No, Justin Bieber’s Engagement is Not Making Young Marriage ‘Cool’
What do Cardi B, Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Joe Jonas and Ariana Grande have in common — besides music? They all have recently married or gotten engaged, and they are all 25 years old or younger. Wait — haven’t we been reading forever about how millennials are delaying marriage, pushing the age of the first marriage for women from 20 in 1960 to 27? So what’s up with these wealthy millennials? Why are they marrying so young?
It could be because they are wealthy and can afford to marry when they want to; a lot of millennials are not in the same economic position, however, whether saddled with college debt and/or low-paying jobs. Young people see economic security as essential before tying the knot. Which is why some say that marriage is increasingly seen as a “status symbol.”
Still, I was taken aback by an article in Vanity Fair that asks, “Are these celebrities our best example of love and commitment? Could honorary American Justin Bieber make marriage cool?”
Celebrities — making marriage ‘cool’ again?
This is not the first time we’ve heard media talk about how celebrities are making marriage cool again; in 2016 the Atlantic suggests that Beyoncé Knowles and Kanye West were making marriage cool again with their albums at the time — Beyoncé’s Lemonade and Kanye’s The Life of Pablo, which both address the challenges of marriage and monogamy. As the Atlantic notes, the message the two mega-stars are sending is that:
‘Till death do us part’ really is an ideal worth striving for and that ‘For better or for worse’ can encompass some very bad things. But success also entails the effort to reach out beyond the self to something larger, not just community and religion but the well-being of children, who figure in both albums. Despite plenty of profanity and sex talk, these artists are modeling surprisingly conservative ideals about the seriousness and irreversibility of wedlock. They’re also proposing that culture can support attempts to live up to those ideals.
As I noted at the time, not only are those “surprisingly conservative ideals,” but they’re also perpetuating the shame-based model of marriage — marriage is irreversibile? — and that is most definitely not cool.
And now we have Vanity Fair asking if the youthful couplings of Justin, Miley, Cardi B et al. may be making young marriage … cool.
We can mock their youthful sprint headfirst toward a lifetime commitment with their spry little legs. We can take bets on how long it will last, and make educated guesses about whether any of them will actually go through with it. But watch them bring back the early twenties wedding. That would be something to talk about.”
Young marriage hurts women
I agree — it would be something to talk about, but not in a positive way. Why would we want to promote young marriages — or marriage at any age for that matter? Women who marry young tend to have higher divorce rates, and they lose out on a lot of money — about $18,152.
That may not matter to a Miley (worth a reported $160 million) or a Justin (worth some $265 million) or an Ariana (worth about $45 million) or a Cardi B (poor girl; she’s *only* worth $4 mil), but it may matter to someone like, well, you — it certainly would matter to someone like me. There are real consequences for marrying young, especially for women. That’s the something to talk about, Vanity Fair!
It’s great if young celebs want to tie the knot and lock that sh*t down, but that just doesn’t make marriage cool for everyone (or anyone). I get it — we are a celeb-influenced society. Fine, no harm in wanting to capture their look and style, no harm in wanting to follow them on Instagram and Twitter. But follow their marriage habits? Nope, that ain’t cool.
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Originally published at omgchronicles.vickilarson.com