationships.’ – Veronica Hefner and Barbara J. Wilson.

I have chosen to analyse this research article because of it’s relevance to my own research task that I will be conducting in a group regarding; the influence of romantic films throughout time and how they’re shaped societies views on romance, using three popular films from their corresponding decade, An Affair To Remember (1950’s), Dirty Dancing (1980’s) and Friends With Benefits (2010’s).

Popular Romantic Comedy Films http://cdn29.elitedaily.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/51660bca20192.image_.jpg
Popular Romantic Comedy Films
http://cdn29.elitedaily.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/51660bca20192.image_.jpg

This text aims to ‘investigate content of romantic comedy movies and the effects they may have on viewers and the consequences of holding romantic ideals.’ The authors of this research are Veronica Hefner and Barbara J. Wilson. Hefner is an associate professor from the department of communication studies at Chapman University, California. Wilson has a PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is a professor Professor of communications at the University of Illinois. ‘Her areas of expertise include the social and psychological effects of the media, particularly on youth.’ Together, Hefner and Wilson are experienced and experts in their field

Their intended audience appears to be youth who watch romantic comedies (primarily females) and I am most definitely included in their target audience. Being a hopeless romantic and having seen countless romantic comedies, I am perhaps someone who holds these unrealistic ideals.

As this text is a research based, the authors are quite objective which is crucial to unbiased and accurate results. Hefner and Wilson carried out content analysis of ‘the 52 highest grossing romantic comedies from 1998-2008’ (pg. 154). Content analysis is an easy methodology to use as it is ‘unobtrusive,’ ‘provides valuable historical or cultural insights’ (contentanalysis.org, 2015), and can address ideas not previously considered by researchers. However, content analysis can be extremely time consuming, with Hefner and Wilson analysing over 93 hours of film (pg. 157). They also surveyed 335 undergraduates (pg. 150),

In their introduction whilst Hefner and Wilson are explaining the importance of analysing films (pg. 152) and the idea that media can ‘cultivate unrealistic and idealistic expectations’ (pg. 151), they acknowledge dozens of previous surveys, interviews and research projects conducted by other scholars, yet also highlight the unique points of their research and its significance. In their discussion, they address that their research is the ‘first of its kind to investigate an association between movie exposure and romantic beliefs’ (pg. 171), which expands on Robin L. Nabi’s research on romantic influence on audience through television. There is also three pages of references neatly incorporated throughout their paper which supports their findings and conclusion (pg. 172-5).

By analysing Hefner and Wilson’s research paper, it has helped establish ideas and further research ideas I can use for my personal investigation.

Further Reading

Nabi’s Research:

http://academic.csuohio.edu/kneuendorf/frames/phx/creativegeography/nabi_07.pdf

References

Hefner, V. Wilson, B. J. 2011, From love at first sight to soul mate: Romantic ideals in popular films and their association with young people’s beliefs about relationships, ProQuest, UMI Dissertations Publishing, accessed 14th March 2015, http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/03637751.2013.776697

Love Yourself This Valentine’s Day

Valentines Day. The one time of year we can eat chocolate, have our cheeks flushed pink, watch chic flicks and write clichés in cards… Actually that’s every other weekend for me. Regardless of how often you eat a box of heart shaped chocolates, there’s no escaping the fact that the 14th of February is all about love. And whilst it’s nice when you’ve got that special someone to spend it with, the most important date you’ll have on Valentines Day (and for the rest of your life) is YOU. Yes, I realize it’s clichéd to write about how important it is to love yourself but hey, it is Valentines Day. So here are some things you can do (or I try to show myself) a little loving.

Picture from http://www.personalityhacker.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/do-you-love-me_personalityhacker.jpg
Picture from http://www.personalityhacker.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/do-you-love-me_personalityhacker.jpg

“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”
– Lucille Ball

***

Buy that dress you’ve been eyeing off on ASOS to show yourself some appreciation.

Walk with confidence of everything you’ve accomplished and dreaming of.

Embrace your flaws.

Surround yourself with positivity.

Dream big and act even bigger.

Paint your nails blue, or green, or purple to brighten your day.

Play your music loud and sing even louder.

Call your family/friends and tell them how much they mean to you.

Have a relaxing bath with candles.

Cook a lovely meal for yourself.

Lay on a grassy hill and watch the clouds roll over.

Crack open a bottle of wine.

Binge watch How To Get Away With Murder (woops, too late).

Download Taylor Swifts album.

Put on your beautiful jewellery.

Write down all these things that make you happy and feel loved for future reference.

And don’t forget to finish this all off with a small box of chocolates… you’ve earned it.

***

Happy Valentines Day to each and every one of you. xxx A

Pont des Arts, the love lock  bridge in Paris
Pont des Arts, the love lock bridge in Paris

 

My Top 10 Films of 2014

Anyone who knows me, knows that I love a Friday night in, watching a good film. Topped with a friend and some chocolate, and the best part is, I can wear my pyjamas whilst doing so! So I get a bit excited whenever I see a good film because I feel that the world needs to know how good it is, so we can talk/cry/laugh/debate about it and we can later on watch it over and over again! So, these are my Top 10 favourite films from 2014 (note – they definitely weren’t all made in 2014, I love discovering good old movies too).

Interstellar - from https://cdn0.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/hOJ7McacTpu0RzTlhG1SszXoI10=/assets.sbnation.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/2396034/interstellar_holy_shit_shot.0.png
Interstellar – from https://cdn0.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/hOJ7McacTpu0RzTlhG1SszXoI10=/assets.sbnation.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/2396034/interstellar_holy_shit_shot.0.png

1. Interstellar – A movie that will leave you questioning everything we know about life. It leaves you in awe of our Earth and inspired to look after our fragile planet. For hours afterwards, I had conversations with my boyfriend about love, life, destruction, society, time, space and the never ending question of the meaning of life. It is a thought provoking film that is truly spectacular.

2. Trainspotting – I first watched this Scottish film with my friends at college. I love anything Scottish and therefore instantly loved it. It also has Ewan McGregor in it, so I was pretty much sold on the film before I even knew what it was about. It’s a dark, grim, realistic view of the world and the effects of drugs on individuals, relationships and the mind (something I’ve always found fascinating). It left me pondering the possibilities of the mind and the strength we have yet fail to use as humans.

3. Before Sunrise – After a strong recommendation from my friend with a PhD in film, I had to check it out. I related to this film so much! This movie envisioned so many of my experiences whilst travelling… I laughed, cried and was so inspired by the beauty of taking a chance, meeting new people and finding adventure.

4. In to the wild – Based on a true story, this movie made me question society and our purpose on this earth. The stunning scenery and sense of adventure and drive is truly breathtaking.

5. Midnight in Paris – If you haven’t made it to this beautiful city yet, the first five minutes of this movie will give you a beautiful, lively and detailed introduction to Paris. The idea of going back in time to the 1920’s is incredible as I’ve always had an unhealthy obsession with the roaring twenties. Featuring iconic artists from throughout time with the romantic backdrop of Paris, it just makes me want to go back and explore the streets at midnight.

6. In Bruges – Very unexpectedly dark, hilarious and filled with action. Featuring two Irish assassins in the wonderful (but extremely boring) Belgian city of Bruges.

7. Her – I love the futuristic (yet scarily present) theme of this film. It got me thinking about love, what is it, who we can love, how we can love… Definitely got me thinking a lot! And it’s got the voice of Scarlette Johanson, what’s not to love?

8. Sex and the City – not just the movies, but EVERYTHING Carrie Bradshaw! So there’s two movies, but the TV series are AMAZING! After watching them all, laughing, crying and filling my heart with love. It’s awkward, funny, secretly or not so secretly relatable and all four women represent a tiny part of us, leaving you feeling strong, confident and sexy.

9. La Vita e Bella – A beautiful Italian movie about the holocaust. The title, Life is beautiful, says it all about the movie, it’s simple yet beautiful. Warning, you may want to purchase a whole box of tissues prior to watching it.

10. How to train a dragon- Is this not the best kids movie ever?! I love it! The animations are awesome, the characters are brilliant and they have Scottish accents! The only sad thing about this movie is that you wish that you had a pet dragon!

Let me know if there’s any movies I have to see in the comments below!

x A

Tinder vs. the World

“Convergence does not mean ultimate stability or unity. It operates as a constant force for unification but always in dynamic tension with change. . . . There is no immutable law of growing convergence.” Henry Jenkins  

Tinder
Artwork by Jack Powell

Society is made up of many different individuals, all with different ideologies and interests, liking and wanting different things from the social media that they use every day. Social Media has the power to influence and alter individuals attitudes, beliefs and views towards certain issues “It has never been easier to be as influential as you can be today. Information is cheap. Information is easier to produce. And if you have a quality message, it’s never been cheaper  to get out” (Zeevi, 2013). With these strong and sometimes controversial messages being portrayed, like through the app of Tinder, tension and points of conflict are created between groups.

People who support Tinder generally have a more relaxed approach to relationships, hookups and casual sex. “I really have no shame in saying we met [on Tinder], I don’t think it’s embarrassing or humiliating. I think it’s just another way of meeting someone” (Mulshine, 2013). It is redefining and removing some of the negative connotations associated with online dating.

People who have more traditional ideologies towards dating, sex and relationships are usually critical of apps like Tinder. Dating apps are often seen as “channels you resort to when you are really desperate to find love or when you are really, really at your wits end in the romance department and can’t seem to get together with anyone.” (Celes, 2011). Others also  “think sex is not a game. It is NOT! It is a responsibility. A responsibility that kids and most adults I believe are not ready to handle it.” (Marie, 2014). 

This tension between ideologies revolves around the audiences personal attitudes, experiences and beliefs. Apart from audiences, it also brings into account other factors which affect these tensions such as Globalisation and Media Aesthetics. This relationship is demonstrated through the aspect of globalisation in Henry Jenkins 9 sites of negotiation between consumers and producers.

This globalisation of Western ideas through dating apps such as Tinder is just one example of how humanity is slowly sharing more in common contributing towards shared ideologies of ideas, values, thoughts. Due to this massive technological convergence, the gap between these initially conflicting ideologies are slowly disappearing, creating a universal group who belong to an online community; Tinder.

Sourced from http://static.guim.co.uk/

 

 

 

References

Daniel Zeevi, Dashburst, http://dashburst.com/social-media-influence-infographic/, written 18/02/13, accessed 28/03/14

Molly Mulshine, Beta Beat, http://betabeat.com/2014/01/tinder-is-the-night-high-speed-digital-app-gets-you-more-ass-than-the-l-train/, written 29/01/14, accessed 28/03/14

Celes, Personal Excellence, http://personalexcellence.co/blog/dating-myths/, written 11/07/12, accessed 29/03/14

Ash Marie, http://lifediscussions.org/view/?id=1904, written 2014, accessed 29/03/14

Henry Jenkins, The Cultural Logic of Media Convergence, International Journal of Cultural Studies, written 2004, accessed 29/03/14