I don’t watch The Kardashians, I am not a fan of Tyga, (I’ll be honest, I had no idea who either Kylie or Tyga were before yesterday) yet I found myself googling them after my twitter feed became filled with a slut shaming, paedophile questioning bitchfest.
So, incase you too are in blissful ignorance of this story, Kylie Jenner is the 17 year old sister of Kim Kardashian and has begun dating a rapper named Tyga who is 25. They have been publicly mocked and there have been many comments discussing whether this man is a predatory sex offender for dating a girl 8 years his junior, whilst other “celebrities” have waded in calling each other sluts and hoes… Classy right?!
So why do I care?
Well, at 17 I met my husband, who was 26. It raised a few eyebrows, but we shrugged and got on with getting to know each other. Sixteen years and three children later, we are still together, very happy and the nine year age gap is unnoticeable.
I genuinely don’t care about these so called celebrities, I have no interest in reading about their sex tapes, clothes lines or celeb drama. But I do find it interesting that people on social media have shown such outrage at the age gap. That Kylie has been called a slut and a slag, she has been picked apart and mocked. Tyga has been called a paedophile! He has been ridiculed and there are many suggesting he groomed a child.
Whilst dating a man 8 years older than you isn’t the norm for all 17 year olds, you can hardly call the life of a Kardashian normal, here is a girl who has grown up on TV, she lives a celebrity lifestyle with all the riches and benefits of having a lot of money. Her relationships will be shaped and moulded by her experiences, the average 17 year old doesn’t get offered clothes lines with TopShop do they? So it is hardly surprising that her choice in partners doesn’t fit with the average mould.
My life was far from Keeping up with the Kardashians, I lived in and out of my family home from the age of 14/15. With my sisters, aunties, friends and in a terrifying flat in Sheffield where I left after having all sorts shoved through my letter box and being afraid to leave the house. I had an absent father and a step father who wasn’t my biggest fan. I wonder if there is a reason why I have always dated older men? At 16 I dated a man in his 30s… I sometimes joke that I have father figure issues!
The reality is that I met and fell in love with a man. We grew together, learnt together and joined as one and made a family. He was nine years older than me and I was 17. But that age gap is not what our relationship has ever been about, we have so much in common, we are different in many ways, but that just compliments each other. We just fell in love.
I am not an advocate of age gap relationships, I am an advocate of being open to who you fall in love with. And as long as relationships are filled with love, trust, respect and care, then whatever the age difference we should be accepting of how other people want to live their lives.