Bromance is in the air


Ye Rim Park, Staff Writer

Whether it’s J.D. and Turk from “Scrubs” or Abed and Troy from “Community,” one type of relationship has become increasingly prevalent in today’s media. Bromance is in the air.

According to the Urban Dictionary, “bromance” is the complicated love and affection shared by two straight males. It’s about guys who love each other “in the most heterosexual way. There’s nothing really gay about it. Not that there’s anything wrong with being gay,” said YouTube star Ryan Higa.

The word is a portmanteau of “brothers” and “romance,” first coined by Dave Carnie in skateboard magazine “Big Brother.”

So why exactly is the public so intrigued with this brotherly love? It could be that people yearn for the close bond formed by the bromance pairs. They stick with each other through thick and thin, even if it means death.

“Lord of the Rings” features a plethora of bromances: Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee, Meriadoc Brandybuck and Peregrin Took, and Legolas and Gimli.

In some cases, bromances feature actual brothers such as Sam and Dean Winchester from TV show “Supernatural.” With the multitude of life-or-death moments, the show supplies the audience with enough sweet and sappy moments to allow a stampede of heart wrenching feels.

Not to mention there’s an additional extremely popular bromance between Dean and angel of the Lord, Castiel, though the fans like to argue that their relationship goes beyond the boundaries of friendship.

Animated shows also frequent homosocial friendships, such as Jake the dog and Finn the human from “Adventure Time,” who were actually raised together as brothers.

Dreamworks also plays in on the man-to-man closeness with Miguel and Tulio from “The Road to El Dorado.”

Stewie and Brian from “Family Guy” also share a unique bromance of their own.

Some bromances are timeless, like that of Kirk and Spock or Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. What bond could be stronger than that of two bachelors who live together and solve mysteries? Nothing.

Speaking of crime solving, “Psych” also stars two very different characters. The laid back and sometimes childish Spencer and the high-strung Gus are childhood friends who use Spencer’s “psychic” powers to solve cases.

There are even real life bromances. Examples include celebrities Ben Affleck and Matt Damon and John Barrowman and David Tenant. The late Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal both came out (excuse the pun) in “Brokeback Mountain.” Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert also share a close relationship.

Even the Bible has its fair share of bromances. David is well-known for his unconditional relationship with Jonathan, who, upon the death of David in 2 Samuel 1:26, says, “Your love for me was wonderful, more wonderful than that of women.”

The female version of bromance, known as “sismance,” is much less common. This may be due to the fact that girls are generally more open with their affections. It’s publicly acceptable for them to hug and smother each other in platonic love, meaning sismance holds less of that magic appeal and rarity that bromance has.

Movies like “Pitch Perfect” highlight the power of girl relationships and one TV show example is the very intense kinship between Gabrielle and Xena from “Warrior Princess.”

Compared to the female population, men are less likely to embrace and cry into each other’s arms when they’re upset and in need of moral support. “Real” men are supposed to suck it up and act tough. Why? Because no homo, man.

Despite the often comedic element that is associated with bromance, the relationship also attacks a deep rooted issue in our society.

Bromance is often analyzed as a popular way for the public to accept the idea that it’s OK for men to show affection for each other without being labeled as gay. In a way, bromance is a slow, social cure for homophobia.

And from the amount of hugging and PDA I see going on between the male students on our campus, I would say it’s working.