(This was supposed to become a funny article. There are things going on my nerves in the media right now, but I thought I would or could laugh about it. While writing it turned out that no, this is not funny.)
Emma Watson and I have a lot in common. We both love Hermione, we are turning 30 soon and… we both are single – no, self-partnered as she framed it. Her neologism is a good thing for sure. I am a fan. It was long needed to have a positive term for not being in a relationship and without the connotation single, aka of course looking for love and a partner and all that.
This is not the point.
The point is the media and its reaction. The point is that a young woman said she would be her own partner, aka she is dating herself and she is happy with it.
And that this, my dear reader, went through the news, through social media channels, straight into reputable newspapers.
Is this society ready for strong women who are not desperately looking for a husband?
We do not seem to be ready for strong, “self-partnered” women, do we? Why would a whole media world make such a fuss about it? Honestly, what does this say? How should this make women feel? I have very confused feelings about all of this.
Especially, when I think about this other incident two weeks ago:
When a man was called a hero because he is dating a woman with grey hair.
Let that sink in, please. Absurd, quite disturbing, isn’t it?
Here is the story: Keanu Reeves, internet darling, 55 years old, has a new girlfriend. Alexandra Grant, a visual artist, has worked as a professor in the US and in Ghana, directed a documentary, published two books (in a collaboration with Keanu, if that is important) and with him, she founded “X Artists' Books”, a small indie publishing house. Two more facts to add about her:
Alexandra Grant is 46 years old. Her hair is grey.
Needless to say, what the media picked up on.
It was her undyed-head, her botox-free face, and her age. “Keanu Reeves is in an ‘age-appropriate’ relationship” was a headline, a German “journalist” reasoned that since Keanu wears hiking boots for years – the same one – it is only logical that he is dating a woman like her. (WTF!?)
The standard of double-standards
It is not amazing nor really fascinating that an actor is dating a woman who is “ONLY” 9 years younger and who does not meet her plastic surgeon on a regular basis. It is furthermore shocking, devastating, horrifying to see how everyone reacts, how it seems to be “more normal” to watch Leonardo DiCaprio getting older and older but not dating women above the age of 25. This is a scandal.
And here we are, back to the beginning. "Hi, I am leaving my Twenties soon, I am not in a relationship and what I observe right now is that it is still not easy or even relaxing for us to get older as a woman.
Do we have to dye our hair, fill our wrinkles, whine about not having a partner to be accepted or at least left alone in society as a single woman? I feel honestly nothing less than shame for those two media incidents, all the terrible similes those so-called journalists and twitter users used for Alexandra Grant, and I couldn’t stop yawning to see how one little term from Emma Watson made it into the news.
How tho can we make it easy for us to not freak out when we see first wrinkles, grey hair or a growing number on our ID?
I am observing wrinkles around me, my friends, everywhere. I see them in every face and I do not like it. Grey hair is growing on my own head and soon I might have to dye it. I do not want to feel sad or ashamed of my age. I would like to say that I am gaining years and with it wisdom, emotional maturity, and experience. It sounds better than getting old(er).
So, here is to inspiring women who passed the 30, who have shiny careers, who do not want to become a mom or who have cute babies, who have a partner/husband and who are not in a relationship, who have black, brown, blond, red, pink, blue or grey hair, who wear their wrinkles with pride and to those who pay a lot for creams and doctors, to those women who are brilliant, inspiring, successful, great as they are and still damn sexy!
Text by Elisa Thiem
Preview Image by Daniel Monteiro