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What is the Sliding Glass Door Theory?

A movie released in 1998 starring Gwyneth Paltrow titled “Sliding Doors”, explains a little bit about the sliding glass doors theory. What that theory states is that the seemingly inconsequential everyday incidents or decisions affect someone’s life negatively or positively–like the bus you take. In this movie, it shows two different scenarios.

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She is rushing to get on the train home and one scenario is that she makes the train, gets home, and finds her boyfriend cheating on her, and the second scenario is that she misses the train giving the other woman enough time to leave the apartment before Paltrow gets home and she doesn’t know she is being cheated on. With the first scenario, she is able to move on and live a happier life, but with the second scenario, she is suspicious of her boyfriend's infidelity and grows miserable.


You could get on your regular bus and never think twice about it. But what if you missed your bus by a few seconds and ended up taking the next one? And on that bus is your future spouse or a life-altering accident. It’s these little “sliding door” moments that bring us to this painting of Queen Elizabeth.

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This shows the queen’s life in an alternate universe where she never ascended to the throne. Queen Elizabeth’s uncle was originally in line to assume the throne, but he refused because he was determined to marry an American. The throne then went to Elizabeth’s father making him the King. If Elizabeth’s uncle hadn’t married, Elizabeth wouldn’t have become Queen. This painting shows the alternate universe where she doesn’t become Queen. The constraints of royalty dictated what Queen Elizabeth could and couldn’t wear throughout her life; but this is how Lindsay believes she would have chosen to dress in that alternate reality. Without all the pressure to be the perfect royal, she is living her life in the norm as a Chav.





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