Written by Mariem ELTagoury
Disney created the myth of “Prince Charming” who will find you, save you, and will eventually live with, happily ever after. Together you will make it through, and you will probably somehow die together due to the power of your love – reference to The Notebook here, in case you haven’t watched it! We are quite thankful that we have turned into a generation where many people are, whether they admit it or not, feasibly aware that these two things do not exist; thrown into movies for the sake of drama and butterflies.
However, there’s one subtler iconic creation of Hollywood that seems to have lived on, in spite of the growing awareness about the emotionally perfect fable given to us through film. This myth seems to have survived the test of time, and has endured too well. Perhaps, because it is the stealthiest of them all. It is the one that mingles between the lines without broad labels, and it takes different names and forms: “My Bestie(s),” “Close Buddies,” “My GalPals,” “My Girls,” “The Crew,” “The Gang,” “Best Buddy,” “The Guys,” “Ma Bros,” “The Dudes,” and the list goes on. You get the vibe. All of them are just a jumble of different syllables to describe the seemingly unbreakable bond between two close friends, or a group of best friends.
Before anyone panics now or starts calling me an anti-social introvert, read my thoughts to the end, then judge. Here are a few major facts to get familiar with, “The Bestie” myth.
1.It is not gender-oriented
Contrary to the popular belief in movies that women are the ones always looking for “their girls,” men are also tangled up in this. Don’t we all want that ideal “F.R.I.E.N.D.S” show gang, that always hangs out with us at the coffee shop. Mind you, they almost all ended up as partners in the oddest ways possible. So, it is not exactly friends forever! Every girl wants the Amanda, Samantha, and Charlotte trio – because of course, she just had to be the Carrie. And every guy– yes even dudes get sucked into this- wants their bad-ass New York gang. Ok, maybe not so much. But, the average guy wants a best buddy/wingman to rule the town with, nevertheless.
2.Part of this myth fosters on our desire to be young forever
The ideal dream is: we shall hang out, rant about our parents, misunderstandings, and the unfairness of life, do all the crazy stuff we wouldn’t dare do alone, travel, get high, and talk about the girls/guys in town. Maybe if we are lucky we will hang out with a few too, and we will just be awesome, because that is how we roll! Yes, everyone wants to be a young immortal superstar.
3.Another part of this fosters on what is left behind from “The One” Myth
The myth of the Bestie/Pal/Gang, or whatever name you want to call it, plays on the same soft spot all humans, who previously fell for “The One”, have: the fear of being alone. The one thing that could support the lonely soul, which has lost hope in finding “The One,” is the idea that it will always be surrounded by a supportive group, or at least one special person. The illusion of this is based on the same nostalgic Utopia-ish idea. We grew up to believe that we shall meet a person or a group of people, whom we shall connect with deeply and accept one another regardless of our flaws. Yeah, sure we will … until cruel reality steps in.
4.It seems like loads of people around you have achieved this target
Now don’t get me wrong. Of course, there are actual people who have achieved the ‘besties’ target. Some have had a friend since kindergarten, and others have a set of pals whom they cannot live without. That is great really, but not everyone necessarily has this. Some try really hard. We do not see the pain or the sacrifices people have to go through to keep their friendships going – not the fairy-tale type of friendships you expect.
Some try too hard to convince others, whether voluntary or involuntary, that they have the best group of pals ever. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and any other social media outlet is the best place to help give out this message. Imagine someone constantly sharing photos of himself/herself with a group of people with a happy/excited/relieved status of some sort-which will probably be inspired by something they heard from a movie or soap.
The brain automatically registers that this person’s life is so swell. He/she has awesome times with his/her pals, and that the person sitting behind the screen is a total loser for not having this. So, the viewer picks up a camera and starts taking photos with some friends, with another lovely status, partaking in the cycle of propelling the image of “I have awesome friends. I’m so cool.” This image is quite easy to maintain in high-school and college. Yet, once a person gets into the real life, that is when reality starts to kick in.
5.The idea that the problem is ‘You.’
Hollywood has left generations with so many… problems.
Self-questioning… why am I not great and famous yet? I was as kind and as good as the fellow in the movie all my life!
Loneliness… could my ex have been “the one,” whom I lost… did I blow it? Will l die alone?
Lifestyle questioning… why isn’t my husband as romantic? Why isn’t my wife as kinky? Why isn’t my job as exciting?
Body & beauty issues…. I think this one goes without explanation.
Friendships…. why aren’t the people I know as cool or as funny? Girls, why don’t we go bar-hopping like those women in their late thirties in the movies in spite of our jobs and responsibilities. Guys, why don’t we do something hilariously dangerous too… or we could just try hitting on girls for pleasure…
Hollywood, or your brain, has managed to create a vibe that if your life doesn’t add up to what you see on screen, it is just not good enough. It’s not fascinating enough.
Haven’t found “The One”? Then life is missing something.
Don’t have a “Bestie” since pre-school, who bakes cakes and makes awesome presentation shows about your friendship-history for b-days? You’re missing something.
Don’t have an awesome gang that shares sex life tips? You’re missing something.
The brain sends a message that if we do not amount to this, something is wrong… and it is probably, according to Hollywood and your Newsfeed, because of you.
To be continued in reality next time…