True Love?

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

"Love is not affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person's ultimate good as far as it can be obtained." -C. S. Lewis

 Love- perhaps the most important "four letter" word ever, and yet we (as a culture and a people) really seem to have forgotten what love actually means.

We use and abuse the word love all the time- attaching it to everything from movies, to food, to hot celebrities. If you look at the real definition of love (as given to us by the one who knows it best), you see that love is sacrifice. "There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends." Consider that in the context of modern culture's usage of the word-

"I [would die for] X-Men!"
"Cheese is so good! I [would die for] it."
"Benedict Cumberbatch is amazing. I [would die for] his acting!"

Yeah... I don't think most of us actually take that into account when we say we "love" all sorts of things. I mean, I don't know about you, but as much as I like cheese, I'm not gonna die for it. That's just silly!

And that's not the only way society has lost sight of what true love is- take most any Disney Princess movie, for instance. I'm not even going to go into the whole "marrying a man you met that day" thing, because that's too much to delve into right now. But here's what I do want to mention...

In most movies (Disney or otherwise), "true love" is shown as a guy and a girl who are destined to get married. The Princess (or the Prince in a few cases) is saved from the terrible spell by "true love's kiss". 

Now, there's nothing wrong with this picture of love, because this can be love. (Like I said, I'm not going into the whole "marrying someone you only met that day" thing.) People who get married should truly love each other.

But I firmly believe that the love between a parent and their child, between siblings, between friends, and even between strangers (see "The Good Samaritan") is true love. It's a very different kind of love, to be sure, but it's still true love.

So... taking into account what I just said, I have actually been very refreshed by some of the newer movies that Disney has come out with. I've noticed a lot of people complaining about the rise of "feminism" in Disney movies. They want more "old-fashioned" fairy-tales like Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, etc.

But what I like about these movies isn't their use of "girl power", or any perceived insinuation that guys aren't needed. (Because I don't really agree with that.) What I like about these movies is that they are opening up to the idea that true love might be more than just "romantic." In Brave, they showed us the true love between a mother and daughter. In Frozen, we saw true love between two sisters. And with Maleficent... well, I won't spoil it for you if you haven't seen the movie, but if you have, than you ought to know what I'm talking about.

So... Does this mean that Hollywood finally understands what love actually means? That it's more than just warm, fuzzy feelings of attraction to someone else? Em... Probably not. 

But now... for just a little while... they sort of got close.

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  1. I've also noticed the trend changing in movies. And while I don't get up in arms about it, I do find it ironic and somewhat amusing that an industry that built itself on "true love's kiss" and marrying people you barely know (I've always had issues with that one) is now turning away from that and (in my humble opinion) trying to rectify two generations worth of misleading love stories to show a tru(er) picture of love, or at least poke holes in the old myth. Enchanted flat-out showed the ridiculousness of the classic princess tale and, as you stated, Brave and Frozen chose to focus on a different kind of love (although I feel Frozen may have tried just a tad too hard).

    You also make a really good point about substituting what you really mean in place of the word love. Yes, we've all heard of "death by chocolate," but would you really, legitimately die for chocolate? Do you love chocolate that much? I'm as guilty of this as anyone. As I've been trying to weed the word "awesome" out of my vocabulary except in instances of awe-inspiring experiences and people, I've realized there are still so many words that do not mean what we think they mean. Inconceivable!

    So in the truest meanings of these words, I would like to say: Ana, I love you. And you are awesome in so many ways.