I don’t know about you, but I’m getting really weary of the following scenario: Celebrity marries hot wife. Celebrity cultivates faithful, family-man image. Celebrity cheats on hot wife. Public expresses shock and outrage, not only at the cheating itself, but at the fact that anyone could cheat on someone so hot.
I’m sorry, but does anyone still believe that hotness has anything to do with cheating? That the only thing you need to remain faithful is a partner who looks like a supermodel? People cheat. People have always cheated and will always cheat. People with money and power and a willingness to pay off their wives and mistresses to the tune of millions will probably cheat a lot more than the average schmo. What’s shocking to me isn’t that Tiger Woods or any other public figure banged an unknown number of women while married to a gorgeous model–it’s that everyone acts shocked.
I don’t want to insinuate that every famous person in the world is prone to philander, or that cheating is an inevitability that all couples have to accept. But enough already with the shock and outrage. And enough with the myth that blonde hair and perfect breasts will somehow keep a partner from straying. Sure, a person with a mate that he / she no longer finds physically attractive is probably more likely to cheat than one with a relationship where the attraction is still strong. But the absolute reverse isn’t true–hot partner does not equal eternal faithfulness.
It’s also a shame that the mainstream media tends to throw male celebrities into one of two camps: swinging single or devoted family man. If you’re in the latter camp and you stray, it’s expected that you’ll be publicly remorseful, talk about how much your family means to you, and go back to being a devoted family man (usually after paying relevant parties to stay quiet). If you’re in the swinging single camp it’s expected that you’ll eventually become a devoted family man (or pay someone to make you look like a devoted family man–sheesh, this gets expensive). It was refreshing for me to hear Tilda Swinton say that she and her husband have an open marriage, though naturally the mainstream media didn’t devote much attention to the comment, and when they did it was to hint that surely something must be wrong. Sure, open marriages aren’t for everyone, but would it kill us to acknowledge that they might work for some people? That you don’t necessarily have to fall into one of the limited relationship or non-relationship categories that people are most comfortable with? If anything it seems a lot less complicated than paying people to maintain your myth of monogamous bliss.
I already feel guilty for bringing any more unncessary attention to Tiger Woods and his very expensive desire to keep his image intact. In the end, though, I wouldn’t blame Elin Woods for continuing to play the dutiful wife–for tens of millions of dollars in pre-nup money I’m sure plenty of people would be happy to look the other way. Let’s just all stop pretending that so many of these carefully crafted, devoted family man / beautiful and supportive wife celebrity marriages are anything other than elaborate, expensive fictions. Celebrity marriages are just as flawed and prone to failure as the average marriage–there’s just more money and beauty involved.