Reaction to Famous Actress' Engagement Showcases Just How Wrong Society Is About Marriage


Millie Bobby Brown is, by all definitions, an adult. She’s 19 years old and has grown up in the spotlight, first gaining popularity by playing Eleven on “Stranger Things” and then the titular character in the “Enola Holmes” detective movie series.

Jake Bongiovi, her romantic partner, is 20 — again, by all legal measures, an adult. He’s also grown up in the spotlight since, as Fox News noted, he’s the son of rock star Jon Bon Jovi and has his own acting career.

So, when the two announced they were engaged on their Instagram accounts, this should have come as neither a shocker nor a moment of moral outrage. This was hardly, say, Jerry Lee Lewis marrying his underage cousin and wrecking his career in the process.

Instead, this somehow set off a three-alarm social-media trigger-fest. Two adults in love getting engaged at 20 and 19?! What the heck are they thinking, not waiting until they’re 35 like we’ve been culturally conditioned to expect?

First, the basics — both thespians posted pictures of themselves in what appeared to be an engagement photo shoot on the beach, with Brown’s clearly showing her wearing an engagement ring.

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“I’ve loved you three summers now, honey, I want ’em all,” she said in the caption — lyrics from the Taylor Swift song “Lover.”

Bongiovi, meanwhile, simply captioned his post “Forever” with a heart emoji.


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The couple announced their relationship in November 2021, which means there was roughly a year and a half between the start of their romance and the engagement. (According to the BBC, however, it’s worth noting that Brown was posting pictures of herself with Bongiovi as far back as June 2021.) This seems to be a fair amount of time for a couple to get to know each other.

I’ll admit, I’m not a regular reader of People, but nearest that I’m aware of, the couple hasn’t faced any instances of having the police called on them because they were causing a ruckus during a bottle-smashing, larynx-straining squabble at a Vegas nightclub. They look and seem happy, normal and well-adjusted. You never know with celebrities, but if you wanted to pick two candidates from Hollywood who seem ready to do life together, it’s Bongiovi and Brown.

But, no. Fox News collected some of the anti-congratulations Brown received in the comments section.

“Come on Millie, 19 years old is too young to get married. Wait a little longer,” one person wrote. “Isn’t she still basically a child? This really is some stranger things,” another said. (Oh ho ho, I see what you did there.)

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“Aren’t you 12?” and “you’re literally 19” were two other helpful remarks. So were “She will be divorced within 1 year of marriage” and “GET THE PRENUP GIRL.” (Yeah, because clearly Bongiovi is going to be struggling through life without her, what with those “Livin’ on a Prayer” royalties.)

Others offered what they should have done in the first place — congratulatory messages — and others chimed in with counterexamples of how marrying young isn’t some kind of death sentence.

“My mum was married at 18, had me at 19 and my sister at 21. Some people are more grown up than you think. If she’s happy then good for her,” one said.

Are traditional American values under attack?

“Congratulations!!! I married my first love. Engaged at 19 like you and married at 20, our kids are older than you. Honey love is timeless,” another said. “Ignore the naysayers. Just be happy. When you know…you know. I’m 52 and more in love with my husband today then I was back then and so grateful I followed my heart.”

However, I think the best refutation to the detractors can be found in a message that I think was meant to be from a detractor but ended up summarizing the kind of culture the scoffers are celebrating: “Bro I am 21 and I haven’t found a job yet.”

Well, bro, it sounds like you need to grow up. But then, he’s not the only one.

Welcome to 2023 in the Western liberal mind. The message we send to our young adults is that, if you want to be happy, stay a child as long as possible and avoid entanglements or responsibilities. Live at home, start the day with a pot edible or three. Try to become an influencer by streaming yourself playing “Fortnite” endlessly. Try to find real employment when your parents retire and the gravy train is over.

If you want to be successful, meanwhile, go to an overpriced college and regurgitate everything your professors tell you. Be a good worker bee until you’re 35. Maybe you have a boyfriend or girlfriend — who you call a “partner,” naturally — but don’t consider marriage until then.

After that, maybe look into the whole kids thing, but don’t be too worried if you don’t have children. After all, they’re a responsibility — and a burden to the planet.

Millie Bobby Brown and Jake Bongiovi are two adults with careers who have decided to get engaged after dating each other for at least 18 months. This should be wholly normal. Instead, we’re treating this as if they’re two children making a life-altering decision they’ll only regret.

This is ironic because, as one Twitterer pointed out, the left already lets children do this sort of thing — just not if it involves marriage:

Too young for marriage, but both could have decided they were a different gender and undergone life-altering medical procedures if they were 10 years younger.

This is our culture now. Take a long, hard look and see how far we’ve fallen.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture