The past week has been one of major significant events. 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, rappers having their adult daughters hymens checked for virginity, people dying in various catastrophes around the world, the usual. Nothing could have prepared the world for the shocker that Keanu Reeves served at LACMA Art and Film Gala last week, however.
It is common for celebrities to flaunt their new relationships at high-octane events so that all the paparazzi of this world get their photos on one go. What Reeves (55 years) did not prepare us for, and we shall blame him for our upset minds, was that his partner, artist Alexandra Grant, in fact is 46 years old and has silver hair.
The above makes regular reporting about Reeves’s new relationship basically impossible. Our vocabulary only recognises girlfriend. Problem with the case at hand is that Grant does not look like a girl, because she is a woman. What shall one call her is the first dilemma, and more importantly, could Reeves not have found a younger date with not gray hair and make this semantic problem go away?
Some media ran headlines such as “Keanu Reeves presents his new “girlfriend” at the LACMA event”. Yes, complete with quotation marks throughout the article. Which kind of makes sense, because surely Grant is not a girl? Floods of imagination had taken over many a headline editor the following morning, so fantastical were the resulting headlines: “Keanu Reeves’s age-appropriate new relationship”! Or “Reeves’s New Squeeze Mistaken for Helen Mirren!”
Mirren is 74 years old.
I am not sure which is more weird:
1) Reeves basically getting a Nobel Prize for dating someone his own age (although not really, there’s a nine-year gap, but “his own age” in this context apparently is to be read as “not old enough to be her father/grandfather“), or
2) the freaked out public reaction to the fact that a middle aged woman is flaunting her natural silver hair on red carpet, which one columnist declared to “totally inspire her to feel more comfortable with ageing”.
What is not worthy of a Twitter-outpour seems to be the fact that Richard Gere (70) and his wife Alejandra Gere (36) are expecting their second child anytime soon. While we would never call a 76year-old woman a wild child or girlfriend, we do this when we discuss Mick Jagger and his relationship with 32-year old Melanie Hamrick, who “finally tamed her wild child rockstar boyfriend” (over twice her age). Boyfriend is an absolutely adequate term to describe a male escort of any age. After all, boys will be boys, no?
Alexandra Grant is in a relationship with Keanu Reeves so frankly the joke’s on us. She needs to give a shit about headlines that read “Double-Take for Keanu’s New Squeeze as She’s Confused for Dame Helen Mirren, 74″
But it is all kinds of crazy that basically, in Hollywood, if you are not under 25 years, you might as well be 74.
Photo credit: Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for LACMA.