Dr. Mary-Lou Galician and her husband Dr. David Natharius share a kiss at their 1998 airport wedding — a media event — before their trans-atlantic flight to lead a group in London & Paris. (Read the newspaper story about the wedding!)
The Purpose of REALISTIC ROMANCE®
REALISTIC ROMANCE® is based on the research, writing, and teaching of Dr. Mary-Lou Galician (The Original "Dr. FUN") — an award-winning internationally respected and dedicated media literacy advocate who is the creator and director of REALISTIC ROMANCE® and the founder and director of the Realistic Romance® Institute for Research and Education (RRIRE). She is also Founding Head of Media Analysis & Criticism and Lead Professor of Cronkite/ASU Online in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communication at Arizona State University.
Dr. Mary-Lou, who was with PBS-TV during the roll-out of Sesame Street, is a firm believer that education—for all ages—should be FUN. In fact, she is widely and affectionately known as “Dr. FUN”—a nickname she earned because of another trademarked “edu-taintment” program of empowerment she created: FUN-dynamics!®—The FUN-damentals of DYNAMIC Living, a musical motivation program to help people "beat burn-out, the blues, and the bad news—and get Fired Up Now (FUN)."
PROGRAMS & MATERIALS
REALISTIC ROMANCE® programs combine traditional lectures and demonstrations—including media artifacts such as video clips of movies and television shows, sound clips from popular songs, and images of magazine covers and ads—combined with experiential participant interaction and discussion as well as productive peer-group activities.
REALISTIC ROMANCE® programs
REALISTIC ROMANCE® books and other materials provide scholarly scientific foundations in an accessible and applicable format that's clear and practical—enabling users to adopt successful strategies and achieve high-level, empowering, and genuinely rewarding real-life romantic relationships.
These research-based resources include step-by-step, easy-to-understand strategies, case studies, and detailed examples of harmful media portrayals as well as rarer healthy portrayals. While the majority of the content is geared toward adults and older teens, Dr. Galician even includes suggestions for parents to debrief their children after they view cartoon classics like Beauty and the Beast and Lady and the Tramp, which seem innocent and harmless but are filled with unhealthy myths and stereotypes.
REALISTIC ROMANCE® programs, presentations, books (digital and audio as well as traditional binding), and other educational resources are available for the general public as well as for schools and colleges, educational and service organizations, conventions, and other groups.
Licensing training is also available for qualified individuals who want to present REALISTIC ROMANCE® programs.
THE THREE MAJOR ELEMENTS:
At the unique core of REALISTIC ROMANCE® courses, programs, books, and other educational materials are 12 unhealthy major mass media myths and stereotypes—identified and codified by Dr. Galician as Dr. FUN’s Mass Media Love Quiz©, which she has presented on national television—and her corresponding 12 Dr. Galician’s Prescriptions© (Rxs). The 12 Rxs are healthy relational strategies for media consumers to use as “antidotes” to the 12 unhealthy myths and stereotypes—to free themselves from seductive media-fostered unrealistic expectations and to empower themselves to be the star of their own spectacular REAL-life love story.
One of Dr. Galician's favorite quotations
After getting Dr. Galician’s 7-Step Reality Check-Up©, a media literacy approach that goes beyond traditional methods of media analysis and criticism by inviting self-evaluation and personal responsibility that result in empowering productive action, anyone can become expert in practicing critical thinking to "dis-illusion" media portrayals and "get REAL about ROMANCE."
OTHER SIGNIFICANT ELEMENTS:
To call public attention (and the media's!) to unhealthy portrayals of sex, love, and romance that abound in the media—and to honor the rare healthy media models, every year on Valentine's Day Dr. Galician announces her Dr. FUN's Stupid Cupid & Realistic Romance® Awards™. The public can make nominations on ballots available every November and December on the ANNUAL AWARDS link of this website. In January, a panel of judges headed by Dr. FUN meets to make the final selections, which are announced and listed on this site's ANNUAL AWARDS link as well as through other media outlets.
In 2006, Dr. Galician added yet another significant element to the vital mission of REALISTIC ROMANCE® when she established the Realistic Romance® Institute for Research & Education (RRIRE), which brings together academic and professional associates and volunteers worldwide to empower individuals and couples as well as to provide training for parents, educators, counselors, and life coaches.
Romance® (and all material pertaining thereto) is a Registered Trademark/Servicemark.