“What we hate is that he [Leonardo DiCaprio] isn’t it that gentle, tender, beautiful, intellectual soul that drowned in the Titanic,” writes Verity Johnson.
Verity Johnson is an Auckland-based writer and business owner.
OPINION: I will even with you. Leonardo DiCaprio never fogged up the car windows from a deep compartment of my heart.
I know it’s a rite of passage to womanhood to watch Titanic. (Then spend the next few years artistically draping yourself over your sofa in the hopes that it’ll pop out of a soft cushion and paint you like a French girl.) But that’s never happened to me.
And as of last week, I’m really glad that’s not the case. Because it saved me from the storm of pain that swept the internet last week when Leo broke up with his model/actress girlfriend.
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She was 25 years old. He’s 47. Now everyone already knew he was dating younger, but the real blast came after someone made a chart charting Leo’s relationships. Turns out he’s always dated young people in their 20s and always dumps them when they hit 25.
The graphic has gone viral, exploding in an explosion of outrage, gossip and thoughts diving deep to find meaning in its shallow puddle of human behavior. Our collective fury tasted like the bitter disappointment of a burnt latte. Leo had let us down. Wrong.
And I understand. It basically acts as if women were mid-range toasters, to be bought new and replaced every 10 years or so. It’s infuriating.
But there’s technically nothing wrong with what Leo is doing, in the sense that there’s nothing inherently wrong with dating age gaps. They can work. They’re just tricky and require a lot more introspection than normal.
And while the 40-something model who’s dating the 20-somethings isn’t particularly fancy… well, I wasn’t looking for an actor for honest life advice anyway. It’s like going to an astrologer for advice on re-tiling your bathroom.
But I don’t think that’s why we’re upset. It’s not really the fact that he always comes out younger. It’s the fact that he’s not the man we thought he was.
Seeing all of this really proved to us is that Leo is a basic bro. Because the basic brothers are the guys who always come out much younger. And we all know the type.
He’s the guy who dates younger because he wants a woman who will put up with his bullshit. Or the guy who wants to explain the world to his girlfriend like an overly condescending tour guide leading her through the dusty museum of his life. Or just a middle-aged executive who needs a lifeline to cling to so they don’t feel swept away in the seas of midlife invisibility.
(And it’s also worth noting that while it’s a common occurrence, not all men do it. It’s just quite noticeable in a certain type of middle-aged man who congregates disproportionately more often. in the spotlight. There are plenty of other men who watch this behavior and find the whole thing a bit, well, sad.)
Now, we don’t know exactly why Leo is coming out 20 years younger. But that’s not what we’re struggling with. What we hate is that he’s not that gentle, tender, beautiful, intellectual soul that drowned in the Titanic.
He’s basically the rich and famous version of your co-worker’s ex-husband, Steve, who ran away with his 19-year-old PT. We’re mad that underneath all the floppy hair and tortured expressions, he’s a middle-aged softboi.
But to be honest, whose fault is it really? It’s ours. We never knew this guy, we knew his work.
So now we mourn angrily the loss of a Leo that never was. The real question is, now you can see what he really looks like…why would you date someone like that anyway?