Chasing Contentment

Friday, June 17

I rarely feel more than a passing interest in the goings-on of celebrities (outside of my new favorite magazine, In Style, a picture book for grown-up girls). But the recent and very public pairing of Tomkat, as they have become known, has disturbed me for reasons I've had trouble explaining. Certainly, to occupy my thoughts for so long, it was more than just the May/December nature of their romance. We know couples with age differences, and that doesn't bother me with them.

Everyone around me knows my fondness for both fairy tale movies and teen romance movies, so it's of no surprise to my inner circle that I watched "Dawson's Creek" on occasion or that I enjoyed Katie Holmes' "President's Daughter." In interviews I've seen with her through the years, she's seemed like a grounded young woman (though I have no way of knowing whether or not she's a Christian).

She's been quoted as saying that she had a poster of her current beau on her wall as a teenager. So did I. But that was a decade or so ago, before his two marriages and devotion to the Church of Scientology.

A friend and I were talking this week about allowing our young daughters to begin selecting their own clothes (in instances where it was appropriate). I said that I hoped that if we encourage them to make their own choices - even in things as seemingly insignificant as their personal style - and if we support and guide them to a greater confidence in their own abilities, then maybe they won't be easily swayed when they are older.

And then I realized the reason I've been so appalled and riveted by this Tomkat situation... I wonder what her parents must think. I see her as someone's daughter rather than just as a celebrity.

I want to believe that my daughter - and my friends' daughters - will be able to take the foundation that we've provided them and be able to see reality from fairy tales and to be able to distinguish grown-up love from childhood wishes (though, again, it isn't mine to say that this love these two profess to share isn't true).

I hope that these girls we're rearing to be women will be rooted strongly enough in their faith that they will be able to resist the desire to release their own faith in the interest of yeilding to a man (or an organization or a friend or a job...) that demands - even softly - that conformity is necessary.

I'm a big believer in the theory that we cannot well know another's heart and that we cannot stand in judgement of other people's relationships with Christ or with their families or spouses, so I do not wish to be judgemental of this celebrity relationship. I do, however, see this as a cautionary tale for me as a mother.

I see this as an example of why I need to be diligent in reminding my son to be kind to the women in his life, to be respectful of them, to accept and appreciate the differences in them. It's an example of why I need to be diligent in reminding my daughter that she is beautiful regardless of what other people might say simply because she was fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14)... to remind her that God created her on her own and thus, she can learn to be content on her own... to remind her that, while I have a superficial love for sappy movies, I have a deep and abiding love for her flawed but fabulous father. And that she would be blessed indeed to find such a love.

[  posted by Chel on Friday, June 17, 2005  ]


Wow, great insight. One of the more thoughtful commentaries I've read on the Cruise/Holmes pairing. I'm not into celebrities either, but their relationship really disturbs me, too. I think you explained your viewpoint very clearly!

By Blogger Jana, at 9:14 AM  

Thanks, Jana. It took me a while to pinpoint what exactly disturbed me so badly about the two of them, but once I did, it all made much more sense.

By Blogger Chel, at 9:17 AM  

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