By Jennifer Constable, Editor in Chief
Do you remember where you were when you heard the news? When you listening to the radio in your car? Scrolling through your Facebook feed on your half hour lunch break? Did you overhear it being whispered about in your local hairdressers? I remember when I was I found out; waiting at the bus stop in the pouring rain, absentmindedly checking the group chats, when the horrific news was broken to me, in a series of strongly worded, capitalised string of messages, that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, more commonly known as the coveted Brangelina, had split.
The celebrity couple had been a familiar backdrop in the social media and popular culture of our adolescence; they were the definition of “relationship goals”, the “go to” answer when asked about celebrity couples. While the reasons behind their sudden separation are still being debated, the fallout from their breakup has been messy in more ways than one.
Some of you may be reading this with haughty indifference, eyebrows raised thinking, “what’s the big deal? Couples break up all the time”, but this is precisely the issue- couples DO break up all the time, but not Brad and Angelina. They weren’t supposed to. They were different. And their breakup represents the end of something that runs a lot deeper than a relationship between two people.
Living in a society where over 50% of marriages end in divorce, it costs over £3 for a caramel latte in Costa, and there’s a very real possibility Trump could be elected as USA President come November, Love, in any form, is pretty thin on the ground. Romance has been reduced to getting repetitive strain injury from feverish swiping through tinder matches, and “security”, is when you feel brave enough to face your bae without mascara for the first time.
Maybe I’m being too harsh, but one thing remains certain; in a world where the rules of dating, romance and L O V E are perpetually defining and redefining themselves, Bragenlina represented a constant; a symbolic rock of stability and hope in a turbulent sea of otherwise doomed and dysfunctional relationships. They were an icon of how “good” love could be; a monument to all that is pure, right and wholesome, and what we all aspired to have for ourselves.
They were a reminder that no matter how bleak, hope hopeless our own relationships seemed to be, Love WAS out there; it was attainable, and it still existed; we just needed to wait out for it. Forget the six kids, forget the hefty divorce settlement- what about US? In some ways, we too have gone through a devastating breakup; a breakup with our ideals; a messy end to our blind faith that the world was untimely good place and that everything would eventually work out okay in the end.
If Bragenlina, a couple with years of companionship behind them; the postcard of wedded bliss, can’t make it work, then what hope do the rest of us have?