Ghanaian actor Chris Attoh recently shared pictures of his wedding to an American lady and the pictures hit a number of blogs in a wave.
I was curious to see who he had married.
This was really just idle curiosity. I did not really follow him and Damilola Adegbite when they were an item. I do aproko but I don’t know why my antennas never caught their signal.
I clicked open the pictures on one of the blogs.
“She is a very beautiful woman,” I thought to myself. Then I clicked on the next picture and I paused.
Still beautiful but ehm ehm….
In the 3rd picture, she was uncomfortably perched on her seat with a pinched smile on her face. Her waist trainer or whatever she had used to hold jiggly flesh was strangling her. It made her waist look like a taut rectangular block and the bottom part pinched into her hips. When she stood up though, it didn’t look bad.
Why am speaking about waist trainers? Why does it seem like I want to attack waist training people?
This is not what this article is about. It is not about sucking belle for an hour-glass figure and not achieving it. It is not about rearranging internal organs to look feminine. It is not about suppressing wild untamed stomachs and hiding Caesarean Section pouches to be considered beautiful.
It is about ageism.
So yeah, Chris Attoh’s wife, while a stunning beauty, was probably out of primary school when he was born. The lines on her face, the skin on her neck did not have youthful tightness and the way her elbow dimpled told a story that was certainly close to five decades old or thereabouts.
So, I noted the age difference between the couple and I was ashamed to admit it was quite jarring. Ashamed because I am a firm believer in love without the boundaries of age, race and ethnicity (I pause at religion). So why was it odd to look at Chris Attoh and his lovely wife (why do I keep speaking about her beauty…guilty much, Abiodun?)
In my defence, I still believe what I believe about love but I don’t often see couples with a substantial age difference (the female being older) getting married here. A few years of difference is actually much more common than people think. But a difference that shows immediately and isn’t about ‘papers’ is pretty rare.
I have this preconceived notion that young, handsome and successful men care a lot about how their women look; that they would be uncomfortable marrying a much older woman and who looks it. I think that a lot of young men value the physical appearance of a woman as much or even more than who she is within. Am I calling them vain? Ehmmm….yup! Especially celebrities. Dem dey shine eye dey enter market.
So, yeah, Chris and his wife Betty Jennifer looked…odd.
I opened the comment section of the blog I was reading. I sort of expected that people would notice what I had noticed but I certainly did not expect the flood of negativity I saw. Some people were angry he had left Damilola for someone less pretty and older. Some were angry that he was re-marrying so soon. And the poor woman who no one really knows caught some serious flak.
“He married his ancestor.”
“Na im mama e go marry.”
“With all the waist trainer, her old body no gree hide.”
It was simply ageism.
I don’t understand what is wrong with growing older. Young people behave as though it is a crime to age. Like one becomes less human and should leave actual living to younger people. I know a number of women that cannot get over an age difference with a younger man because they are afraid of this scrutiny.
Is there an age where people should give up on love and leave it for the younger ones?
When Ashton Kutcher married Demi Moore, I was very surprised. She was and still is in top form. But let me tell you that, the reward of fighting age is not youth. It may be a flat stomach and nice biceps but something always gives. Youth has the scent of fresh flowers, a glint in the eyes that cannot be bought or sold.
When they broke up and he married Mila Kunis, I was not surprised. I guess I am part of the problem when I don’t expect this sort of marriage to last.
But Chris Attoh or Ashton Kutcher are not the problems here. They have probably considered and banished people’s opinions before following their hearts (let us assume it is not for papers and career gain respectively…I am a sceptic, I gotta say this).
We are the ones making it weird. We the society. Men marry women decades younger all the time and we accept this.
When women marry younger men, we make it look like it isn’t for love but we rarely ever aim our disdain at the men. We go for the women. And we shame them for daring to love at a certain age. It is like women are expected to neatly put their emotions and desires for meaningful relationships in a box titled ‘gone with the wind’ when they reach a certain age.
I was speaking to a woman who was widowed early and left with three kids. I asked her if she would reconsider remarrying (about six years after her husband had passed on).
She said “God forbid. Wetin I dey find again. Make I face my kids.”
I wondered how much of that was because society said romance should be all over for her at this stage in her life. Didn’t she long to have someone to go over her day with at night and wear matching Ankara to church with on Sundays? Or even someone to share an orgasm with, while forgetting the ugliness of this world for a few minutes.
Anyway, ageism is bad. Especially as it is only women that age and men are considered ageless/timeless.
I wish Chris Attoh and his wife a normal marriage (wetin be happy marriage sef…).