A lot of cliches are associated with the word romanticism, and for some, it’s an outdated concept turned towards the past and loaded with archaic gender roles and unrealistic vision on love. What does it mean to be a romantic in a post #metoo area?
Traditionally, a romantic was seen as someone who was poetically and passionately in love with love. These types of people were idealists of their time and concerned with sentiment and displays of heart-felt emotion. Their love was usually directed at another person and to be true romantic, it needn’t have been requited. In fact, unrequited love in art gave an element of drama and longing, fuelling the romantics desires and story.
Fast forward to 2019 where the self is at the center of all we do, how would a traditional romantic fit into today’s culture? As we strive for equality for all and greater authenticity, following etiquette or making gestures to attract a potential love connection can seem contrived and outdated. Feminism often brings up the debate of what modern chivalry is and if it is needed or even politically correct in an equal society.
The idea of a gentlemanly code feels antiquated and in opposite sex relationships a lot of modern women cringe at displays of affection that might seem to perpetuate gender norms; especially ones that encourage them to act chaste and disinterested in their own sexual enjoyment.
With all this is mind we might not consider romance as particularly helpful or of interest anymore.
So, we wanted to know what a modern romantic would like in today’s more empowered yet self-obsessed and slightly love-jaded culture.
We’ve listed a few women we feel have brought romance into 2019 for all to enjoy.
Jasmine Guillory, NYT best selling author
Best known for her novel, The Wedding Date romance novelist Jasmine is loved by everyone from Oprah to Cosmo for championing diversity in her work. Her romance novels put adventurous and empowered women of colour at the center of the story. Jasmines heroin’s often find themselves in unusual settings attracting their love interest because of their wit and strength, giving the romance genre a totally modern facelift.
Kelley O’Hara, footballer
After the USA women’s team won the World Cup this year, Kelley casually ran to the stands and kissed her girlfriend in celebration. Although this shouldn’t be a big deal in 2019, the player was not publicly known to identify as lesbian at this time and the media called this romantic act one of bravery and solidarity for the LGBTQI community.
By normalizing an act of intimacy in her same-sex relationship in front millions of fans across the world (while many countries still hold the death penalty for acts of this nature) Kelley was an inspiration for others to love who they love with even more pride.
Jenny Han, screenplay writer
If you were the type to sit in your room, sadly longing for your crush to notice they were even alive🙋 you probably felt a connection to the Netflix movie To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. The movie started out as a young adult romance novel by American author Jenny Han, who was inspired to write the book based on her own habit of writing long letters to boys she had crushes on as a teenager. The wholesome story has Lara, played by Lana Condor an American actress of Vietnamese decent as its heroine. An Asian woman as a romantic love interest in a Hollywood movie is very rare and Jenny fought hard to stay true to her story because she knew that representation is important; making this movie not just a modern romance but very refreshing and radical one too.
Whitney Wolfe Herd, CEO of Bumble
Inspiring women to “make the first move” with her incredibly successful dating and networking app Bumble, Whitney changed the way we date forever. Bumble’s mission to inspire women to take control of their romantic narrative. Whitney has even campaigned for cyber-flashing (sending unsolicited nude photographs) to be made illegal so that women’s experience online can become safer, more enjoyable and romantic.
Who inspires you to live a more romantic life? Let us know in the comments!