Is age just a number? Or, is this just gross?
Ageism and dating seem to go hand in hand, anymore. Old rich guy marries young pretty woman...you know the story. He’s trying to hold onto his youth, she’s a gold-digger. Older, financially secure lady marries younger, studly guy. She’s a cougar and he’s a pool boy. I get it. We are a society of ageists and we like to make fun of people that get married or date outside of a typically “normal” age range.
And, look, I have always been attracted to older men, myself, and have often dated men 10-15 years older than me, even when I was in college. I understand how people can fall in love (or lust) regardless of their age, and regardless of what society deems “acceptable.”
But, at what point does the age difference just seem...well, weird?
Recently, Hugh Hefner, 85, was supposed to get married but his runaway bride, Crystal Harris, 24, fled the scene just days before they were to get hitched. She realized that they just weren’t right for each other and decided to throw in the towel before they actually signed on the dotted line.
Everyone seemed to think they were an incredibly odd pairing in the first place (60 year age difference) but, hey, at least she was in her twenties. Even though it may have seemed kind of gross to think about the two of them together, it didn’t seem inherently wrong. You know, deep-in-your-gut-this-is-just-exploiting-a-young-girl-wrong.
Well, meet Courtney Alexis Stodden. This pretty, blond 16-year-old aspiring pop artist just married 51-year-old Green Mile and X-Files actor Doug Hutchinson in Las Vegas on May 20.
Please, hold your disgust until the end. It gets better.
“We are totally supportive of this marriage,” says Courtney’s mother, Krista Stodden. “Doug is a wonderful man and we love him.”
She also confirmed that at least one parent had to sign the permission form for the marriage to take place.
This sounds like something out of a seedy Victorian novel I would have read when I was 16. Perhaps Courtney is into the same kind of literature.
Despite the 35-year age difference between the couple, her mother has a few things to say to the inevitable critics.
“Courtney was a virgin when she married Doug. She is a good Christian girl.”
As an aside, I move that we not allow “good Christian girl” to ever be spoken in public again, for it has lost all meaning from overuse.
Her mother goes on to say, “She is a beautiful girl. She has real breasts, real lips, and she is not plastic.”
Sounds as though her mom is talking as though Courtney was up for sale, and not as a mother talking about her beautiful daughter.
Her father, oddly enough, supports the union, as well. Men, I would love to hear your thoughts on what you would do if a 51-year-old man came up to you and asked for your 16-year-old daughter’s hand in marriage. I can hear the guns being loaded now...
Courtney’s father, Alex Stodden, who ironically is 47 and therefore four years younger than his new son-in-law, couldn’t be happier about this union.
“Every father can only pray to have such a man behind their daughter.”
(There is a joke in there somewhere, but I am going to let it rest.)
“Courtney is one of the most level-headed girls out there and I’m not just saying that because she’s my daughter. Doug is the nicest man I’ve ever met in my life.”
Nice or not, my question is, how did these two lovebirds meet, and when? Did they marry a minute after meeting or has he been courting Courtney since she was 14?
The happy couple released this statement to, I’m assuming, offset any criticism that they knew were going to come their way:
"We're aware that our vast age difference is extremely controversial, but we're very much in love and want to get the message out there that true love can be ageless."
While it is nice to be open minded about love and age, there has to be a point where one’s parents have to question the motives behind the man marrying their daughter. I am not trying to say that these two are bad parents, but maybe Courtney and her parents all have stars in their eyes and those stars are blinding them from seeing the reality of the situation...that their daughter is a child bride.