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Age Gap Relationships Are Not The Flex You Think They Are

by Sofia Acevedo Valencia

Billie Eilish’s relationship with lead vocalist Jesse Rutherford of The Neighbourhood was a shot heard around the world.

The entirety of the band’s fanbase, myself included, were witness to the pathetic decline of Rutherford after he split up from long-term girlfriend Devon Lee Carlson, model and co-founder of Wildflower cases. To top it off, The Neighbourhood has gone on an indefinite hiatus since late February according to Variety.

Most people would be upset, lose their cool and eventually attempt to reinvent themselves after such earth-shattering life moments. But we must acknowledge Rutherford went beyond anyone’s wildest expectation.

What did the famous artist resort to, you may ask? Date a girl that is not even old enough to be taken out for a drink yet at 31 years old. It seems he has missed the memo going forward, or all the metallic paint he used on The Neighbourhood’s “Stargazing” music video filtrated straight to his brain.

TMZ reported that the couple has been hanging out since August, but they have been friendly since the 20-year-old songwriter was a teenager.

Rutherford and Eilish’s age gap has been a major source of controversy ever since they went public with their relationship, as he is 10 years her senior and at a completely different stage of his life than she is.

The couple doesn’t care what the public thinks of them or their relationship, going as far as dressing up as a baby and an old man this past Halloween to make a point that failed terribly.

But what really convinced everyone to jump on the Rutherford hate train, which you should really question yourself if you needed any more convincing, was an interview that Eilish did with Vanity Fair recently. She has done it for the past six years to reflect on her life.

“Not only was [I] known by a person that I thought was the hottest [man] alive but pulled [Rutherford]. Are you kidding me? Can we just [get a] round of applause for me?” admitted the singer.

Hearing her sound so sure of herself or like this is some sort of prize that she has amounted to is quite sad and worrisome.

As someone that has witnessed this firsthand, it is quite curious how everyone looks on with curious wonder and points fingers, but at the end of the day, they do nothing substantial to condemn age-gap relationships.

Eilish is an adult, there’s no doubt that what she or Rutherford do is more than legal. But we have to ask ourselves if what we are used to seeing in our society is morally correct and why it has become so normalized.

I am only a year younger than Eilish and I constantly ask myself what I would do if I was in her shoes. Would I succumb to that type of treatment by someone that much older than me? Not only have I seen it happen, but I have experienced being hit on and seduced by men much older than me.

Eilish is not at fault for what is happening to her. No one that accepts a relationship with that type of power imbalance knows what they are getting themselves into until they’re in the thick of it.

There’s nothing in our power that we can do to change the situation that Eilish finds herself in, but we can be more conscious about our loved ones and how we can see the warning signs of someone preying on the naivety of others.

Grooming is not exclusive between a younger woman and an older man and happens in all spectrums. We cannot change anyone’s mind, especially when feelings are involved. However, if you or someone you know finds themselves in this situation, that individual years older than you is not pursuing people their age for a reason.

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