Courtney Stodden and Twitter’s Hate Culture
According to her Twitter bio, Courney Stodden is a “Model, Recording Artist, Actress, Dancer, T.V Show Hostess, & … Doug’s Girl.” What it doesn’t mention: that Stodden is 17 years old and “Doug” is her husband, actor Doug Hutchison, who is 35 years her senior.
This may be old news to those who are up to date with their frivolous celebrity gossip and breaking Twitter news, but for those of us who sometimes feel like we’ve had strokes and missed entire series of VH1 reality shows centering around the courtships and marriages of people whose major claims to fame are sleeping with B- and C-list celebrities (sometimes even on camera!), this Courtney Stodden person naturally fell under our radar. It’s possibly because her husband is not famous; his major role was as a scheming prison guard in The Green Mile, the emotionally manipulative Shawshank-lite from Frank Darabont and Stephen King. But, more likely, it’s because the only thing actually interesting about this couple is their age difference.
It’s pretty gross, for sure, and there have been plenty of blog posts decrying the relationship, as well as Stodden’s apparent plastic surgery. And while she’s definitely making a stab at a music career, Stodden is more famous for her Twitter account, on which she waxes poetic about a variety of sexy things such as cooking dinner in see-through underwear. She is particularly fond of adverbs and alliteration, and tonight’s most recent update is standard fare:
Wildly wiggling & jauntily jiggling myself to jolting jams as I friskily flaunt a flirty outfit completed w/sexy white 7in. go-go boots! 😉
Not surprisingly, she has a massive following; over 40,000 people are subscribed to her updates as of this writing. But what is a little unfortunate is the typical responses that Stodden receives from those who follow here. Here’s just a sampling:
Et cetera, et cetera!
Look, no one anywhere is saying that Courtney Stodden is a role model or someone respectable, especially as she fuels those criticisms by continually updating her social media feeds. But for people to respond to her by calling her a slut or a whore, especially through the somewhat anonymous confines of a Twitter avatar, only proves that those who are following her on Twitter are only part of the problem. Only more disturbing is the fact that Stodden is a teenager and without question the victim of a culture that values her brand of over-sexualization as much as it reviles it. It might be too much to ask that we embrace Twitter to discuss the implications of this by-product of celebrity culture rather than propagating a misogynistic worldview.