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Someday my prince will come.
-Snow White, 1937
BOWIE, Md.--In a hotel in Canada hangs this picture, someone's mischievous take on Snow White a few years after happily ever after. She is posed in an anonymous suburban den. Behind her, Prince Charming slouches in a chair, slowly going to seed. Snow has a babe in arms and a few other rug rats scattered about the floor. She faces you with an expression that seems to ask, Is this all there is?
It is less a comment on marriage than on the notion that marriage is the holy grail of a woman's existence, the finish line of her life's hopes, dreams, and goals. That is a fable upon which the Walt Disney Co. built an empire.
But the fable is not confined to the multiplex. To the contrary, you can see it played out on a weekly basis in the headlines of any given publication in your local supermarket checkout line. Consider one of the most recent big stories from the Land of the Beautiful People.
It seems that one William Bradley Pitt and one Angelina Jolie Voight recently became engaged to be married. Already the celebrity gossip mills are buzzing with the critical question this raises: How will it affect Jen? How does Jen feel about it? Will Jen be OK?
That would be Jennifer Aniston, the wife Pitt famously dumped in 2005 when he and Jolie became a thing. If I were her, I think my response would be, Please stop calling me "Jen," as if we went
But Aniston has become the poster child for this media-driven narrative of woman as love victim, tragically incomplete until her wedding day, if even then. She is joined on that poster by the likes
Sometimes it seems as if every cover of every tabloid and magazine has a headline about some actress or reality-show personality and her crusade to find--or keep--a man.