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Leonardo DiCaprio, Taylor Swift, Demi Lovato: Age Differences in Celebrity Dating

Leonardo DiCaprio, Taylor Swift, Demi Lovato: Age Differences in Celebrity Dating
  • Following Leonardo DiCaprio’s alleged split from his 25-year-old girlfriend, fans are re-examining celebrity relationships with big age gaps.
  • Hollywood has a storied history of famous couples with striking age gaps.
  • Relationship experts cite power imbalances as a sign that a relationship may not be appropriate.

As reports surfaced that Leonardo DiCaprio, 47, had broken up with his girlfriend Camila Morrone, 25, the internet had a lot to say about the actor, who has been known for starring in some of Hollywood’s biggest films over the past three decades — and for dating only women born after said career took off.

“‘Titanic’ turns 25 this year so at this point I’m assuming Leonardo DiCaprio doesn’t want to be on it anymore,” one social media user tweeted. “Three things in life are certain: death, taxes (and) Leonardo DiCaprio is breaking up with his girlfriend before her prefrontal cortex is fully developed,” joked another.

The discourse surrounding DiCaprio’s breakup is emblematic of a larger trend recently of re-examining celebrity relationships with large age gaps: Demi Lovato and Taylor Swift have both used songs to call out their significantly older exes for dating met them when they were in their late teens and early 20s. Fans, in turn, have used situations like those of DiCaprio, Lovato, and Swift to denounce gender and power imbalances in relationships.

“We’ve reached a tipping point,” says Andrea McDonnell, associate professor of communications at Providence College, citing issues such as the #MeToo movement, recent documentaries exposing the wrongdoing and abuse of famous men, and the fall of Roe v. Calf.

Previous story:Leonardo DiCaprio’s girlfriend Camila Morrone has broken her silence about their 22-year age difference

“You feel like the status quo doesn’t work for women,” adds McDonnell of the dating scene and beyond. “And so, on social media and in public discourse, you see the Leo split as an example where people can point out his behavior and make fun of it to push back.”

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Taylor Swift, Demi Lovato and the Story of Younger Female Celebrities Dating Older Men

Hollywood has a turbulent history of famous couples with notable age differences: stars like Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Boggart (25-year difference) or Marilyn Monroe and Joe Dimaggio (12-year difference). More recently, Kylie Jenner and Tyga (who met when Jenner was 14 and Tyga was 21) and Florence Pugh and Zach Braff (21-year gap) have garnered attention, as have some of Scott Disick’s relationships.

It’s a story that’s as old as the screen thanks to the fans’ love affair came up with the idea of ​​two co-stars falling in love on set — and it “was and is common for older leads to be cast opposite much younger romantic female leads,” notes McDonnell.

“Like many other mediums, casting in films reflects and shapes culture,” adds McDonnell. “It reflects a society where youth and beauty are valued in women and where wealth often equates older men with wisdom, heroism and power.”

Age gap in relationships is common, regardless of the gender of the couple, such as Olivia Wilde and Harry Styles, Holland Taylor and Sarah Paulson, and Elton John and David Furnish, although it is more commonly cited in cases involving older men and younger women.

Now some call their former partners after feeling taken advantage of. Take Lovato’s single “29,” which has been adopted by countless TikTok creators highlighting their own past relationships.

“Finally 29 / Funny just like you were then / Thought it was a teenage dream, just a fantasy / But was it yours or was it mine? 17, 29,” Lovato sings in “29,” which is reportedly about ex-Wilmer Valderrama, now 42.

Lovato said in a 2015 interview with Ryan Seacrest that the two first met when she was 17 years old. At this point, Valderrama said she was too young for him. Seacrest told then-22-year-old Lovato that they were still too young to date Valderrama, then 35-year-old.

More:Demi Lovato updated her pronouns to include her/her again. Experts say that’s more than okay.

When 32-year-old Swift re-released her 2012 album Red last fall, she updated her breakup ballad All Too Well, which is said to be about actor Jake Gyllenhaal, who is nine years her senior, to include references to her accommodate age difference.

“And I’ve never been good at telling jokes, but the punchline is / ‘I’m getting older, but your lovers stay my age,'” Swift sings. Earlier in the song, she also references her ex who missed her 21st birthday party.

And prior to her relationship with Gyllenhaal, Swift dated singer John Mayer when she was 19 and he was 32 (“Don’t you think 19 is too young / To be played by your dark, twisted games when I made you so loved?” She sings in 2010’s “Dear John”). Both men have been criticized on social media for dating younger women following Swift’s newly recorded albums.

More:Billie Eilish, Taylor Swift and the pressure – and shaming – of celebrity women changing their image

What can we learn from these relationships?

As long as both parties are over 18, these relationships are legal, so what’s the problem? Development and relationship experts cite power imbalances – which relationships with older men and younger women can be prone to – as a sign that a relationship may not be appropriate.

“When it comes to dating, date in an age range that makes you feel safe and comfortable,” says Rori Sassoon, a relationship expert and matchmaker, urging singles to find a partner with similar “life experience and relationship intentions.” Find.

Meghan Gillen, an associate professor of psychology at Penn State Abington who studies developmental psychology and body image, encourages those with similar experiences to evaluate the situation for themselves: “Does it feel appropriate? Does it feel comfortable? Do you feel you can relate to this? to the person…or do you feel like the person has power over you?

Famous or not, couples can gain status through a relationship with an age difference. But especially younger partners also need to be wary of gender, social and power relations.

“Relationships with a significant age gap require more work than the average relationship just from public perception,” says Sassoon. “If you’re just there to feed your ego, watch out.”

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