Amid the backlash of the Kim Kardashian divorce scandal, whose marriage to Kris Humphries lasted only 72 days, the question of celebrity influence on society’s perception of marriage arises.
Kim Kardashian, after a highly publicized and elaborate wedding, filed for divorce from NBA player Kris Humphries in October. The news of Kardashian’s short-lived union has caused a firestorm of criticism from those who say the nuptials were a publicity scam.
Christine Arnzen, a counselor at National Institute of Marriage, told The Christian Post that marriage has become an “event and process.”
“Although the wedding day has been the focus of brides to be, the advent of reality television shows has taken this to an intense level,” Arnzen stated. “The pursuit of the perfect wedding dress, wedding cake, ideal reception and honeymoon is consuming.”
“Perfection is an illusion as is ‘happily ever after,’” she added.
And for the many fans that eagerly soaked up every detail of Kardashian’s meticulously planned wedding – the $10 million ceremony was a picture perfect vision of “happily ever after.” From the luxury Lehr & Black invitations, which reportedly cost over $10,000, to the three wedding gowns designed by Vera Wang – no detail was left to chance.
However, Arnzen noted that “every marriage will be challenged.”
“I wonder what would happen if couples were equally intentional about honing communication and conflict resolution skills prior to marriage,” she asked.
Kim Kardashian filed for divorce Oct. 31 citing “irreconcilable differences.” TMZ reported that Humphries believed the couple would settle down in Minnesota, however, Kardashian was not “on board” with that plan.
Sources told the gossip site that Kardashian wanted to stay close to her family and that her career was in Los Angeles.
There are many who believed the Kardashian-Humphries split was inevitable.
Los Angeles resident Lila Rideau told CP, “I think people see Hollywood weddings as the absolute fairytale, but there are very few celebrities that you think ‘their marriages will last.’”
“Hollywood celebrity marriages are more of ‘going together’ it’s not a sacred vow,” Rideau said. “It’s so childish their perception of marriage, it’s like when you’re a young teen and someone asks you to go out with them – it lasts about that long. They are so disrespectful to marriage.”
Myles Worthington, a New York City resident, shared similar sentiments.
“It makes a mockery of marriage for entertainment purposes but I don’t think people won’t take marriage seriously because of Kim Kardashian,” he stated.
Los Angeles native Denise Lengyeltoti added, “It’s more for entertainment, but we’re not going to model our lives after that.”
According to Arnzen, the initial cynicism was alarming but she believed the Kardashian divorce scandal has “forced people to re-evaluate the marriage fantasy.”
She told CP, “Marriage has been viewed as a developmental milestone. Whether or not a person marries to have an emotional connection, the lack of positive connection is often an indication that ‘all is not well.’”
“This type of connection takes work and intention. It requires a level of personal maturity as well as a willingness to be vulnerable,” Arnzen said.
“The desire for a deeply connected marriage is a direct reflection of the humanity being made in the image of God,” Arnzen added. Marriage is purposeful on so many levels but many do not consider that it is one of the primary means by which God develops character in us.”
According to Arnzen, marriage could become a status symbol and not a declaration of fidelity to a process of personal growth and relational bond, if this trend continues.