That’s a classic Disney move, right there, and it only gets better because this dude ends up being an utter toolbox. This scene from a commercial got me thinking . Perhaps, this is where the origins of insta-love came from; that perhaps, Disney was the culprit of the two most despised words in romance literature.
I know, right? What a thought! I did think of at least one Disney movie where the princess didn’t automatically fall in love with the prince, though– Tangled. It also just so happens that Tangled is my all time favorite Disney movie. Maybe it’s because the prince in Tangled is less than perfect, besides his teeth, of course. Oh, wait, Flynn Rider isn’t a prince! That’s right, the person they decided to riddle with character imperfections, ones that made him that much more perfect, isn’t even a prince. There are other Disney movies that lack princes to the princess, like Shrek, and I realize those are the only ones without insta-love. These stories also seem to be the only ones where the love story is actually realistic, and with that, the love interest isn’t perfection with a body like Chris Hemsworth, a smile like Adam Levine and the personality of the friendliest, nicest, and sweetest person you’ve ever met with a tad bit of sex smolder in there, too.
However, the Chris-Adam-Sweet-Smolder Prince is the main character in most of the Disney classics I grew up with. You know– Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty–all of which contain insta-love. There’s no relationship building at all–it’s just wham bam, you’re so cute, I love you (insert puke face here). What about the princess is so undeniable that she must be saved and married instantly? I really want to know, because there is nothing I can see beyond the superficial in most of those princesses, or the princes that save them for that matter. This brings me to my next point, that there is a such thing as insta- attraction, which is completely superficial. It is realistic to see someone and say, holy hottness and drool. This part of the fairy tale is fine, but it’s not realistic to say that you’re going to marry the princess/prince just because of her/his smoldering presence. I can think of plenty of hot people who have the personality of a pile of dirt, or rock, or let’s say, a toolbox, like Hans from Frozen. Insta-love equates to one thing; a horrible, distorted relationship, with the exception of 99% of these fairy tales. We grow up seeing princesses find princes and instantly fall in love with them, knowing they’re the one just from one look. It’s a miracle any of us grew up to fall in love and get married and not divorced. Those stories taught us that love was superficial and instant. It isn’t. Attraction is superficial, but can ultimately be increased by non-superficial elements. The bad boy is always a lot more attraction when he just looks it and doesn’t act it.
Case in point–my husband. When I first saw my husband, I was a drooling mess, blue eyes, shaggy rocker hair, lip ring and tattoos? Umm…yes, give me an order of that. I was instantly attracted to him, but I didn’t think I was going to marry him until two years into our friendship. At that point the attraction had been amplified by his personality, along with his polite and sweet demeanor.
All in all, I see nothing wrong with writing insta-attraction. I do it in most of my novels, unless the novel starts out with two friends already. I think people need to clearly understand the definite difference between love and attraction, though. The “insta” ends there in my novels, and I focus on building a relationship based on the events that occur in the novel. Still, I had someone utter those cringe-worthy words, “insta-love” for one of my novels. So here’s my definition of insta-love: Anna and Hans from Frozen– Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and The Little Mermaid.
Disney created a love-trap for little boys and girls with their fairy tale prince and quick (happy on the surface) endings, all wrapped up in a flat romance. Hey, at least they recognized it in Frozen:
Can I say something crazy? Will you marry me?
Can I say something even crazier? Yes!