Wednesday, April 25, 2018

30 Days of De-Objectification: Yuck

Back when “Twilight” was a big thing, I was seriously embarrassed by the number of women in my age range gushing over Robert Pattinson, a man young enough to be their son. I didn’t think of their passion as “perverted,” per se, just inappropriate.
Pattinson was in his early twenties and seemed to have the emotional maturity to make an informed decision regarding whom he wanted to be in a romantic or sexual relationship with. That these women saw him as attractive wasn’t the concern. The red flag was the level of infatuation with a person from a different generation than their own.
I saw these women as wanting to have a “second chance” at what they thought their youth should have been. They were evidently dissatisfied with some aspect of their lives. Robert Pattinson (as Edward Cullen) represented something that they saw as glamorous or exciting. They wanted that glamour and excitement to take them away from lives they saw as unfulfilling.
The problem lies in the fact that they were projecting their unfulfilled needs onto Robert Pattinson, a real person, and it made him uncomfortable.
The obsessed fans didn’t care that their mania made Robert uncomfortable.
Robert Pattinson is not Edward Cullen.
People were angry with Robert when he made negative statements regarding Twilight and his character. He likely would not have made such statements were he not being bombarded with disturbing messages from overly enthusiastic fans.
Similarly, I am aware that much of the fascination with middle-aged and senior musicians by very young women has less to do with the musicians themselves than with the infatuated girls wanting something different and exciting in their lives. They see old photos of these men and marvel at what a glamorous and thrilling time that was.
This isn’t necessarily a problem if it is taken to the next level where the person identifies the point of dissatisfaction in their own life and strives to do something about it. However, neither the “Twilight Moms” (nor, in fact, the overly passionate Twilight fans in any age range) nor the “classic rock fandom” of Tumblr take the next step. Instead, they laser-focus their attention on the image of a person, never reasoning that the image is not the actual person.
I hope for Robert Pattinson’s sake that he has managed to escape Edward Cullen and his lustful and overly enthusiastic admirers.
I hope that the girls calling themselves “classic rock fans” become actual fans rather than drooling groupies fawning over an image.
An actual fan would never objectify their heroes.
Admiration and support of performers are positive attributes.
Obsession and objectification are, simply, yuck.

~The Cheese Hath Grated It~

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