Josephine Cox, 64, is popular author in the UK. But she thinks she and other fiction writers have failed a generation of women — with love stories too good to be true. "There are more than 11 million single, divorced or widowed women in Britain," she writes in today's Daily Mail. "I can't help wondering how much writers like me will be to blame for peddling unrealistic expectations of romance." She maintains that books and movies have "perfect" main characters who meet in a quirky love-at-first sight way or have a "long-burning childhood friendship which erupts into passion." Then the book (or film) ends as the happy couple ride into the sunset, as it were. "They don't continue through the sleep deprivation of a young family, the mounting bills, then the spreading waistlines of middle age and the first grey hairs."
Ms. Cox was saddened when she overheard a young woman in her 20s say that a guy was "great fun" but wasn't datable due to his yellowed, "crooked teeth." And are things just getting worse? Because in addition to the charmers we read about and see on the silver screen, we're living in an era of flawless, Botoxed, capped-tooth, professionally styled, fitness-trained celebrities. The Average Joe can often seem disappointingly unpolished. And as millions of little girls raised on Disney Princesses come of age and realize that in real life, a Prince is not a guarantee, is it their fault that they fell for a well-crafted fable? Or do we need responsible story-telling, as Ms. Cox seems to suggest?
Read My Lips! Love Stories Are Just A Con [Daily Mail]