Unrealistic expectations

Most people don’t complain about Disney. But when they do, they complain about how it gives young people unrealistic expectations about things such as life, relationships and ‘happy ever after.’ I have seen the memes saying “Disney gave me unrealistic expectations about hair,” and “Disney gave me unrealistic expectations about men.” There are even arguments on the web about whether Disney is to blame for women’s “too high” standards. First, if we want to blame Disney, we should blame almost all of television and movies as well. Second, it is not really their fault.

Growing up, and as adults, we watch Disney movies and chick flicks and action movies and get that rush of excitement. That is what we watch them for: to feel something out of the ordinary and to escape our own lives. Watching the girl get the guy in the end or the smooth spy walking away as the building behind him blows up is fun. We wish that could be us. But it isn’t, and we know that. That doesn’t mean we can’t take some lessons from movies. They may not be the best examples of real life, but there is almost always something to be learned.

Yeah, Rapunzel had to have a chaperone take her to see the lights, but she didn’t let anything get in the way of doing what she wanted. Cinderella ran away and waited around for her prince to come to her, but she worked hard in life and never expected anything to just be handed to her. James Bond is reckless and plays with danger, but he does what he is told, and he does his best to protect what he loves.

We can watch movies and television all day long and distance ourselves from reality, but in the end, they are just entertainment. We can’t expect everything to be like we see on the big, or little, screen. Just like in books we read or advice we take, we have to take everything with a grain of salt. The girl always gets the guy in the end with some elaborate act of love and devotion. This just isn’t real life. That doesn’t mean it never happens, though. It just means it doesn’t happen like it does in the movies.

Everyone can have a “happily ever after.” It just isn’t quite what the movies make it out to be. It is different for everyone and it happens at different times.

You can look forward to things in life, but you can’t expect them to be exactly how you picture them. You probably won’t stay with your middle school sweetheart like Cory and Topanga did. You can’t expect your trip across Europe to be like “Eurotrip”. And you can’t expect your current group of friends to stay close like the friends in “Happy Endings,” “How I Met Your Mother” or “Friends.” That doesn’t mean you can’t try. You just have to roll with the punches and take things as they come. Examples like these, or plenty of others, are great to strive for, but we have to remember not to expect something unrealistic. Don’t blame Disney or television for high expectations of life. Enjoy the entertainment and remember that it is just that: entertainment.

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