Monday, January 11, 2010

In Which Deb Assures Her Readers That She Does Not Have A Crush On Taylor Lautner

This whole Cougar thing has me thinking.

For those who have been "summering on Mars," a Cougar is a lady of a *certain age* who prefers gentlemen of a *certainly younger age.*  A cougar could be as young as, say, 35, if the gentleman in whom she shows an interest is in his early 20's.  Likewise, a Cougar could be in her 50's, and her interest would still be in a gentleman in his early 20's.  The Cougar trend began, as all worthwhile things do, in Hollywood, where dreams are made.  Some notable Cougars include:

Demi Moore
Courtney Cox Arquette
Elizabeth Taylor
Barbara Hershey
Halle Berry
Susan Sarandon
Mira Sorvino
Lorraine Bracco
Eva Longoria Parker
Cameron Diaz
And many more!

This Cougar trend has made it acceptable for ladies of a certain age (mine) to pursue gentlemen of a certain younger age (Rob Pattinson's) without enduring the scorn of society.

 I consider this turnabout as fair play, after years of male-dominated society judging women to only be attractive from age 18-23, pairing leading men in their 40's and 50's routinely with women young enough to require wearing a retainer between love scenes.

However, the newest young hot boy even has open-minded non-judgmental me thinking twice: 17-year-old Taylor Lautner, of "Twilight" and "New Moon" fame:

Taylor is the focus now of several "countdown" websites, similar to the ones that were formerly dedicated to female starlets like Lindsay Lohan, the Olsen Twins, and Hillary Duff.  The purpose of these countdowns is to pinpoint, to the second, the exact moment the star in question will legally be able to have sex with an adult: the eighteenth birthday.

I find this unspeakably creepy.  I found it creepy with the sites devoted to the girls, and I don't consider the one for Taylor any less so.  The law does indeed draw a "bright line" at the eighteenth birthday (or 17th, depending on the state), but morally, isn't that line a bit more fuzzy?

I was talking to Momz the other night, who said she couldn't imagine dating or having a romantic relationship with someone 15 years younger than her (the age difference between Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore).  Me neither, because I'm 34, which would make my prospective younger beau 19, which to me is still a child.  If I were 40, I could: 25 isn't a child, I think the right 25-year-old and the right 40-year-old could have a lot in common.  At some point it becomes more about experience than age, I think.

What do we want in a romantic partner?  Someone we're physically attracted to, sure, but also someone to talk to, share experiences with, and enjoy on a daily basis.  I think if a woman can marry someone 20 years older than her with society's blessing, she can also marry someone 20 years younger.  It depends on the person.  I would make no judgment at all if a woman in her 50's married a man in his 30's.  It's not the age difference that matters, necessarily.

My problem with the Cougar fixation on Taylor Lautner is that, to me, it is sexualizing a child.  I think Taylor himself (or his handlers) are at least partly to blame: are the posters of him without his shirt on any better than the ones of Britney Spears at that age in her bra and panties?

So, yes, I like Taylor Lautner: I think he's a talented kid, and I look forward to seeing what happens with his career down the road.  I do not, repeat, do NOT have a crush on him.

I'll think about it again when I'm 40.


Kristina P. said...

I have had so many conversations about this with people.

Can you imagine if all our husbands had Miley Cyrus countdowns? CREEEEEPY.

Barbaloot said...

Yeah-the sexualization of a child really does creep me out. How did that become okay?

I'm still struggling being a 25 year old and going out with boys that are 22...little too weird to me.

The mad woman behind the blog said...


Joanna said...

Elizabeth Taylor, at 17, was paired romantically with Robert Taylor, who was pushing 50. She said they would finish a number of takes where they were kissing, and he would tell her to go do her school work. Hollywood did indeed make cradle robbing more acceptable.

Boy Mom said...

Argh! I just can't handle these thought provoking blogs, What is a Lady and how should she be treated, what is to old or young for either partner in a relationship. Goodness Deb, have a little sympathy for sugar detoxing, seasonally depressed people who fried their last few brain cells trying to think up good new years resolutions.

I have to admit I thought about running my hands over Taylor's chest, (in a caring motherly way of course) and snorted at Rob's chest and it's few perfect, sparkly, vampire hairs. Does that make me a cougar?

The Domestic Flunky said...

I had no idea these 'countdowns' existed. I was rather hoping that the countdown was to something like 'first arrest' or 'last attempt at a disney singing career'.