Rebel Wilson’s new movie, Isn’t It Romantic, explores what it would really be like to be stuck in a romantic comedy. And while we haven’t seen the movie yet, we love the premise. Romantic comedies can be fun to watch. There’s a part of us that loves the idea of the “perfect man” sweeping in and of falling head over heels in love. But there are definitely a lot of flaws with the genre. Romantic comedies perpetuate old stereotypes of men and women, and they don’t always showcase the healthiest of relationships. With that in mind, here are 10 reasons we’re glad our life isn’t a rom-com.
Women Can Work and Have a Relationship
Romantic comedies often position women as either not working, or as “being able” to give up their career when they find the guy they love. Women who do have jobs in romantic comedies are often depicted as workaholics, and learning to work less is key to them getting together with the loves of their lives. But here’s the thing: Some women like working. You shouldn’t have to give up that part of yourself to fall in love, and while for some of us, the fantasy of never having to work again does exist, in real life, it’s entirely possible to have a happy partnership and keep working at your job
Women are Strong
So many romantic comedies make it look like a woman’s hardest problem is a bad hair day. While we don’t always love that life has real struggles, we do like the way that these struggles make us stronger women. Romantic comedies which neglect to show women overcoming real adversities do us a disservice. We love the fact that we are strong and capable of figuring things out for ourselves; we don’t need a man to do it for us.
We Don’t NEED Baggage
Whether it’s an ex-girlfriend he’s still hung up on or a current fiancé, the guys in romantic comedies always come with a trunk full of baggage. It makes sense for Hollywood. If a couple could fall in love and have everything work out, there wouldn’t be much of a story to tell. But unfortunately, it has the added effect of glorifying what are ultimately unhealthy starts to relationships. We don’t need baggage in our lives: in fact, we’re pretty happy without it.
We Can Have Different Types of Relationships
Romantic comedies glorify one type of romance—one that revolves heavily on physical intimacy. But for people with sensory issues or who otherwise just don’t love being touched, this is an issue. By constantly portraying physical rather than intellectual relationships, these people are left out of the equation. It makes the kind of love they might have seem less real or practical than more physical loves. In real life, love can come in all shapes and forms—and that’s something to be celebrated!
Our Life Doesn’t Revolve Around Guys
In romantic comedies, all people seem interested in talking about is whether or not a single lady is getting together with a guy. In real life, thankfully, our friends and family have other things to talk about. They have their own full, fleshed out lives, and don’t just act as cheerleaders for our intimacies. Sometimes, we don’t want to talk about our guys—or lack thereof. Sometimes, we just want to talk about the latest episode of The Act.
You Don’t Have to Be a Model to Find Love
In a traditional romantic comedy, you have to be a size zero and look like a supermodel to have any chance of being cast as the lead—and, therefore, of finding your happily ever after. Thankfully, in real life, you can find love regardless of what you might look like. Just take a pass through your next family reunion to be reminded that there really is someone for everyone.
Our Friends Are Good for More Than Fashion Advice
Romantic comedies always have that one perpetual best friend whose role in life seems to be giving the main character a hard time about what she wears. In real life, if any of my friends were that obsessed with my wardrobe, we wouldn’t stay friends. Sure, fashion advice is sometimes useful, but in real life, we want our friends to be there for video game marathons and trips to the local fair as well.
We Have Personalities
Have you ever noticed that the personalities of girls in romantic comedies are often narrowed down to one positive character element and one negative element? She’s clumsy with a heart of gold, or she’s a dog lover who can’t stop herself around fast food, or she’s a humanitarian with a messy house. In real life, our personalities can’t be narrowed down so easily—and that’s a good thing. I don’t want a guy to know exactly what food and drink to order me on a first date. He shouldn’t be able to take one look at my Facebook page and know everything there is to know about me.
We Sometimes Wear Sneakers
Believe it or not, we don’t get dolled up to go to the grocery store—and we like it that way. In a romantic comedy, the only time you’ll see a girl looking anything other than 110% is if it’s somehow deeply connected to the plot—and even then, looking “horrible” is usually limited to forgetting to line one eye. In real life, we might spend a Saturday in sweatpants and a tank top with bits of nacho hanging off our shirts. We’re human—and we should be allowed to be!
The Men We Fall For Aren’t All the Same
Romantic comedies don’t just do a disservice to the women in them: They also do a disservice to guys. Judging by romantic comedies, you’d guess that all guys are a 10 on the cuteness scale and that they’re all a little emotionally distant, but that’s just not true. There are those guys out there who are amazing with kids or who buy us the latitude longitude keychains to celebrate our anniversary. Guys are a diverse bunch, and it’s part of what makes the world with them in it so great.
Don’t get us wrong: We love a good romantic comedy. But like any movie genre, romantic comedies aren’t meant to be true to life. They’re a fantasy, which is great when you remember that, but becomes troublesome when that’s what you expect out of your real life. We love romantic comedies… but we love the variety that comes with living in the real world as well!