So Harry Styles and Caroline Flack have confirmed their relationship is over. Not that strange you might think, until you remember they never actually seemed to confirm it ever happened. The One Direction star has apparently told of the break up via the current trend for celebrities, through an online tweet.
After criticism in the press about their age gap, maybe it’s no wonder the couple have split. Why so much fuss? Ms Flack happens to be in her early thirties, while Harry is a teenager, but why the debate? Surely with both of them being old enough to know their own mind it’s their choice who they choose to date. If the age gap were reversed, I wonder if anyone would even have commented at all.
The choice of celebrity examples with an opposite age gap is pretty vast, with candidates such as Michael Douglas (25 years older than wife Catherine Zeta Jones) as well as 12 years difference between Jay Z and singer Beyonce. For a more extreme (and thankfully now defunct) example look only to the 60 year (!) gap between 85 year old Hugh Hefner and his former fiancée Crystal Harris. Imagine the public and press reaction if a woman of 85 dated a man 60 years her junior? Somehow I doubt that outrage would even cover the resulting backlash.
As someone whose parents don’t exactly fit the ‘conventional’ arrangement of younger woman and older man, it seems odd that such a situation is often viewed negatively. If a couple are happy together does the age gap, if there is one, even need to become an issue? Maybe instead of being like this women considering dating a younger man should take a tip from Joan Collins. When the actress was asked about her husband Percy Gibson, and in particular the 32 year age difference between the couple, she replied “If he dies, he dies”. Brilliant.
Image courtesy of emmerdale.me.uk