What is Happily Ever After, after all?

Hey everyone!

Today I wanted to post an opinion piece on something that has been on my mind a lot: Happily Ever After. Just as a starting point, in 1950, happily ever after was pretty much one goal: a woman finds her dream man, watches him make money and succeed in his career while she plays the role of obedient housewife and keeps the family from splitting at the seams. But my only question, really, is why? Why did that have to be? Why does that have to be? The main theory I have to think, is from our mainstream social culture. You see it in fairytales. Movies. Books. Dolls. History. This summer, I have been doing lots of camp counseling, and I noticed something. As I was reading page after page of princess stories and Barbie Fairytales, I couldn’t help notice that each happily ever after ended with the prince asking for the princess’ (i.e. the most beautiful one) hand in marriage. Yes, it does sound nice, but to me, it seemed like the books were drilling it into the little girls’ heads that this was the only way to feel genuine happiness. It drives me crazy when things are so specific to one gender such as the color pink to girls, and baseball to boys. These books seem to be brainwashing girls (and boys) to fitting these stereotypes. As I talked about in a previous post, Some things aren’t meant to be shared, or are they?, my life certainly didn’t start out as a fairytale. Far from it. Let’s face it. I’m not going to have that dream wedding. My dad won’t walk me down the aisle. Or see me graduate. Or meet my children. I’ve come to terms with what I won’t have. And every once in a while, I cry. A real good hard cry. It’s not fair. He shouldn’t have died. I should have spent more time with him. I should have helped more. My mom shouldn’t have gone through that. She didn’t deserve any of it. Those are regrets. And I have lots of them. But they can’t bring him back. They can’t reverse the clock. But circumstances I have faced, no one else can understand. Let me tell you, it’s certainly hard to find some who lost their dad at age 7. Something about that makes me think about happily ever after. So what. I didn’t get their definition of “Happily Ever After.” That’s what so many people don’t realize. I am living in my defined “Happily Ever After.” My dad is my dad, and he always will be. I will never stop loving him. But if I know him, and I think I do, he would want me to go out there and go get everything I’ve ever wanted and then some. My dream one day is to be a female rights activist, and make speeches all over the world advocating for women and their needs. End gender inequality, and prove myself. Prove my happily ever after. Every day, I am trying something new. I am meeting so many wonderful people this year who make me so happy. They are just pieces of my Happily Ever After puzzle. I know I will run into people in the future, telling me what I’m doing is wrong. That I shouldn’t be standing up for women because they aren’t worthy of being stood up for. That, my friends, is called pressure. These stories put loads of pressure on girls and boys. That boys always have to ask girls out. Or for their hand in marriage. That girls should change their last names to their husbands because that is the family they “belong” to. Is that really all they think of us girls? That we’re some charity cases that are just looking for some place to belong? I say enough’s enough. Us girls need to stand up for ourselves! I’m begging you, we need to take a stand against stereotypes, and criticism, and out right discrimination! Also, I forgot to mention, who says boys always have to marry girls? Get over yourselves. It’s 2016 and people who are too scared to leave the comfort of 1965 get to have a say in who people love? I have been very impressed with Pope Francis so far. He has definitely  moved the Catholic church in a more progressive direction. But still, many people are uncomfortable with LGBTQ+, and commit acts of violence (verbal and physical) as a way of stopping a Supreme Court approved law? I guess my point from my non-stop rambling is this: People’s Happily Ever Afters shouldn’t be determined by demeaning stereotypes that tell you who you should love, how you should live your life, and qualities you should possess in order to live “the life you’ve always wanted.” Even if you’re young, you can still make difference in issues around the globe. I guess this blog post is my little shout-out to the world, expressing how I feel in the only way I know how: writing. Thank you very much for reading this very rambly, but hopefully inspiring post. Please like (posts) and subscribe to my blog! Comment down below telling me how you feel about Happily Ever Afters being portrayed in our culture, and how you will take a stand. Also if you are feeling rambly and brave as well, tell me how you feel about a world issue that you feel is worthy talking about. I so enjoy writing these posts. I use writing as my voice in the world, and I think it helps lots of people who are still searching for theirs. I will be blogging again very soon!

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Au Revoir!

-The Legally Brunette

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