Keanu Reaves is something of a legend: Whether you loved him in John Wick or The Matrix, enjoy wholesome Keanu Reeves memes, or simply envy his silky locks from afar (same), there's a high chance you stan him somehow. But recently, the fervor surrounding him might have gone just a little too far. After Keanu Reeves and rumored girlfriend Alexandra Grant held hands on the red carpet at the LACMA Art + Film Gala on Nov. 4, relationship rumors began to swirl. (Elite Daily has reached out to reps for both Reeves and Grant for confirmation on their relationship status, but has not heard back in time for publication). Headlines praised their "age-appropriate" relationship. But there's something kind of ridiculous about that: he's 55 and she's 46, making her a full nine years younger than he is. That's hardly worth celebrating.
Grant, a Los Angeles-based artist, is also a long-time collaborator of Reeves'. In 2011, they worked together on a "grown-up's picture book" called Ode to Happiness; she created the illustrations and he wrote the text. Their 2016 book Shadows is a series of photographs Grant took of Reeves' shadow, accompanied by his text. They also jointly publish a press called X Artists' Books. And while there's plenty of internet fanfare around their stroll down the red carpet, this isn't the first time they've been open about their reported romance. According to the LA Times, they've held hands in public twice earlier this year.
Even though their rumored relationship doesn't appear to be quite brand new, the internet basically threw a party celebrating their "age-appropriate" bond. There's nothing wrong with their nine-year age gap — they're both adults here — but there is something pretty problematic with the way people are applauding Reeves for dating someone nearly a decade his junior. See?
He's holding hands with a talented artist at a fancy gala — not exactly an act of heroism! The impulse to feverishly praise the actor for dating someone "age-appropriate" just goes to show how low the bar often is for men. Conversely, the fact that the "age-appropriate" woman in question is actually nine years his junior highlights the double standard we have for men and women.
I mean, imagine if Jennifer Aniston was dating someone almost a decade younger than her. Would we all be high-fiving her for dating someone "age-appropriate" or would she be dubbed a "cougar"?
Some people on Twitter called out the public's treatment of Reeves and Grant:
Again, this isn't meant to insult neither Reeves nor Grant. This is just meant to highlight the rude way in which our society has chosen to treat their rumored relationship. Since people seem to be so fixated on age here, let me put this in a way that hopefully hits home: it's time to grow up.