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Kristen Stewart: Since When Is It Our Business?

by August 17, 2012
filed under Activism, Sex & Dating
Topics ,

Maybe it’s just me, but since when is someone’s relationship the world’s business? Oh, since Hollywood. Or Facebook.

Few things get on my nerves as quickly as other people trying to judge or interfere with my relationship, and the consequent choices I make. I want people to respect my privacy and accept that my actions are my own regardless of whether they are good or bad. So why do we not do the same for celebrities? Yes, they have chosen careers that put them in the public eye and subject them to surreal levels of praise and scrutiny. But if it wasn’t for all that wealth, which affords them their unusual lifestyles, they would more or less be like everyone else. What gives anyone else the right to butt into their lives? In my opinion: Absolutely nothing. So when I heard about the Kristen Stewart cheating scandal, I was surprised by the reaction and the level of obsession that ensued.

For those of you who aren’t in the know: Kristen Stewart, known for her sub-par acting in the Twilight series and unfortunately not her actual talent seen in Adventureland or The Runaways, had an affair with director Rupert Sanders. He directed Snow White and the Huntsman, the film she recently starred in. Two weeks ago when ‘scandalous’ photos of the two surfaced, it was immediately all over the news. According to some sources the affair was going on for more or less the entire time they were filming up to the recent past. Stewart alleges that it was a “momentary indiscretion.” Since then, Stewart has been deemed either heartbroken or an evil heartbreaker, while Robert Pattinson and Liberty Ross (Sanders’ wife) are simply the suffering victims. Sanders…well you don’t seem to hear about him so much.

It’s a sad situation for the four involved, but it’s also tragic that the public knows and seems to care so much. It’s unfortunate that so much time and money has been put into observing their misery. The intensity of this voyeurism is unsettling, especially when you consider the fact that the magnifying glass is most often pointed at women. Stewart issued a public apology to People magazine shortly after, and was photographed numerous times looking dishevelled and distressed. Suddenly Liberty Ross is a well-known name. Sanders’ model wife is more famous for taking off her wedding ring, contemplating divorce and understandably banning Sanders from ever working with Stewart again than she is for modelling. I had never even heard of her before this, but now know intimate details about her life. What about Sanders? Apparently he issued a public apology too, but I have heard next to nothing about it. To be honest I can’t even picture his face. And of course there’s Pattinson. He’s apparently been difficult to photograph or reach even though media sources know where he is. Publicly what most of the media concern themselves with is his devastation at Stewart’s behaviour, not the fact that he has been linked to many actresses and his ‘scandals’ were quickly forgotten. He has allegedly cheated or attempted to with Nikki Reed and Ashley Greene from the Twilight films, Megan Fox, Emilie de Ravin, and a handful of mildly famous women.

Where are his public apologies? Why should Stewart feel the need to issue any sort of public apology at all? It’s strange, because I wouldn’t expect a non-celebrity to issue a public apology about what they choose to do in their relationship. There is clearly an imbalance here. The women involved are practically under surveillance and Stewart is being criticized far more harshly for one affair. She has since dropped out of a film project, most likely because of the turmoil in her personal and public life. If nothing else, take this as evidence that the media still idealizes women and holds ridiculously high expectations of them. Of course, Stewart is going to make mistakes from time to time. No one, no matter how famous, is flawless. A) She’s only 22. B) She’s hasn’t exactly received undying loyalty from Pattinson. C) She’s only human. It is unfair and unnecessary for the media to obsess over her behaviour and label her.

Who are we to judge? Who are we to concern ourselves? It’s not that I condone cheating, but every relationship is complicated. It’s not as simple as “Monogamy good, cheating bad.” We can’t possibly know or understand the reasoning behind her decisions, because a relationship is something between two people (or more if you’re polyamorous) and not two people and anyone who surfs the internet. Instead of examining every phone call she makes, we should be more concerned with the uncomfortably negative relationship between the media and women.


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