Tag Archives: Romance

"The Bachelor": The Formulaic Falsification of Forever

-Emily Fraysse

The visions of a Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty love story are seen as pipe dreams to young women. Those visions are reserved purely for the fairy tales they grew up reading. This changed in 2002 when The Bachelor debuted on ABC. The show began by generating perfected, artificial settings where regular, very attractive single women get the opportunity to “win” their prince charming. Every episode strives to reassure the viewers that the process of cocktail parties, single and group dates, and eliminations work to single out the woman that fits the bachelor’s needs and desires, and, ultimately, to fall hopelessly in love. The reality television show illustrates what this “true love” looks like—or, what it should look like. Once the bachelor picks the last girl in the season finale, he is supposed to propose to her (although they are allowed to refrain if they don’t feel ready).

To make a relationship last on a round-robin-dating show such as The Bachelor, the women have to do two things in order to “win” him. They must be able to fully immerse themselves in the man whom they have never spoken with before, and they must do so incredibly fast. They must be willing to show affection toward him physically, either during their one-on-one time or later on in the show if they get offered to spend the night with him in the Fantasy Suite. The same goes for the bachelor, as he is also required to show a certain amount of physicality towards to the women. On season 14, Jake Pavelka was seen as a questionable bachelor candidate in the eyes of Entertainment Weekly when they wondered if “Jake’s crushingly boring style of courtship” would even be worth watching. Yet, later in that season, Corrie Adamson, a 23-year-old virgin, explained to Jake that she was saving herself for marriage. Jake replied with, “I completely respect where you’re coming from, and that’s not an issue for me” just before he sent her sobbing to the limo back to her home in Alabama. The realm that the show creates has twisted what is considered “normal” in a typical, long-lasting relationship.

If a candidate does not perform as expected, they may give off the vibe that they are just not that into him or that they are holding back. During the six weeks that the women and the bachelor have together, they do not have any other choice but to show that they are falling in love in order to keep him in the end. For the women who are more hesitant to show their true feelings usually end up getting eliminated. By giving the bachelor constant, over-the-top affection and attention,  they have a better chance of “winning” him.

For the women on the show, it is all about attempting to stand out among the sea of love-hungry females by dramatizing and aggrandizing their proclaimed love for the bachelor. By placing the contestants in various environments, situations, and challenges, they attempt to stimulate a “real-life” effect, except most people don’t fly to their dates in a helicopter or constantly go to extravagant locations.

To the younger eyes, this show can seem very inappropriate and unrealistic. Not too long into the show, the contestants still standing are offered the Fantasy Suite date, which is not exactly a “normal date.” This is telling society that although he is dating multiple women at one time, this is what is considered normal and almost mandatory to do if you are dating someone whom you would like to spend the rest of your life with. In order to capture a man’s heart, the women must perform an intimate act, which seals the deal and reinstates their affection for him. The show enforces bizarre claims of sincerity and a belief in love.

For the young women watching the show, the program could send mixed signals and ideals about what is considered appropriate, normal, and morally right in a relationship. The show tells the audience that it is “okay” and “normal” to sleep with your escort of the evening, that no holds are barred, and that it is okay to put aside your morals to snatch up the man and do what is best for a show dependent on high ratings. Although it is a new generation of thinking when it comes to dating, relationships and marriage, it does not mean that basic morals are thrown out the window. The “Prince Charming” fantasy lives on in The Bachelor, which oozes magical matchmaking powers, “true,” “real” romances, and horseback rides on the beach into the setting sun. The show is not meant to be taken seriously and is in no way a model for the public’s own conduct.

Image from http://beta.abc.go.com/shows/the-bachelor

Five Ways to Celebrate YOU on Valentine’s Day

-Rache’ll Brown

Valentine’s Day is here, and for those of us without a significant other, it can be a bit of a bummer. Everywhere you turn, couples are looking longingly into each others’ eyes and being adorable. The affection overload may remind you of how alone you are, but this year, instead of feeling sorry for yourself, do something just for you! Celebrate your awesomeness by relaxing and having a good time doing things you enjoy. Here are some ideas to get you started.

#5 Hike

Grab your North Face and head out for a solo hike. The fresh air and exercise will make you feel great, and a beautiful trek will help you clear your head. I love Spencer’s Butte (shown above)—the hike isn’t too grueling and the view is unbelievable.

#4 Shop

The endorphins you feel while shopping will help you forget about everything else in the world. If you really can’t afford to buy anything, head to Gateway and amuse yourself at one of the tacky dress shops. You won’t regret it.

#3 Spa Day

Break out all of your best beauty tools and spend some time just pampering yourself. Paint your nails, exfoliate your skin, light some candles, and blast some Lana Del Rey and Frank Ocean.

#2 Bake

Cookies, cupcakes, brownies, whatever; get your Laura Vitale on, and dirty up your kitchen. Baking is a fun way to relax, and there’s no more enjoyable way to celebrate yourself than with a giant cake in honor of YOU.

#1 Movie Marathon in Bed

Cuddle up in your comfiest clothes and enter a committed relationship with your bed. Break out all of your favorite movies, turn off your phone, and spend the day in total relaxation.

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Internet Dating In A Modern World

 

-Aubrey Wieber

Recently, a friend of mine came down to Eugene to visit for a night and go to the bars. He had graduated two years prior and hadn’t been to Eugene for a while. I met up with him and one of his best friends, and we set out for the night.

At the second bar we went to, his friend casually mentioned something about meeting a girl there for the first time. This confused me. Was he looking to meet a girl? No, in fact he was waiting for a girl he had met online.

I was shocked. These guys aren’t the coolest people in the world, but they are young, decent looking, charismatic, and somewhat successful. How could things have gotten so bad that they had to resort to Internet dating?

I was extremely curious, so I asked more. The site they were using, and raving about, is called Plenty of Fish, or pof.com. They started telling me about their escapades with girls on the site and how easy and convenient it was, swearing the whole time that the girls on the site were attractive. They were so pleased with the website that they forced me to download the mobile app.

The next day I started thinking about the idea of younger people using online dating services and was curious enough to make a fake profile to see how it works. I went to Plenty of Fish, made a profile using an alias, and started looking through the profiles for girls living in Eugene between the ages of 18 and 25.

The bulk of the women were not exactly the cream of the crop, as I had suspected, but there was, however, a handful of decent looking young girls. I sent out some messages and waited to hear back. Within two days I was carrying on conversations with several girls.

Many of the conversations fizzled out rather quickly due to lack of chemistry, but there was something to be said for the convenience factor. Also, the girls seemed to be turned off when I asked journalistic questions like “What drove you to try online dating?” or “How has this website worked for you so far?”

Sure, I could find more attractive women at any of the campus bars four nights out of the week, but I was flirting with girls while lying in bed in boxers and a t-shirt at 10 a.m. on a Tuesday. I didn’t have to shower, put on a nice shirt, and most of all, I didn’t have to approach anyone. If I send someone a message and I don’t receive a reply, who cares? I will forget about it in a few hours anyway.

One of my conversations lasted a few days longer than the others but eventually I ran into the same sort of problems virtually flirting as I would in person. The competition is still fierce. Any decent-looking girl on a dating site is going to be getting more attention than she can handle so it helps to be charming and witty online just like it would be in real life.

One girl in particular kept writing back but with very short, one-sentence answers. I asked her to elaborate, tell me more about herself, and tell me what she was looking for in a guy. She simply wrote back, “Entice me.”

“Entice me?” I thought people retreated to Internet dating to get away from having to entice and impress. But alas, the Internet meat market is oddly similar to face-to-face dating. Everyone is using their A-game and trying to be as interesting as possible. Sure, it has its perks, but in the end I felt that the payoff didn’t equal the work put into it.

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Image from http://cdn.inquisitr.com/

Anna Karenina: How Life Is Driven By Love

-Marissa Tomko

I personally did not know much about the story of Anna Karenina before I saw the film. I generally have a rule of reading a book before I see the movie, but I didn’t have much time before my family’s spontaneous decision to go see this one. For that reason, I went into this film with a completely open mind and lack of background. I viewed this film not as an adaption of Leo Tolstoy’s work of literature, but as a work of visual art that stood on its own—and it marveled me.

Anna Karenina, directed by Joe Wright, starred Keira Knightley as the title character. It is impossible to describe here what this story is fully about, but I think that it is best summed up as being about how love can change your entire world. Anna Karenina spends this film torn between her marriage to her husband, Aleksei, and her new found romantic love with Count Vronsky. Her character is deeply troubled and complex, and even I could tell that there was no way to explore her complexities found in the print version of Anna Karenina—or those of any other character for that matter—in one hundred and twenty-nine minutes. That being said, I thought Knightley was perfectly cast in this role; you could see Anna’s troubles in her eyes. She portrayed a deeper story, something that is integral to making a film based on such an intricate text.

My personal favorite part of this film is also the most criticized part: its theatrics. Parts of this movie were shown on a grand stage, and I loved the abstractness it brought to the scene transitions. It portrayed the emotion of this film on a deeper level. It made me feel like everything that happened in the characters’ external lives was just a show—but the changing emotions, represented by the transition from stage to movie set, were real. As a piece of art, this film portrayed that the private and internal moments of love are what connect the less important, staged moments of our lives. This abstract idea is a hard one to portray visually, but I found Wright’s tactics to be successful.

Image from http://www.beyondhollywood.com