Fifty Shades of No

All human societies go through fads in which they temporarily either adopt practices of little use or else abandon practices of considerable use.

-Jared Diamond

Humans are a social species.  We thrive off the attention of our peers, and more currently, strangers via social media. And a lot of the time, that attention comes from being part of the group.  And in order to be part of that group, following the current fad is almost mandatory.  As I went through school, and even now into college, I can’t help but notice the fads that grip our society.

The very first fad I remember is the Twilight fad.  Were you team Edward or Team Jacob? Did you hope a sparking, blood sucking bad boy would sweep you off your feet? To be quite honest, I never really got the whole Twilight fad.  My friends talked me into reading all four books, my parents got me the first movie, yet I could not get into it.  I don’t know if it was the bland, emotionless writing or the horrible casting in the movie, but the fad never caught on with me.

The next fad I came through was the immortal love fad. Fallen angels, vampires, and other things that go bump in the night falling in love. The Twilight fad was just starting to fade away and young teen girls needed another fad to consume them.  In all honesty, there were a few good books that came out, but most just followed the same story plot and theme.

Now the fad society is caught up in currently stems from best-seller Fifty Shades of Grey.  The lure of some sexy, brooding millionaire and his room of adult goodies was almost too much to pass up for women everywhere.  However, it has opened the door to a world of chains and whips that had been previously kept under wraps.  But is this fad healthy?

According to The Atlantic, Fifty Shades got BDSM(Na, na, na, come on) seriously wrong.  It carried on to say that the book often associates sex with violence. The female protagonist, Ana, even says in the book that she sometimes feels uncomfortable with the things Christian Grey does.

New York Daily News backed this up, saying that the book, and more recently, the movie, promotes violence against women.  The article backed up their statement by talking about how eventually over time, Ana looses her identity to Christian.

So why does this fad appeal to women so much?

Elite Daily released an article with seven reasons why women are so focused on the darkly themed book/movie.

  1. A guy as seemingly perfect as Christian Grey has yet to exist. Brooding, rich, fit, and sexy as hell… who can blame them?
  2. It revives feelings our first love. Adventurous, experimental, and thrilling. A nice little switch-up from the norm
  3. The sexual tension between Ana and Christian.
  4. We are fascinated by the idea of love, in whatever form it comes in.  Though, that book hardly shows any real affection in my opinion.
  5. It’s porn.  Okay, let’s face it, it is something we don’t have to delete off our internet history. It is something millions of people have read. But it’s still porn.
  6. The Hollywood romanticized ideal, our dream of the perfect man and perfect relationship.  Jeesh… even typing that made me question my own sanity.
  7. It plays with our need to be in control and letting go.

Humans as a whole want to be accepted by others, and in order to do that, they follow fads.  Fads like Twilight, and the Immortal love fads. But more recently, people have become obsessed with something that is dark, dangerous, and foreign.  Fifty Shades of Grey has opened up a door into a world that just a couple years ago was deemed socially unacceptable.  But now, it’s out in the open and there for everyone to stare at.  And boy do we stare. Good fads or bad, we allow them to consume us, our identities, and our lives. Who knows, maybe the next fad will be one where we all dress in pink and wear cones on our heads. Anything is possible.


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