There is a new trend sweeping social media platforms of women denigrating the institution of marriage while promoting the virtues of a single lifestyle. One viral TikTok shows a girl putting on an engagement ring and seeing her future as a miserable housewife. Every time the ring goes on her finger, images of household chores flash across the screen painting marriage like a modern-day form of indentured servitude.
Another video, posted by TikTok user Julia Mazur, shows herself talking about the joys of being single at 29. Without the shackles of marriage and children, she says, she is free to drink, go to Beyonce shows, sleep in, and watch reality TV. She repeatedly hammers in the point that she wouldn’t be able to have such a fun life if she had to take care of a husband and children. Mazur’s video went viral on X (formerly known as Twitter) after conservative commentator Matt Walsh posted the clip saying, “Her life doesn’t revolve around her family and kids so instead it revolves around TV shows and pop stars. Worst of all she’s too stupid to realize how depressing this is.”
Even Hollywood stars are jumping on the trend, warning their fans about the pitfalls of marriage. Model and actress Emily Ratajkowski glamorized divorce and told her fans, “I don’t think there is anything better than being in your thirties…and having tried that married fantasy and realizing that it’s maybe not all it’s cracked up to be. In another viral video, Lilly Singh, an Indian-Canadian YouTuber, television host, comedian, writer, and actress, told an audience, “Stop telling women that the greatest thing they’ll ever do in life is get married.”
These viral videos are more than just fleeting Internet sensations; they reflect a broader shift in societal attitudes toward marriage and relationships, especially among younger generations. The rise of online dating, career-focused aspirations, and changing gender dynamics have led many to reconsider the traditional timeline of settling down and starting a family. Recent Census data shows that marriage in the U.S. is declining. In 2021, the national marriage rate was 14.9, down from 16.3 a decade earlier.
Of course, marriage, like any significant life choice, comes with trade-offs. Having a family takes up a lot of time and effort and doesn’t come without sacrifice, specifically sacrificing your own wants and needs for the betterment of said family. I’m not a parent myself. In fact, I’m only 23. But I know from all of the soccer practices and parent-teacher conferences that my mom and dad sacrificed a significant amount of time to be present in my life. My dad simply couldn’t do certain things as a result of his choice to have a family. That’s why he traveled the country on motorcycle and backpacked in his youth. But what are the women in these viral videos doing with the time they’ve saved up by choosing to forego having a family? Are they learning a new skill, traveling, or making incredible memories? Like Julia Mazur, many are spending time drinking and watching reality TV.
If you’re not part of a family, consider engaging in something captivating with your available time. These individuals possess an excessive amount of free time, yet they seem to squander it entirely, merely fixating on their small, illuminated screens. It’s genuinely disheartening to witness this lack of motivation and purpose. While these viral videos sensationalize the negative aspects of marriage, they neglect to mention the many positives that come with it as well.
Marriage can be a source of emotional support, financial stability, and companionship. It can provide a strong foundation for raising children and building a life together. But these things take time, effort, and responsibility. Considering that research indicates, on average, married individuals tend to enjoy improved mental health, extended lifespans, and a reduced risk of developing various inflammation-related diseases compared to their single counterparts, marriage is a great endeavor. This isn’t to say everyone needs to prioritize marriage over singleness, but to provide a glimpse of the advantages many of these viral videos fail to include.
As social media and our culture persistently perpetuate unrealistic expectations about the realities of becoming someone’s spouse, I believe that a significant portion of our generation remains unaware of the statistical fact that married people tend to experience the highest levels of happiness and enjoy fulfilling intimate lives.
Depression and loneliness have unfortunately riddled my generation despite all of the technological and social advancements society has made. People have become so self-consumed that they have failed to recognize the value and importance of interpersonal relationships. Marriage, indeed, represents an exciting and enjoyable journey, serving as a beacon of happiness in our troubled world. People deserve genuine commitment and love, far surpassing the superficiality often found in American dating culture.
Don’t get me wrong, not everyone should get married and rush into that lifestyle. There are plenty of people who don’t want to be married, and that’s fine too. If you haven’t met your person yet and are still deciding what lifestyle you want to live long term, by all means explore that. But don’t let the childless, single, unmarried women online convince you that marriage is a modern-day form of indentured servitude that comes with horrible consequences and no upsides. I hope young people turn their energy toward other role models and creators who explore the positivity that comes with marriage and family because having strong, healthy families benefits not just those who have them, but society as a whole.