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No, Justin Bieber’s Engagement is Not Making Young Marriage ‘Cool’

Marrying young is not a good idea, especially for women

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?

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.

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.

Written by

Award-winning journalist, coauthor of “The New I Do: Reshaping Marriage for Skeptics, Realists and Rebels,” mom, changing the narrative about older women

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