A Grown Woman And Her Barely Legal Crush

Illustration for article titled A Grown Woman And Her Barely Legal Crush

I'm closer to 40 than I am to 30 — not that you can go backwards — but I totally think that 18-year-old Taylor Lautner is hot. Is it okay for a grown woman to have a teenage crush?

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In today's Daily Mail, 49-year-old Diana Appleyard says: Yep! She likes young, Romeo + Juliet-era Leonardo DiCaprio, and thinks 31-year-old James McAvoy "has that perfect blend of gorgeousness (but not too-pretty boy), cheekiness, sexiness (oh, yes), and an underlying hint of ­working-class anger that is, for some ­reason, devilishly attractive."

This is not about being a cougar — Appleyard's crushes are just that: Crushes. Fantasies. Not relationships with anyone she knows. Just the acknowledgment that she finds some of the young male stars — in entertainment geared toward her two teenage daughters — hot. Appleyard explains she's not interested in grey-haired men like George Clooney, writing: "I have one of those at home."

If Appleyard were a man talking about having crushes on younger women, would we be grossed out? Propabably. But she's not having a mid-life crisis; she's not advocating ditching the husband for a sports car and the younger guy who lives down the street. She's just sharing her daydreams. Remembering what it was like to be a fan, to live in that sliver of girlworld where cute rules — while still going about a normal, adult life. Which sounds healthy, escapist, and enjoyable.

…It's fun. That's what crushes are all about. They are designed to take you out of your boring old life and catapult you into a world where you actually meet your hero.

So if you'll excuse me, I'll be speeding down the beach on the back of Taylor's motorcycle for the next 10 minutes. BRB.

You're NEVER Too Old For A Teenage Crush (Even At 49) [Daily Mail]

Earlier: Underage Stars: Is There A Sexual Double-Standard? Hell Yeah!

DISCUSSION

liz-lemonade
liz.lemonade: She is beyond good and evil.

It sounds like I'm around the same age as Dodai. At 36, I'm getting to that point where the actors I crush on are younger than me, and it feels weird. Most are just a few years younger rather than half my age like Lautner, but yeah. Makes me feel old... just like so many of the comments I read daily on Jezebel and elsewhere!

I think that a large part of it is the aging process itself. I've always felt like people in their 20s — give or take a few years on either end — are in my age group. Now I've started to notice the widening generation gap. The internet didn't really take off until after I started college, and so many aspects of growing up in contemporary society weren't part of my own youth. I find myself thinking "Kids these days...!" more and more often (yikes), and I cringe when I read comments about how someone loved last weeks' Glee because she danced to Britney Spears songs in tap class. (Britney's inappropriate-for-little-kids subject matter doesn't make me cringe, but rather the fact that I was starting my first post-college job when she hit it big!) I don't feel like A Grown Up on my own, but on a daily basis I feel like a total outsider from the "youth culture" around here and elsewhere. I'm starting to appreciate that quote from Margaret Atwood: "Another belief of mine: that everyone else my age is an adult, whereas I am merely in disguise."

So, I think that the tension Appleyard describes is based in part on the notion that an 18-year-old actor is too far removed from our live as Grown-Ups. When I still feel like part of the 20-somethings, it doesn't bother me at all. But when I feel like a 36-year-old who has less and less in common with people Lautner's age, it starts to get weird for me. And since I can't reverse the aging process, it's only going to get weirder!