Tag Archives: cougar

Jailbait

TaylorLautner1

Taylor Lautner on GQ. Photo Credit: Gossip Teen

I woke up to a horrendous display of advertisement–or really, it was a rerun clip of Access Hollywood‘s Shaun Robinson interviewing Taylor Lautner in the “New Moon” premiere in Westwood a couple weeks ago. Robinson is seen showing off a shirtless Mattel doll version of Lautner’s character, Jacob Black, and asking him of his opinion. Lautner was embarrassed–seemed uncomfortable. The whole thing was sort of awkward. You could see it for yourself at the end of the entry. Over at Twitter, a female friend of mine joked about how she was counting down the day that Lautner turns legal. He is only 17, but in the words of Jacob Black, “Age is just a number, baby.”

Britney1999

Britney Spears was 17 on April 1999 cover of Rolling Stone, Photo Credit: Dolly Mix

I have to admit, I am interested in this Taylor Lautner phenomena, mainly because of the ramifications that who he is and what he’s done is steering the change of how we view masculinity and femininity today. Don’t quite follow me yet? Take for example this countdown that a fan made to countdown the days that Lautner turns 18. Now let’s go backwards in time–countdowns like this have been used to celebrate past “jail-baits” as Britney Spears, the Olsen Twins, and Lindsay Lohan. Grown men that counted down the days were seen as perverted and disgusting. Now, fast forward to 2009. It’s the women’s turn. Now, I’m all about equal opportunity, but are women getting as much flak ove their comments on Lautner and the fact that he is “jailbait?”

I don’t think so–and definitely not at the same degree as men. Actually, there isn’t much clatter about cougars eyeing the shirtless Lautner, except on sites like Just Mommies, a message board for moms. So apparently, it’s okay that a shirtless seventeen-year-old boy can pose provocatively, but when a seventeen-year-old girl (and she doesn’t have to be shirtless, i.e., Britney Spears) poses provocatively, it turns heads. Double standard?

And just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, I discovered that they made a more realistic Taylor Lautner-Jacob Black action figure. And yep, you guessed it, he’s shirtless. I have to agree with fellow blogger,  Nobody Puts Baby in a Horner, when the blogger writes:

“I’m not saying that you can’t have him as your object of lust-eyes because you can do whatever you want, but I am saying it’s difficult to forget how, unless you’re another teenager, those lust-eyes are technically statuatory-rape-eyes.  Sure, the thought police aren’t throwing anyone in jail over the a few idle thoughts, but still: He’s only seventeen, so YIKES!!!”

Yes, big YIKES!!! With 3 exclamation marks means extreme warning. I don’t know whose bright idea it was to create such an action figure. Apparently, it was revealed in Comic Con for the Twihards (a term for die-hard Twilight fans). Poor Taylor Lautner. Poor Tay-Tay. Will he ever escape his identity of just being eye-candy instead of being an actor? I mean, that is what he wants–to be recognized for his acting talent. A Showbiz Spy article reveals Lautner’s ultimate desire:

“I worked hard to get in shape for this role,” Lautner explains. “My motivation was the movie and the fans, but I don’t want to become known as just a body. If I had to choose, I would never take my shirt off again in a movie, but I guess that’s not very realistic. I certainly won’t be asking to do it, though.”

Well, that’s a start. I’m no fortune teller, but I predict that the next few roles you’re going to get will continue to exploit you. Sex sells, eh?

Now you may be thinking, what’s the big deal? Am I advocating that it’s okay for older people–men and women–to lust over underage teens as long as there is equal flak on both sides? No. I’m just quite concerned that people forget that Lautner is still a boy with a man’s body–well, at least until February 11, 2010. People should stop and take a look at themselves. Let me repeat again, he’s 17!

jacobblackactionfigure

Jacob Black action figure. Photo Credit: Twilight Book Addicts

Now, you might be saying for me to take a look at myself, that I’m just jealous that I don’t look like him. Heck ya I’m jealous–me and every guy that doesn’t look like him gets jealous. And the men of the world felt the same way when 300 came out. But that’s exactly how Lautner is changing, or rather, adding to masculinity. Men are running to the gym again, and cougars are on the prowl. Now, women are the ones with the “lustful eyes” and men are the ones “lusted after.” As 2009 comes to a close, we find ourselves at a changing landscape: the image of “jailbait” isn’t a girl; it’s a boy…a really buff boy at that.

What do you think?

“Do not get me upset. Things are gonna get very ugly!” – Jacob Black in “New Moon”

Advertisements

36 Comments

Filed under Entertainment, Issues/Causes, Masculinity, Movies/TV

Targeted By A Cougar

Gloria dancing with her boyfriend. Photo Credit: Examiner.com

Gloria dancing with her boyfriend. Photo Credit: Examiner.com

Last Saturday, my friend’s love interest basically said (and I’m paraphrasing), “Gio, you have quite an old soul. I can see you dating older women.” My jaw dropped. The thought of me and an older woman is like a teacher scratching the chalkboard. It was quite disturbing. But what exactly did she mean? Was she trying to imply that women at my age aren’t mature and thus, I needed a far older women if I wanted compatibility? Was she trying to imply that my love for all kinds of music, especially that of Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, and the more modern Michael Buble had somehow aged me? Little did I know that her prediction may somewhat come true.

So yesterday, I caught up with one of my favorite blogs, “Just A Guy Thing.” And it just so happen that on that day, the writer wrote about the Cougar phenomenon. For those that aren’t familiar with the term,  “cougar” is an older woman who dates younger men. On September 1 in Palo Alto, California, the first-ever national Cougar Convention was held. Gloria Navarro, 42, won the title of Miss Cougar America. And she’s quite the experienced cougar, dating men as young as in their 20s. You know what that means? She dates pretty much guys my age! But she definitely isn’t the only one, as evident of the convention. All across America, cougars are on the prowl.

Lyn Berry, 58, dances with Pfc. Leo Alley, 22 during the convention. Photo Credit: San Francisco Gate

Lyn Berry, 58, dances with Pfc. Leo Alley, 22 during the convention. Photo Credit: San Francisco Gate

But why are they on the prowl? People like actress Demi Moore, 46, married to actor Ashton Kutcher, 31, has become an icon for the cougar community. Perhaps writer Melinda Maximova puts it best when she writes, “A younger man represents the youth women fear losing, and the fun they may have already lost. When a woman was 25 an older man was more attractive.  He was strong, confident, paternal and powerful. But as a woman ages she views older men as a little tired, boring perhaps, and grasping at youth, pathetically, just like… Well, she sees herself and doesn’t like it” (Examiner.com). I think it’s pretty much the same reason older men tend to date younger women. Aging scares people, and the thought of being with someone youthful is in a way, making them youthful. So maybe the Fountain of Youth isn’t really a fountain, but dating a young person. Now, various shows about cougars are making their way to our TV screen. Vivica A. Fox hosts, “The Cougar,” a cougar version of “The Bachelorette.” And Courteney Cox plays 40-year-old Jules Cobb in “Cougar Town.”

So where does a cougar come into the picture for me? Last night, I went for a run around Westwood, keeping my promise to you and myself that I will get down to 160lbs. I was “warming down,” walking, and sweating everywhere. And that’s when I heard it–a wolf whistle. Now, I assumed it was a guy my age who just saw a beautiful girl walking around the corner. As I looked back, it turned out to be a brunette woman, perhaps in her mid 30s commenting on how strong my arms looked and how cute I was. Then she touched the side of my right arm and went on her way. Was this unwarranted attention? Heck ya. Did I feel uncomfortable? Heck ya. Did I feel good that someone commented on how I looked good? Heck ya. Was she drunk when she saw me? Maybe. It was the evening. As I walked back to the frat house, I couldn’t help but laugh. This is what women must feel when they receive wolf-whistles from guys. And wait a minute, was I just sexually-harassed?

I wonder if older women who date younger men hate the term that’s been given to them. Cougar. Is it a derogatory term? Maybe they like it–it sounds powerful, like a lion. Is there a term for older men who date younger women? I can’t think of any on the top of my head. Maybe because it’s just a normal thing to see–so normal in our society that when women do it, it’s sort of looked down upon. Now, is it a societal concept for men to date younger women or purely a biological one? Maybe, it’s a little bit of both.

According to the Scienceblog article, “Older Men Chasing Young Women: A Good Thing,” it is a necessity for the survival of the species. Cedric Puleston, doctoral candidate in biological sciences at Stanford says that it’s part of evolutionary theory because when our reproductive lives are complete, then we die. To put it more simply, Puleston says, “a man’s fertility is contingent on a woman’s fertility.” Men can produce millions of sperm, whereas women can produce only a limited amount of eggs to be fertilized. Thus, the younger the woman, the more healthy her egg is to be fertilized.

So where does this leave me? Is age really just a number? Maybe. Will I date an older woman? Umm…no–it’s just not my thing. However, I did come to  compromise and I could see myself with someone 2 years older than me at the most. Now, will I watch Courteney Cox in her new TV show? Probably–she’s so funny!

But that’s my identity as a 23-year-old revealed. Got a lot more maturing to do.

Photo Credit: Examiner.com

Photo Credit 2: San Francisco Gate

1 Comment

Filed under Entertainment, Life, Movies/TV