Friday 25 May 2018

Where next for the Cougar?

Eva had been dating 25-year-old American football star Mark Sanchez
File photo dated 16/08/2012 of Katie Price and Leandro Penna, who have split up after two years together. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday October 24, 2012. Price, 34, told fans through her website that despite having "a deep affection for each other" the couple had decided to part ways. See PA story SHOWBIZ Price. Photo credit should read: Ian West/PA Wire
Jennifer Lopez and Casper Smart, her 24-year-old backing dancer boyfriend.

Claire O'Mahony

Is it really a new dawn for middle aged women

Celebrity headlines today were very much taken up with the Skyfall premiere.

How green was Daniel Craig and what the hell was Bear Grylls wearing?

So two other stories may have slipped your attention and they are far more significant because they may herald the death of the cougar – Katie Price (34) has split from her Argentinean boyfriend, Leandro (26) and Desperate Housewives actress Eva Longoria (37) has finished her relationship with American football star Mark Sanchez (25).

Whether it was a cultural phenomenon that really did exist or it was just a catchy construct of the media, this wasn’t how things were meant to end up for cougars.

It was meant to be a new dawn for middle-aged women. They no longer had to slide into the twilight years because now women in their forties and fifties could pull twenty-something men, wear leopard print and behave like sex mad teenagers. And the twenty-something male recipients of their attentions would only be too delighted to be on the receiving end.

Except, going on these celebrity examples, this doesn’t actually seem to be the case.

The real death knell for cougars everywhere was when Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore broke up, allegedly after Ashton cheated on the actress with two much younger women, on the sixth anniversary of their wedding anniversary no less. To add insult to injury, Ashton is now happily loved up with Mila Kunis, recently voted Sexiest Woman in the world, and not to put too fine a point on it, she resembles Demi, only she’s younger.

That’s not to say that May-December romances can’t happen when the woman is older. Photographer Sam Taylor-Wood and actor Aaron Johnson are a case in point. There’s a 24-year-old age difference between the couple, who met when Sam directed Aaron in Nowhere Boy. The two now have two children, have taken the name Taylor-Johnson and judging by their appearance at the Skyfall premiere appear as loved up as ever.

But the pair also appear to live a fairly artistic, bohemian existence so something like a 24-year-age difference would not seem like a big deal to them. As Johnson explained: "I'm an old soul and she's a young soul. We don't see an age gap, we just see each other."

Where cougar relationships really do seem to work is where the woman is so completely alpha and important, such insignificant factors like age don’t come into it. We suspect that dancers Casper Smart (24-years-old) and Brahim Zaibat (24 who are respectively dating Jennifer Lopez (43) and Madonna (53) don’t dwell a whole lot on the decades between themselves and their lady friends when they’re enjoying all the accompanying benefits that come from dating an A-lister.

But for the majority of women folk who thought that chasing much younger men could be a runner, it might be a case of back to the drawing board.

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