Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Fifty Shades of Baaaaaaaa

Photo Credit: Artist wishes to remain anonymous for some reason

Admittedly my first reaction to Fifty Shades of Grey was humorreplacing the vampire from Twilight with a kinky megalomaniac billionaire dude hardly affected the storyline. It cracked me up. I laughed off and on which I’m sure wasn’t how most readers read the book, but I just couldn’t get past the Twilight similarities.

When I finished the book I literally threw it across the room in anger. As a mother with daughters I wasn’t so enamored with Christian Grey. I thought he needed fifty shades of angry Mama smack down.

Was I shocked by the BDSM? No. Appalled? No. Titillated? Nope. (I'm more of an Outlander or even Lady Chatterly's Lover fan.) Did I think Ana Steele was the stupidest woman in fiction? Yes. So why did I pick up the next two books to read? I wanted to see how it ended! I knew Ana Steele was going to be stupid enough to go back to him, and I was hoping that Christian Grey would get what was coming to him. It was a futile hope. But after I read the second book explaining the background of Christian Grey I began to like the books, and was able to separate it from Twilight and get into the story more. I love perspective and how if you see something from other people’s perspectives it affects yours.

When you see why Christian Grey is like he is, his predilections begin to make sense. He’s damaged. Ana Steele is stupid in love. Actually what I meant is Ana Steele is stupid. But it’s just a story. What bothers me about Fifty Shades of Grey seems to be far removed from what I see other people blogging about. What bothers me is our SHEEPle reaction to it.

Has anyone else ever noticed that a lot of the material goods we tout as the best things to have, or the pricier foods we sometimes enjoy, and even most of the popular places in the world to visit, were all things, food, or places referred to by James Bond in the Bond movies? I wonder, was James Bond living the fantasy of his time or did he sell us the fantasy?

Doesn’t really matter I suppose because we bought it hook line and sinker, or should I say diamonds, Aston-Martins, and Monte Carlo? You have none of the above? How about a mobile phone, some Bollinger champagne, or an Omega watch? There’s actually a book called Selling James Bond by Tanya Nitins, and it is staggering how much shtuff those movies sold us on over the decades. What bothers me about Fifty Shades isn’t the lusting that goes on between Ana and Christian—they’re consensual adults. As a matter of fact Ana is by today’s standards a good girl. (She only went with one man and she married him.) What bothers me about Fifty Shades is that it further perpetuates discontent about what we want and need to be happy.

Plus I know the marketing tie-ins will be painful. (Har, get it?)

Photo Credit: Another anonymous and painful bit of artwork

It’s not the shtuff that really bothers me though. So Jimmy Choo, Louboutin away if you like. We’re all free to waste our money how we please. What bothers me is the bill of goods selling perfect-looking, filthy rich, megalomaniac billionaires as an ideal. What guy can compete with that? Let's hope they don't try. And what about flawless women so devoted to her man’s dark desires that he can beat her. I’ve never had a megalomaniac billionaire who beats me so I’m hypothesizing here, but I’m guessing the real thing would be horribly high-maintenance. And I’m not a flawless woman devoted to my guy’s dark desires, and if anyone hits me the fur is gonna fly, so once again this is conjecture but I have a feeling that a woman like that would be a tad needy. And any real woman who twists her true self into knots to act like Ana Steele for someone—well, I’m sorry for her. I predict the pain would be legion, but the regret would be larger.

When we get too caught up in anyone else’s love life—whether it be the Fifty Shades of Grey idea of romance, Twilight, or the latest couple’s gossip from Hollywood—we’re missing out on all the real loving that could be going on in our own lives.

To me that’s the problem, and that’s not any book’s fault. And the sad thing is all of those things—junk from the mall or fantasy relationships—is really just snake oil. Nobody else should tell you what you need to be happy. You have to figure that out for yourself. Don’t let anybody sell you your fantasy. Make your own. 


  1. "If anyone hits me the fur will fly."
    I laughed out loud there. Love it.

    I have issues with 50 Shades, but that's why I choose not to read it. It's my choice.

    And frankly, if any guy ever tries to pull a "Christian Grey" attitude on me...he'll meet a swift end.

  2. Interesting take. I love the closing statements. I'm in charge of my own fantasy.

  3. Wonderful. You're so right - nobody should tell us what we need to be happy. Loved it.

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  5. I dislike the 50 Shades books on so many levels, it's hard for me to put into words. No, I haven't read them but I heard a brilliant phrase once that I believe applies here: "I don't have to eat a sh*t sandwich to know that it'll taste like sh*t."

    Great post, Steph.

  6. Remember when so many people were anti-Harry Potter? I remember because I was reading the Phillip Pullman books and wondering what the heck poor Harry had done to deserve that rap! I feel like Fifty Shades is the same way.

  7. Hello, my name is Ashley and I've never seen James Bond.
    I'm probably too antisocial to want to go where he goes anyways.