So, way back when 50 Shades of Grey first hit the bookstores, before I knew it was a Twilight fanfic originally titled Master of the Universe, there was a description of it that I heard over and over again. This book, apparently, was a love story between the protagonist and a successful older man, and the kinky voyage they took toward true love. This basic plotline was sketched out basically every review I came across of the book a few months back.
I assumed, from that brief tagline, that the love interest was about 50 or so. Maybe 40. But old, somewhere between 40 and 55 — distinguished, looks like George Clooney or Brad Pitt, imposing, successful, etc. etc. Not my kink, but hot. So you can imagine my confusion when I discovered that Christian Grey is 27, which is hardly an “older man.” Maybe if you’re 17, but Ana (the protagonist) is something like 22-24. She’s a college graduate, for crying out loud — maybe lacking in employment (and apparently sexual) experience, but hardly a child. Plus, she and Christian are right in the normal age range for dating.
Naturally, I figured I’d misunderstood all those taglines and reviews, until I started reading Jennifer Armintrout’s chapter-by-chapter review and analysis of the 50 Shades series, and saw that it is apparently a recurring theme for Ana to refer to Christian as an older man.
I remembered that today because our copy of People magazine arrived for the office, featuring an interview with Brad Pitt. Brad Pitt is about to turn 50 years old, and his fiancee (Angelina Jolie) is 37. This is perfectly normal and accepted, yet somehow E.L. James thinks it’s relatable to write a 20-something character who thinks a 3-5 year age gap is just insane. I just find that really interesting.