News and Current Events
Why Christian Grey Isn’t My Hero
Written by Sarah Fine | January 26, 2015
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.
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.
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.