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Why Christian Grey Isn’t My Hero

Tagline: Here’s why Mr. Grey WON’T be seeing me this Valentine’s Day

I recently went to the movies with a friend to see the remake of Annie. My friend brought her two young kids, too (but I enjoyed it more than both of them).

(Hashtag Jamie Foxx’s voice doe. ::FEELS::)

Making our way slowly into the auditorium, my friend and I discussed our New Year’s resolutions to get in shape and start eating healthier as we ate our chemically grown popcorn slathered with an extra coat of salty butter. That’s when I looked up and noticed her eight-year-old son glancing in the direction of a giant cardboard movie display off to the far side of the hallway.

This one, to be exact.

 

Fifty Shades of Grey Billboard

 

“Curious?”

I doubt he was, and for a few years more, I doubt he will be, but fast approaching is the day when her son sees a similar advertisement for a sexy, big-budget blockbuster, and suddenly, greasy popcorn and cutesy musicals will be the last thing on his mind.

To call Fifty Shades of Grey a passing fad would be undercutting its cultural impact. The first book in the trilogy has sold more than 100,000 million copies, broken sales records once held by literary classics and claimed the top spot on USA Today‘s best-seller list for well over 20 weeks. The hot-and-heavy teaser was 2014’s most viewed movie trailer at 41 million views, with producers expecting it to be one of the top five most successful movies of 2015.

“Curious?”

Clearly we are. Namely, a lot of girls.

In a recent interview with Elle magazine, Jamie Dornan—the actor taking on the controversial role of Christian Grey—shared his thoughts on playing a character who has become, in his own right, a male icon.

Christian Grey—he isn’t real person. He’s a superhero.”

Interesting choice of words.

I wrote a blog shortly after the first #FiftyShades trailer debuted online last summer, sharing a few thoughts on the popularity of the phenomenon, and why so many girls are flocking to the idea of having their very own Christian Grey. I mean, really…he’s young, rich and good-looking. Why wouldn’t he be every woman’s dream guy?

Okay, so there IS that whole “closet power fetish for bondage” thing, but that’s forgivable, dare I say, sexy even. Right?

I might just be denying my “inner goddess” here, but “superhero” is the last word I’d use to describe Christian Grey.

For those of you who don’t know the premise of the novel trilogy/movie, it centers around a young billionaire mogul named Christian Grey, a shy and inexperienced college student named Anastasia Steele, and their whirlwind affair, which is an indirect result of his traumatic past. Over the course of the story, the two embark on a dark sexual relationship hinged on a paper agreement Christian asks her to sign, saying that their relationship will remain a non-romantic one, with Christian having the right to do whatever he pleases to her while they’re together, contractually making her his “submissive.”

While the biggest argument is that Christian eventually does fall in love with Ana throughout the course of the three books, I feel safe in saying that there is a bigger draw to 100,000 million sales than a measly love story. I mean, really, do guys watch porn for the witty dialogue?

Beyond the surface (and all the explicit sex), I think the biggest reason so many women look to Grey as their dream fantasy figure is because, at the end of the day, he genuinely wants Ana, and he’ll do whatever it takes to have her. What girl doesn’t want a guy who will stop at nothing to be with her?!

Here’s the thing: Christian Grey wants you, but what does he want you FOR?

It’s in our God-given role as women to want to stand by the men we love and see them become all that they are meant to be—we ARE called “the helper” in Genesis, after all—but when we start confusing “the helper” for “the savior,” we’re in serious trouble.

Every girl wants a guy to take the lead. We all long to see men rise to the occasion and act like men while treating women as partners with equality and respect. The thing is, when we start idolizing the Christian Greys of this world and making their twisted version of control our deepest desire, we’ve completely undermined our own ability and, even worse, our own worth.

You are more than your sex appeal and fragile naiveté. You are your smile and the funny way you laugh. You are your opinion on politics and your views on humanity. You are your wild fashion sense and eclectic taste in music. You are your unique humor and individual passion. You are of utmost importance to Jesus because He stopped at nothing to call you His beloved.

Girls, the right guy will want you. Actually want you, and he’ll want you for you. ALL of you. He will chase you and pursue you and fight for you like the treasure God made you to be, but he won’t control you. The right guy will want to be with you because he loves you, and not just because he loves what he can get from you. You were created to be his partner, not his remedy, his beloved, not his submissive.

At the end of the day, Jamie Dornan is totally right: Christian Grey isn’t real, and we can only pray that for us, men like him never will be.

Plus, I can’t take a fictional character who names his helicopter “Charlie Tango” seriously—but that’s another story.

 

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34 Comments

  1. Project Inspired

    Posted by Sassalynne on April 6, 2015 at 19:28

    I’ve never seen the movie or read the book, and I never will! It’s making sexual abuse look okay. Like the “norm”. Everything that I’ve heard about it makes me sick.

  2. jnotemusic14

    Posted by jnotemusic14 on February 17, 2015 at 19:43

    I’ll be watching the movie Old Fashioned, I’ve already read the book. This movie/book is the way God really intended romance and relationships to be. Fifty Shades of Grey, DEFINITELY NOT the way God intended romance and relationships to be like. Even if you aren’t a believer, no one can say that their relationship is a healthy one. Love this article, thanks for posting!

  3. Project Inspired

    Posted by bacon2997 on February 16, 2015 at 09:31

    The thought of someone being able to create a plot, story line, characters, etc. like this is a little disturbing. I don’t like to think about the message this could be sending to 17 year old girls like myself, or any older or any younger. Too many times women can be weak minded due to something involving this guy she thinks is so dreamy and perfect. Instead of girls seeing this movie as a silly, pathetic thing some girl is doing and see it negatively, girls will see it as an acceptable way to be because I’m sure it all works out in the end for her, and it’s easy to forget it’s not reality. Not sure how to feel about this triology. I just hope it’s not too effective on society. The end (:

  4. freedomlights

    Posted by freedomlights on February 16, 2015 at 07:25

    Fantastic article! You made some great points, and I totally agree. The thought of any of my friends (or anyone) going to see this movie makes me sick. It’s sad to see just how much sex (among other things) sells these days.

  5. Nate

    Posted by Nate on February 13, 2015 at 17:58

    This Guys own wife refuses to watch this show.
    Christian Grey makes rape look ok, he abuses Ana, and in the end everyone praises him as a hero. Disgusting!

  6. Tara_Bara_

    Posted by Tara_Bara_ on February 12, 2015 at 08:50

    Thank you for this article.

  7. kayla.hb13

    Posted by kayla.hb13 on February 9, 2015 at 16:54

    The actors came out with statements saying they’re super embarrassed and wish they hadn’t taken on the roles. The girl who plays Anastasia said she can’t imagine her parents watching it, and the man who plays Christian is a father, and doesn’t want that to be the image that his kids see of him. A lot of regret. It’s sad.

  8. ktuck22

    Posted by ktuck22 on February 9, 2015 at 16:27

    Do we really need an article telling us that Grey’s not a role model? I mean, we should know that already. This is a very well-done piece that makes a lot of great points, but it should be obvious that he’s not someone we want to follow.

    • Tara_Bara_

      Posted by Tara_Bara_ on February 12, 2015 at 08:49

      Very true. However, some teen girls and even grown women struggle with wanting sex, and lust. It is good for them to be reminded that even though a whole culture adores someone, that you dont have too and that it is actually negative

    • sarahisawriter

      Posted by sarahisawriter on February 10, 2015 at 06:29

      I’m super proud of you for sticking to your guns! It’s just that not everyone is so convinced. I have a young sister whose best friend is obsessed with the books. She’s a smart girl with standards, but she’s convinced she wants a Christian Grey someday, and that’s just sad. This is for those girls (and guys!) who really need to hear they deserve better. 🙂

  9. Dreamer

    Posted by Dreamer on February 9, 2015 at 14:14

    Christian Grey is an abuser, a stalker, and rapist. I implore you! Please do not see this movie! Instead, donate the money you would spent on tickets and junk food to a Women’s Shelter!

  10. DanceforJesus

    Posted by DanceforJesus on February 9, 2015 at 09:42

    Wow. I love this article. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!!

  11. Project Inspired

    Posted by godislove on February 6, 2015 at 20:54

    Actually, if you look at the original Hebrew, the words “savior” and “helper” are identical. Just like the words “angel” and “messenger” are the same. When deciding which English word to translate to, the editors had to make a choice. As modern readers, we can choose to interpret it for ourselves 🙂 I personally like savior better

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by Airicuhh on February 10, 2015 at 02:11

      We can not be a mans savior, that’s Christs’ job.. Once you think of yourself as a “savior” your basically in a sense worshipping yourself though it may not seem like it you are idolizing yourself which goes against all Christ said..

    • sarahisawriter

      Posted by sarahisawriter on February 9, 2015 at 12:38

      Oh, I totally get that! 🙂 My point was more of the “savior” in a spiritual sense. The author of the books was very deliberate to try and interweave spiritual ideas into the story, most of which, are very distorted. The whole savior vs helper thing is just my way of saying that we’re meant to a partner, and not a plaything.

  12. GraceBrennan

    Posted by GraceBrennan on February 6, 2015 at 15:58

    A superhero? Seriously? Even my school librarian agrees that he isn’t one. I hate it that this type of sexual abuse is actually sang about in the world. I love this article so much. Thanks for it!

  13. loveoutloud

    Posted by loveoutloud on February 3, 2015 at 22:04

    And I mean, a contract stating he could do whatever he liked? That’s just stupid. Like, advanced stupid. I mean, I just…. wow.

  14. AdventureGirl

    Posted by AdventureGirl on February 1, 2015 at 13:40

    This series absolutely sickens me. How can anyone enjoy a book romanticizing abuse? This is the opposite of love. I haven’t read the book, and will not, but I did read an excerpt and a brief outline of what happens.

    My thoughts after reading it? “I want that 180 seconds of my life back!”

  15. melanie.boonstra@gmail.com

    Posted by melanie.boonstra@gmail.com on January 29, 2015 at 08:02

    I am in love with the article. Thank you so much!

  16. pinkkitty523

    Posted by pinkkitty523 on January 28, 2015 at 11:50

    The fact that a WOMEN decided she wanted to write a book where a man abused another women is just in my opinion plain wrong!

  17. polkadotfireant

    Posted by polkadotfireant on January 28, 2015 at 06:31

    mkay77, you’re right. That’s why I’m giving my money to Old Fashioned jnstead.

  18. Trinity

    Posted by Trinity on January 27, 2015 at 23:11

    Thank you. I was afraid this was going to be something along the lines of ‘it’s about sex, and sex is bad’ when the problem for me (though this is from what I understand as I haven’t read the books) is that it romanticizes an abusive relationship, not even in the style of the sex (some people like that) but emotionally as well. So thanks for highlighting that.

  19. xJesusLovesYoux

    Posted by xJesusLovesYoux on January 27, 2015 at 20:39

    Also the fact that’s Christian Grey was abusive and a rapist. That could be a contributing factor.

  20. mkay77

    Posted by mkay77 on January 27, 2015 at 17:40

    Religious or not, you can’t ignore the fact this book illustrates an unhealthy relationship. Christian Grey, from what I understand of the novel, simply treats the poor girl like a sex toy, and the girl can’t even object. Women are people too, and it’s sad that society strips the value of women down until they are of nothing except for objectification.

  21. Project Inspired

    Posted by Maggielee on January 27, 2015 at 14:48

    I’ve even read articles from secular websites that describes Fifty Shades of Grey as, and I’m paraphrasing here, romanticizing abuse.

    • YoucatMarie

      Posted by YoucatMarie on January 28, 2015 at 15:15

      Yeah, pro-choice people don’t like the abusive relationship, pro-life people don’t like the abusive relationship, but all the women who are middle-aged (some of them are wives and mothers) who find this their “guilty pleasure” are the people who we should be praying for!

  22. Project Inspired

    Posted by CatKatas on January 26, 2015 at 16:01

    I totally agree! That was spot on, and something that a lot of us girls need to hear.

  23. 01banana

    Posted by 01banana on January 26, 2015 at 14:57

    I agree 100% with this. Thanks for posting this. The truth of Fifty Shades of Grey needs to be spoken.

  24. Smylinggirl

    Posted by Smylinggirl on January 26, 2015 at 13:10

    So let’s go see Old Fashioned and support what true love is and how men and women should treat each other!!!!

  25. goatwrangler

    Posted by goatwrangler on January 26, 2015 at 11:07

    Totally agree with you. 😀

    (BTW: “Bravo Tango” is from the phonetic alphabet. Pilots use it to avoid confusion. Alpha, bravo, charlie, foxtrot … So he’s basically calling his helicopter BT. Which doesn’t make any more sense, when you think about it. xD)

  26. Mandi_lee2014

    Posted by Mandi_lee2014 on January 26, 2015 at 10:43

    While I agree with all of that I’ll add something else too. It is VERY poorly written. I was curious and started the book and after two chapters put it down simply because of the writing. Never even got to an explicit sex scene (which I’m sure also wasn’t any good).