Blog

Even.

Even.

 

 

“It’s good to have dreams, so long as they not fantasies. You let anybody sell you that shit, it’s your own damn fault.”

/Freddy/House of Cards/Season 3/

Struck A Nerve Magic Kingdom Edition: Why the princess love trope sucks

My essay from Struck A Nerve, March 16, 2015. The Magic Kingdom Edition and, in my opinion, the best show at SAN yet! (Probably because in an earlier sketch I got to play Ariel. We didn’t need to wear a costume. But you tell me to be Ariel and I say, “How high?”)

dustin and ariel

SAN Disney

Let me preface this essay by saying I think Disney is so cool.

I’m actually going to Disney World in a few weeks with my mom and all you Capitalism haters can suck it!

Disney is awesome. Its legacy inspired legions of great artists and shaped the mediums of illustration, movies, theater and songwriting.

The uh… sexism, racism and stereotyping, I think, can be forgiven at least in some part because of social mores at the time, even though, yes, the social mores can’t be forgiven.

Don’t throw the innovatively hand-drawn baby out with the magic bath water!

That being said, I’d like to talk about the trope of the princess love story and why it really just sucks so hard.

1) The princess trope assumes mostly just white people and heterosexuals deserve a love story.

- Let’s just get that one out of the way. Only in fan fiction does Ariel finally get to have that so-obviously-desired hate sex with Ursula.

2) None of the princes are really that awesome.

- Here’s why there’s no Sleeping Beauty Part 2. Because a few months deep into marriage with her prince, Aurora realized the total snooze fest was, in fact, married life. She ran off a few years later with the court jester.

Rarely did the princes have to prove their worth. Their excellence was just assumed. The Beast was perhaps the most dynamic emotionally — flawed and forgiven. But how lame was Belle?! No one is that perfect. Girl had to have been torturing the loser candles and time pieces in the palace dungeon or something. That sick bitch is really why Chip is so broken, they just don’t talk about it.

The stories of the Disney princesses were most exciting when they were having their own adventures. I always hated that it seemed like they were settling when their someday prince had finally come.

It’s always the princess that has to give up something — living near her family, dwarf friends, fins — to be with her soulmate. Rarely was it the other way around. And for what? Some hot dude with dominion over peasants and a raging daddy complex? Gross.

3) You have to listen to the hot girls talk about how they deserve to be treated like a princess.

- Y’all know exactly who I’m talking about… the girls who society most treats like princesses because they fit the accepted beauty mold, are always the ones saying they should be treated thusly.

Listen, ladies, don’t you think we should be more concerned with the fact that we have to use an archaic term to indicate that we deserve to be showered with love and affection?

Also, do you even know what real princesses were subjected to? You want to be treated like a princess? Actually, if you’re the type of woman who says, “I need him to treat me like a princess,” your father should select your mate based on who will best fulfill the destiny of his kingdom of used car lots.

4) Princess is a very loaded term.

- OK, so one time at band camp. No really. I was a sophomore in high school and it was that time in fashion history when statement tees in bubble letters were way cool. I was, literally, at band camp and I was wearing a t-shirt that said in silver “Princess.” Now, a follower of directions I have never really been and I was notoriously “excitable” and rebellious during band, mostly because I was second-tier cool everywhere else but in band I was a badass, so this band mom’s following statement to me wasn’t completely unwarranted.

She looked at me hanging out with my friends, looked at my shirt and then said very snarkily, “Yeah, I heard you were a princess.”

I laughed out loud and walked away, which was really the most appropriate response. If you’re a grown adult whose to do list only consists of leading the band boosters, hanging out at a high school band camp and talking down to a 10th grader, fuck you, but I remember thinking “Wait. When did this become a bad word?”

Princess, a role little girls are taught to admire, imposter and desire, quickly becomes a negative slur the moment you become sexually competitive or assert any real sense of independence. You’re a princess until you’re a “fucking princess.” It’s more confusing than the time get-a-job Simba saw grown-up Nala for the first time at ye ol’ watering hole.

5) The princess trope creates an unattainable standard for dudes, too.

- Unless you are the prince, you are a loser. Or you are a friend of another species, thus signifying and justifying your automatic friend-zoning. Or you are a sexually ambiguous sage. Or you are a creepy bad guy.

The whole meme of being a princess is that you are somehow special despite how pervasively average you may be. And somehow every little girl is allowed to live in this fantasy, at least for a time. Now, that is incredibly harmful I think because it subconsciously says little girls are the only ones in need coddling, but it has to also be harmful on the other end of things, right?

For one, this just creates a relationship ideal that is doomed for failure. Men are not made up fantasy princes. They are human beings with flaws and emotions and, sometimes, undefined jaws. The princess trope sets up girls to look for the perfect Prince Eric and totally miss the awesome Flounder right next door.

Second, the men in these movies who are not the princes are routinely emasculated or stereotyped in their own right. Ariel’s dad turns into a tiny penis-like worm, Belle’s dad being kidnapped and unable to save himself is the whole point of her story beginning, and the men in Mulan other than her love interest are just hyper-masculine dolts.

Sometimes even the princes must be saved by their princesses—a theme you see more in the movies from the ‘90s and ‘00s—a nice attempt at rectifying the damsel in distressing, but one that seemed to point to love happening as a result of saviordom, just in a role reversal from Disney movies past.

The newer movies just totally 180-ed themselves gender-wise. Now the guys, like the free-spirited prince in The Princess and the Frog, are the one-dimensional, du-dum-dum people in need of saving by the strong, beautiful, ambitious woman. Men, they seem to say, we don’t need you, but you totally need us to save your stupid asses.

6) Hello unattainable and unfair body standards.

And, again, I’m not just talking about for women, although the most recent scandal regarding the live action Cinderella’s impossibly small waist just proves that this is still, in fact, a problem (are only those pretty skinny girls the ones whose love story deserves to be told?), these movies are unfair to guys outside a certain body type too.

It’s no coincidence that Jasmine and Belle’s fathers both were squat little doughy guys whose shape was a metaphor for their inability to get anything right done. On the other end of that, check out the guys who are bad. Except for Hercules, because duh he’s Hercules, the dumb guys are always muscle bound bro types (like Gaston or the taking-orders version of genie that’s a mindless slave to Jafar) and the bad guys are usually skinny and dark (ie. Scar, Cruella DeVille and Maleficent).

I understand using a shape or style as a visual story telling cue, but at what point do you have a social responsibility to thoughtfully mixing up the stereotype? I think definitely at the point that you influence generations of children and use their interest to make billions off of your stories.

And, finally, number (7) on a similar note. No one, I repeat, no one looks good in layers of tulle. No one except a five-year-old. And me. At Disney World. Next weekend.

Tramps like us

OK. Without thinking too hard about it. What’s your favorite love song?

Perhaps a little Ray LaMontagne. Or a James Taylor classic. Taylor Swift?

My parents’ love song of choice is decidedly too cool for parents.

It’s “Crimson and Clover” by Tommy James and The Shondells. My dad is a dairy farmer, and they had two stuffed cows that sat in their bedroom when I was a kid. One was named Crimson. One was named Clover. Crimson the cow had auburn hair, like my mother.

Perhaps my affinity for strange love songs is hereditary then.

I think the best love song ever written is “Born To Run” by Bruce Springsteen.

Your lover calling you a tramp is perhaps not the most romantic Hallmark card in the aisle, but that song is perfectly about complex love.

It’s pulsing, exciting, dangerous.

I like that Bruce questions, in this love song to his girl, if love is even real.

I like that it’s pure poetry set to guitar strings aching. He wants to “run till we crawl.” I can’t think of a better way to say “I want to grow old with you.”

I like that it’s sexy. “Strap your hands cross my engines.” Come on!

And I like that they’re both admittedly fools running from things that do not suit them, even if they are safe and comfortable there.

I too feel like a tramp born to run. And I have for a while. It’s a fact about myself I learned thanks to another group of love song crooners—The Backstreet Boys.

During the time between my being a fifth grader and sixth grader, my uncle got a blood clot in his leg. He was hospitalized and down for the count for six or seven months, meaning he couldn’t work on the farm he owned with my dad.

In true 19th century peasantry style, the many children were thusly recruited as farmhands.

My three siblings and I and our two cousins were added to the milking schedule after school or on the weekends.

It seemed terrible at the time! My first clue that I was totally spoiled as a kid. I loved the farm before this—building forts in the hay mow, discovering kittens in the empty calf pen, holding the totally freaked out bunnies until they, well, totally freaked out and scratched the shit out of our arms and jumped away.

Now it was work, and it was work that I was really not good at as it required a tough stomach and a level of monotony my 12-year-old dreamer self had trouble mustering.

That same year I was starting to become more aware of culture. And by culture I mean Seven Minutes in Heaven, The Titanic, shaving cream and razors and, of course, the Backstreet Boys.

My friends and I were obsessed with these little blonde haired babes, who in hindsight were grown men singing about sex to 12 year olds, which is weird…

Regardless, a friend of mine got tickets to a BSB concert in Columbus and invited me. I don’t think I’ve ever been as thrilled about something before or since.

In preparation, we wrote letters to each boy of the backstreet. Included in our envelopes were love notes on wide ruled notebook paper. (We weren’t even used college ruled yet.) AND, hair clips.

Yes, remember those little snappy hair clips? They were huge in 1998 and were to a sixth grade girl on the playground what cigarettes were to prisoners in the yard.

But we gave them away, carefully curating who got which ones. Nick Carter got the best ones because we were asshole sixth grade girls and he was the hottest.

Their attractiveness and the illusion that they might love me was the sole reason I was a fan, if I’m being honest.

I didn’t get my own CD player until two years later in eighth grade and this was before the internet, so my fandom revolved around whenever I was lucky enough for one of their hits to come on the radio while riding to school with my mom or from the one issue of Tiger Beat my friend had loaned me in which they were the cover story.

The night of the concert, my friend and I climbed in to the back seat of her mom’s minivan and sang every song off “Backstreet’s Back” at the top of our lungs. Never having heard the non-hits before I totally faked the songs I didn’t know. <mumble mumble LOVE mumble mumble giggle>

I had never been to the BIG CITY before this point. Or at least not without my parents. Columbus might as well have been Paris, France.

I was hooked immediately, somewhere deeper than just my pre-teen excitement to see a band I loved. The nightlife, the people, the adrenaline, the action, the darkness. I was so enthralled by the tall buildings and the diversity of people. The possibility of love and a life beyond the teat!

The best part of the whole concert going experience is that my friend and I’s seats? Yeah, those were on the top level in the very back row. Nick Carter was like a whitehead on the face of the stage.

BUT WE SWORE THEY WERE WEARING OUR HAIR CLIPS. And I was certain Brian pointed at me, directly me, during his line in “Everybodaaaaay.”

We went home that night and sure enough the next morning, hungover on adrenaline, I had to milk cows.

I remember, as my mom dropped me off at the farm, being filled with rage and thinking to myself, “But I’m not a farm girl! I’m a Backstreet Boys girl!”

It’s quite humorous now, just how ridiculous that statement is. Some part of me knew even then not to say it out loud because it was so silly. But this was me feeling like a tramp born to run but with no other vocabulary for it than a tearful utterance that I did not belong here.

The Backstreet Boys set very unrealistic expectations of what love was but their music allowed me to be a dreamer. That’s what boy bands’ love songs are to little girls, healthy or not.

Throughout history the popular love song has been, well, popular. Even the Sumerians had love songs they would sing, although this was usually in regards to a human marrying a god, but romance tunes are nothing if not hopeful!

One of the first records of a love poems is from China circa 600 B.C. Its lyrics went like this:

“A very handsome gentleman/ waited for me in the lane/ I am sorry I did not go with him.”

You can only imagine the rousing bass line that had to have accompanied that little diddy!

I think love songs and reactions to it are the purest way to take the pulse of a society culturally.

For example, a during really repressive times for individuals, romantic love is demonized, like in Puritan America. Sermons were dedicated to warning of the love song and its carnal consequences.

You can also totally see the changing of gender roles or the way sexes interact by hit love songs or the purveyors of them. Think of the song by The Beatles “Run for Your Life” about how a girl better “run for her life” if she’s caught with another man even after they break up. I mean, even the most violent music today doesn’t even go that far under the guise of love. It’ll just pretty much state, “I am going to kill this bitch because she hurt my ego.”

Love songs, as unrealistic as they may be, are one of the only art forms that is crafted in very raw, real storytelling and not filtered through a fictional character.

Take that charming little love song “Rude” by the band called Magic. A young man asks his girlfriend’s dad if he can marry her. The dad says no, probably because the boyfriend is in a band called Magic. So, as the song continues, the boy asks the girl to marry him anyway.

Romantic? I mean, I guess. But I’m more intrigued by the fact that a cultural anthropologist looking at this centuries from now will point to this as an indicator of a slight social shift as far as marrying rituals go.

Popular love songs indicate how we see each other, sexuality, and the idea of love, for better or worse. Know a culture’s love songs, know its standards despite the hyperbole.

Take for example Ms. Taylor Swift’s most recent hit, “Blank Space,” and its line “Boys only like love if its torture.” What? Not true, of course, and a huge generalization, but I think that so clearly demonstrates that emotionally reactive stances are alive and well when love is involved and youth is still filled with delusion.

The lack of realism in love songs is to blame, I think, for why many adults just say fuck this and love lyric-free jazz.

Or it’s no surprise one of the top hits – and one of my personal favorites of last year— was a love song dedicated to oneself. Kendrick Lamar’s “I Love Myself” is such a fantastic song and a showcase of the changing ways not just individuals of a race sees themselves, but the way we as individuals speak to ourselves in this generation, or at least the way we are encouraged to.

The love songs we personally gravitate to, I’d argue, also say a lot about our personal lives, too. Look at the love songs you’ve loved throughout your life, how they’ve changed as your lovers have.

My love songs of choice have gotten more and more realistic. If my ex and I had gotten married, our first dance probably would have been to the Rocky theme song, and not just because we both liked the character. But because we both knew love and relationships is hard work.

Born to Run is now my favorite because it is honest about how soothing the idea of love can be when you find your ying to yo’ tramp self.

I only scoff at boy bands’ songs now that I used to love because they are so emotionally dumb—I’ve progressed so far past the Backstreet Boys. A lot of lovers do, in fact, really care who you are, where you’ve been, what you did, as long as you love me.

You’re not a farm girl, I would tell my younger self, but you’re not a Backstreet Boys girl either. But don’t worry you’ll figure out what you actually love and your love will be enough.

Also you’re really not at all nor will you ever be Leonardo DiCaprio’s type. Time to move on.

Not by the hair on my chinny chin chin! Because I shaved it.

My Grandma used to say

a face without freckles is like a sky

without stars.

What then, dear Grandma,

is a face without a chin hair?

Asking for a friend…

Shut up, chin hair!

She doesn’t need to know you’re real.

Enough people can see you already.

Seriously.

You’re terrible. And long.

How do you keep getting longer every time you grow back in?!

It’s like watching the child I didn’t want

grow up into a Republican.

Just kidding.

Children are fine.

And Democrats suck too, just not as bad.

They’d be, like, more transparent and not as harsh if they were a chin hair.

Why is it just you on the tip of my chin?!

I know why. Because

all your other chin hair friends moved

to my upper lip to get away

from you.

I dream of all the wonderful ways

to rid my aging porcelain skin of your

curly intrusion.

Because as much as I believe

in loving yourself no matter what,

I also believe I can do things better in the real world

if I love my appearance, too.

And I

don’t

love

you!

I’mma razor the crap out of you!

I’mma run that water so hot so you scald

as you scurry from sharpened blade

to your death down the drain!

I’mma not tweeze because I’m a baby!

The other day, perhaps in a stupor of exhaustion,

I imagined a lover kissing the soft skin that you call home

and you, in your ever increasing strength,

got stuck in between a crevice of his teeth

rotting his gum with your wickedness.

I’d laugh out loud at our shenanigans!

I wouldn’t even tell him that you, my chin hair, was in his teeth!

We’d just laugh together, you and I, until he went home and flossed you out!

I assume all my lovers floss.

But now the razor is hot and you are too long and I miss you already.

See you next month.

 

Winter. An occasional-introvert’s most wonderful time of the year.

Winter makes me feel so alone. This is wonderful.

I like aloneness. I like not feeling guilty about it. I like feeling cocooned inside, stuck under my apartment’s warm sheets with only books and Netflix and the infrequent text for company.

It’s exciting when the outside world feels so dangerous and I am safely sitting on an armchair, slipping my finger between the dusty blinds, peeking at the slippery chaos.

Winter is the time for projects and dreams and catching up with yourself. To Cabin Fever I am forever immune.

No FOMO, because everyone else is trapped inside too. I have an excuse for doing nothing at night and eating chips from the bag and writing writing writing instead of dancing dancing dancing.

I love spring, of course. But I will savor every winter moment of loving, lingering lonesome until the last snowflake has melted into the budding dirt.

Walking winter alone. <3

Walking winter alone. <3

Bad Bitch vs. Basic Bitch: A New Kind of Mommy Wars for Millenials

If you’ve never heard the term Basic Bitch, watch this:

Basic Bitches, as the pop cultural consensus goes, like Ugg boots and inspirational quote tattoos and lady dates and Pinterest.

A Basic Bitch had time to make this.

A Basic Bitch had time to make this.

Bad Bitches are young girls who probably smoke weed or at least think it’s fine if you do, sleep around and generally live life pretending like they don’t give a fuck what you think. They’re most commonly the ones making fun of and spotting Basic Bitches, more than happy to differentiate themselves from the predictable pack of giggling, boring, presumably popular girls.

I'm a Bad Bitch. I'm special. Please believe me. Please.

I’m a Bad Bitch. I’m special. Please believe me. Please.

At least those are the general indicators of whether you are a Basic or a Baddie. (And note, differentiating oneself as one or the other seems to be a very heterosexual girl thing.)

But when this woman on woman name-calling happens — because it’s only ever women who I hear calling themselves or each other Basic Bitches or Bad Bitches — I have noticed one very subtle distinction between the two classifications, and it has nothing to do with Ugg boots, hideous may they be.

And that is this: A Basic Bitch is defined by someone else — Britney’s bestie, Steve’s girl, Angela’s sorority sister. A Bad Bitch is defined by her own self, actions or identity.

But what happens as these Millenials, the people using this term, get older and the packs start having kids? I mean, I don’t think anyone has studied the numbers on this, but I’d put my money on the hypothesis that the Basics get married young and have babies and the Baddies do other stuff.

As a grown woman, it’s a little more subtle. Basic Bitches are the ones passive aggressively calling out Bad Bitches for taking too many selfies. Meanwhile, their social media pages are nothing but photos of their babies.

Listen, if the Bad Bitches can handle your overexposure of Baby photos, Basics, you can do the same of their overexposure of feeling like a Babe.

Because in a way, Bad Bitches’ photos of themselves are their photos of babies. They themselves are what they have been working hard to create — their body, their life, their money, their weed dealer or whatever.

And this self-separation from the Basics comes from a very genuine place of annoyance, I think. More at society that actual other women.

At my recent high school reunion, a former classmate who has a toddler told me she looked at my life on Facebook and always thought that’s what her life would have been like if she hadn’t had a kid.

I know she meant this as a compliment and I absolutely took it as such. But here’s the rub. A statement like that kind of dismisses everything it took to get to where I am, including some really difficult growing and employment experiences. It’s not like I didn’t have a child and suddenly I’m living this free wheeling, grand life in the city.

A friend of mine has referenced similar situations, having friends with children who never come visit her or tell her she just doesn’t understand what it’s like to have a kid.

They’re right. People without children don’t know what it’s like to not have them. But people without children are still busy and have things that are just as important to them and require care, attention and time.

And it is, I’ll admit, annoying when other women just create an entire identity for themselves because they had a child — and get a lot of societal respect for doing so. Meanwhile, developing a life, career and personality without having a child is not, generally, considered complete, even though it takes just as much — if not more — self-reliance and work.

So calling someone a Basic Bitch becomes this way of making a Bad Bitch feel better about herself until society catches up and gives equal fucks about our accomplishments. Men don’t need to make this distinction because they are respected as just a whole person straight out the gate.

But…

I have decided that seriously calling yourself a Bad Bitch, or even generally caring about which you are perceived as, is actually kind of Basic.

And, really, we all have a little Basic and Bad in us.

By differentiating ourselves as one or the other, we’re continuing a very long, misogynistic legacy of women as Good v. Bad, Madonna v. Whore, Working Mom v. Stay at Home Mom v. “She’ll Figure Out She Wants One Someday” Non-Mom. All of which have very negative consequences in regards to both sexes seeing women as whole people, whatever our interests.

Let’s just be Badasses instead.

Because every bitch loves a quiz. Design by Lisa Ragland, a badass.

Because every bitch loves a quiz. Design by Lisa Ragland, a badass.

Struck A Nerve Rom Com Edition: Facebook Killed the Rom Com Star

san

The Romantic Comedy as we know it is dead.

This beloved genre’s demise is not just because TV is getting better or because Tom Hanks and Freddie Prinze Jr. are getting old.

Nay, the culprit is coming from inside your pocket.

Social Media has murdered the rom com.

Yes, the time suck that is Facebook, Tinder, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat, ChatChat, TapDat, AssHat…

has irrevocably changed how we interact with, write and consume the time-honored first-world tradition of romantic comedy.

First, let us consider the plotline problem.

The lost-then-found lover is a motif as important to the rom com as spritely mischief is to Shakespeare.

These tales of old-flame-returns-for-high-school-reunion or mysterious-man’s-child-keeps-calling-me-from-Seattle seem quaint in the era of social media.

They seem *so* not plausible today that if you tried to make a movie with these storylines, you’d lose viewers. Instead of getting lost in the story, they’d be thinking about how this just wouldn’t happen. Why wouldn’t she just look him up on LinkedIn?

The last thing you, as a writer, want your audience to do is to start asking questions about plausibility. We all know love isn’t real.

Here’s a specific example of rom com plotline extinction.

Do you guys remember the movie 40 Days and 40 Nights? It’s a movie with Josh Harnett and the hot girl from Wristcutters (that’s the better movie to watch if we’re doling out Netflix suggestions here).

Anyway, Josh’s character swears off sex for 40 days and 40 nights, but, alas, during this time he meets the would-be love of his life, hot girl from Wristcutters! So he hides from her what he’s doing, she thinks he isn’t that into her, cupid’s arrow is nearly for naught. (The moral of the story, to 17-year-old boys, here is to always have sex asap.)

Social media’s role in our modern lives would not allow for any of this story to unfold the way it does. First, the couple meets in a Laundromat and connects over how hot girl from Wristcutters circles words she doesn’t know in the book she’s reading so she can go look them up in the dictionary.

HA! She’s reading a real book!

If this were happening in 2015 and not 2002, she’d be all up on her phone either googling the words she doesn’t know as soon as she finds them or, let’s be honest, digging into her ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend’s step sister’s Instagram photos from a beach vacay to the Dominican Republic.

“Her baby is super ugly.”

So not only would this couple likely not meet, if they did, the dude character would have a hard time hiding his abstinence mission and thus, hot girl from Wristcutters would never go experience the folly of misunderstanding her potential lover’s intentions.

After all, in 2015 he will have taken this opportunity to start a blog and podcast series following his sex-free adventures so he could share them on his Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages and hopefully get a book deal.

Because rom coms, the gluttonous slinger of gender stereotypes that they are, teach us that all guys are all about the Benjamins until he finds love he didn’t know he wanted… and they need you to stop fucking playing Sixpence None The Richer’s “Kiss Me” on repeat already.

HASHTAG YOU’RENOTJESSICAALBA

Furthermore, catching a cheater is no longer visually interesting, which is kind of a key element of a film.

And cheating, or at least thinking someone is cheating, is a blockbuster plot device. But today, this is what it looks like:

1) Receive text from friend about potential cheating.

2) Turn red, hyperventilate, furiously text lover.

3) Cry quietly as you scroll through now-ex’s Facebook feed looking for any shred of evidence.

4) Chug whiskey alone.

Not exactly the most sexy, riveting stuff. And because things can happen so quickly, romance is kind of a lost art. On Tinder, you can literally scroll through hundreds of potential lovers while doing nothing but eating cheese and crackers off your belly.

This is not the type of scenario for which God made men as gorgeous as Ryan Gosling.

We’ve become desensitized to romance. After all, your girl can just get on Pinterest and post quotes full of loving sentiment you could never come up with. Oh, and your guy can just go read your Pins to figure out what is required for you in particular to woo.

It’s why kids these days prefer their romance from the mouths of babes that turn into werewolves during the full moon.

Social media lets you be whoever you want to be, let’s you concoct or express a whole well-rounded personality and, on the positive side of that, helps eliminate stereotypes – you are not just the weird girl in art class with glasses, you are a complete person who has family photos and interesting things to say about world events and look at this whole album of selfies taken without your glasses on!!! Social media is a confidence booster. It reinforces the idea that you can be whatever you want!

But here’s one thing you can’t be anymore. And it’s a thing that is also incredibly important to the rom com cannon—a magazine reporter.

Some of my favorite romantic comedies revolve around the career field of magazine journalism. I think this is because it’s glamorous without being too POWER BABE (heaven forbid), plus most of these screenplay writers were probably once journalists so publishing is a world they understand.

How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days, Sex and the City, The Devil Wears Prada and Morning Glory are all great rom coms starring characters who work in journalism.

Here’s the thing though. Social media is also singlehandedly murdering print journalism. Today’s newsroom is anything but glamorous. The editorial meetings are no longer about which champagne to offer on the set of a fancy photo shoot but how to convince the unpaid intern who is five out of journalism school to stay on board – man, at least after sweeps!

Hardworking journalists are being replaced by hardworking bloggers and freelance content sharers. But finagling in your pajamas with your accountant on the phone about tax writeoffs isn’t nearly as sexy as a fun loving, wacky work crew that always seems to be there for you when your dream man is aloof.

Finally, because of the fast paced and argumentative nature of social media, some of our favorite rom coms wouldn’t even get made today.

Consider, Grease. If you do not know the plot of Grease and the melody of at least one of its songs, you clearly didn’t know a theater kid in high school.

Cover your ears if it is possible to spoil the ending of Grease for you, grandpa.

Olivia Newton John’s wholesome Sandy gets all slutifued by her pink ladies to impress the Danny Zucko.

Granted Danny also donned a letterman sweater at the school carnival to impress Sandy but that decision was quickly revoked when everyone just silently admitted that it’s way more fun to be a bad bitch than a basic one.

But you know who would’ve been all over that plot line of woman giving up it all for a love? jezebel.com.

And probably all the Christian organizations you can think of, for other reasons. But basically this movie would’ve been a flop before it went direct to DVD, jazz hands cart wheels and dancing hotdogs be damned.

Same goes for the abusive principal in The Breakfast Club. And the patriarchal town in Footloose would’ve had its own reality TV show before that movie could ever get made.

We are think piecing  ourselves out of a good old-fashioned, gender-roled love story, people.

So in conclusion social media has made us too savvy, too homogeneous and too stalker-prone to enjoy  romantic comedies. The stories seem as fake and contrived as Channing Tatum’s abs.

For the real funny drama we’ll just all turn to Facebook.