not to be that person but…. hating a movie before it comes out because you THINK your favorite character might be getting a storyline you didn’t “want” is really immature and creates uncessary drama over nothing. if it happens AFTER you see the movie? make a fucking scene! but before? just….chiLL
I know I’ve talked about the Cresswell age gap a lot. I mentioned that it’s not illegal in most parts of the world (seriously, stop imposing American laws and norms to the rest of the world all the time - you don’t have to like the age gap but it just isn’t illegal), that their relationship isn’t sexual and hardly will be for a while and if I can suspend my disbelief when it comes to:
- a 16-year-old mechanic who only remembers 5 years of her life to become a capable queen and getting engaged at 18 while having met the guy a handful of times,
- a 23-year-old guy who has been trained to be a child soldier since age 11 with almost no damage to his mind and who falls in love with the first girl he talks to,
- or a 17-year-old girl who never seemed to have any political training of any kind become an equally capable ambassador just because people like her and who also never considered a guy other than her childhood sweetheart for her one relationship,
then ages in TLC, and YA in general, are hardly comparable to ages in our world. The same goes for Cress, despite the uneccessary infantilisation of her character the fandom seems so fond of. (I only picked Cinder, Wolf and Winter as a comparison because along with Cress, those four have the most “YA”-like experiences that makes it harder to compare their maturity to real-life people of the same age.)
[Btw: Most of the main characters didn’t go to school or had any previous relationships. For me, it seems weird to argue that only Cress should to go to school - not even college but a normal high school that would surely not challenge her genius enough - and have her date other people when no one demands the same things from Cinder, Wolf, Jacin, Winter or Kai. If they can meet their one true love during the revolution and marry them later on without taking breaks, then so can Cress. If I apply-real-life standards to a sci-fi YA story then it would have to go for all characters.
But either all of them are allowed find their one true love and stay with them forever or they all need to “grow” first.]
But I feel one of the biggest issues with the age gap discourse is that almost no one posts age-appropriate fancasts. It’s obviously easier to find cool images of established actors or models but it definitely distorts the images we have of the characters.
Sure if you put an actress who is around 16-years-old:
(Let’s take Elle Fanning at age 16)
And use 30-year-old Sam Claflin or Garrett Hedlund (33) in the same fancast it of course looks like a super inappropriate age gap:
Or if people use Zac Efron, they usually pick pics where he is at his current age, 29:
(I’ve seen Diego Luna at age 37, Chris Wood (29) or Diego Boneta at age 26 too - hardly anyone who is Thorne’s actual age, +/- one year).
As for Cress, I’ve seen people fancast girls as young as 13-year-old (like AnnaSophia Robb from “Bridge to Terabithia):
When for all intents and purposes Cress should look like Elle Fanning or her:
(That’s some instagram girl which I often see used as a Cress fancast from the year 2014 where she was 15/16 - I’ve looked through her instagram and only used pictures from 2014 when she was 16 even though she’s 19 or 20 now. You can look up Jacy Jordan/jacykjordan if you want to verify her birthday and dates she posted those pics. But yes, that’s a 16-year-old girl. A teenager, not a child.)
Compared to this guy:
(Froy Gutierrez, age 19. Oh no, a year younger than Thorne. Still a whole lot closer to what Thorne would look like than Claflin, Hedlund, or other fancast who are usually 25+ at least. Could anyone look more like canonThorne? I don’t think so. He’s the age, he has the looks, hey, he is even half-Mexican. My personal favourite for canonThorne.)
Or coming back to Zac Efron (not my pick but I use casts I’ve seen floating around a lot), you would have to back as far as 2008 to have him at the right age for Thorne (and I used a more flattering picture of him where he doesn’t have that weird Justin-Bieber hairstyle):
(That was from a High School Musical press conference in 2008. The same year he made the movie “17 again”. If you envision Thorne as Zac Efron, in “17 Again” he was 21, one year older than Thorne but still, he would be more appropriate than the way he looks now. Even if one likes current Zac Efron more, it just unnecessarily makes the Cresswell age gap seem wider than it is.)
Or you know what? Let’s include “Bieber Efron” too (after all, it’s not my fault he had that hairstyle):
(21-year-old Zac Efron. See how different he looks from his older counterpart? Or from Claflin and Hedlund for that matter? Thorne wouldn’t look like a grown man at 30. That obviously goes for all the characters but picking and older Kai, Wolf or Jacin never causes the same outcry as it does when it comes to Cresswell)
Now, compare this (16-year-old girl with guys almost twice their age):
To this (16-year-old girls with 20-year-old boys, the way it is in canon):
I feel this puts the whole thing into perspective. We’re not talking about a child or pre-teen with a thirty-year-old dude. If you saw Jacy and Froy or Elle and Zac from the lower pic walking down the street, hardly anyone would consider it inappropriate. If you use fancasts where they are the actual ages they have in canon, Cress and Thorne’s age gap doesn’t seem as wide as people make it out to be.
Basically, I feel there’s a distorted image in the fandom of how child-like Cress and how mature Thorne are when that’s just not the case. One doesn’t have to like the age gap or the ship but the reason why it doesn’t matter to so many people is because we don’t see Thorne as a grown-up man, nor Cress as an immature child.
Putting the “legality” on it makes it US-centric and TLC is not US- centric.
More importantly, for me and many other fans, mutual respect, trust and equality is a given in their relationship, as we have seen time and time again from canon.
“Look at him, Sam,” you nodded towards Steve, “have you ever
seen someone so bummed out by their own birthday?”
Sam stood at your side, the two of you almost uncomfortably
wedged in the kitchen doorway that overlooked the living room of your Wakandan
home. It wasn’t meager by any means, but
it wasn’t a good environment to lend itself to privacy either, and Steve had
failed miserably to find any in the spot he had chosen to sulk in. “No one likes to get older, (Y/N),” he
answered quietly, “and he’s only got one year left before he hits the century
mark. You saw how low Barnes got when he
reached triple digits.”
“That was only because we ruined his cake. What’s Cap’s excuse?”
Summary: You’re dating Im Youngmin but have not been able to see him for a few days because you are busy with school and him with practices.
“When are you going to be done practicing today?” You twisted your pen around your fingers as you called your boyfriend Youngmin who you hadn’t seen for days now.
“I honestly don’t even know if I’m going to sleep tonight. We have to present our dance tomorrow and we look… not good to say the least.” You could hear him sighing on the other side of the phone.
“Youngmin, don’t be so pessimistic. You’ll be fine as long as you practice enough.”
Both of you stayed silent for a few seconds, before Youngmin broke the silence. “I miss you so much y/n”
Surprised at his sudden thoughtfulness, you couldn’t help but smile. “I miss you too. You promise you’ll come see me soon?”
“Of course. Just a few more days since I’m so busy with our new album. I mean you can focus on your exams better too since you don’t have me bothering you” Both of you laughed but truthfully, the two of you were having a hard time concentrating on your work because, well, all you could think about was each other and how much you missed them. “Are you studying right now?”
“Yeah, I’ve been staying up at the library until 11 every night and probably will until my exams are over which is only in 4 days….” You groaned, trying not to stress yourself out over what could make or break your future.
“Just focus on your studying and we can have a ton of fun once we’re both done with our work. Deal?”
“Deal.” You couldn’t help but feel sad that you hadn’t seen your precious boyfriend in so long and still wouldn’t for a few more days. “Fighting!”
Youngmin laughed at the other end of the line “Yeah, fighting!”
Four days had passed since your last phone call with Youngmin and you were finishing up your last night at the library. “I swear to god if all of this studying doesn’t end up doing me any good on my exams on Monday I’m going to drop out of school.” You mumbled to yourself as you zipped up your backpack.
Your eyes widened as you checked your phone. “11:12pm??! The last bus leaves in 3 minutes!” You threw your jacket over one arm and your backpack on the other before trying to quietly (?) run through the library to catch the last bus.
You glanced at the giant clock at the entrance of the library. 11:14pm.
Sprinting down the street you saw a few students still stepping onto the bus. Yes, I made it! But of course luck is never on your side and as you made your way to the bus a cat ran in front of you. Falling backward, not only had your backpack and everything in it fallen on the ground but you had scratched your leg which was now bleeding.
You yelled as the bus closed its doors and started to leave. “No! Please just wait… erghsdjf of course this would happen to me”
After picking up all of your things, you threw on your jacket and hood before limping home. It takes about 15 minutes to walk home… But if I take a shortcut through downtown it will take 5 minutes less….
Brushing the dust off of your clothes you made your way down the street, shuddering at every shadow and rustling bush that you passed by. Almost home, I just need to find the shortcut to my apartment…
You just had to quickly walk past the one street that was infamous for all of the alcohol and clubs that plagued it and then you would be home. Don’t make eye contact. You’re almost home.
“Hey you!” You weren’t sure if the deep voice was talking to you but you just looked at the ground in front of you and kept walking.
“I’m talking to you in the shorts! Don’t ignore me!” You gasped as someone digged their fingers in your arms and pulled you back. “You’re pushing your luck princess. I don’t like being ignored.”
Terrified to even look the stranger in the eyes you tried your best to look brave. “Let me go or I’m going… I’m going to call the police.” You tried to struggle away but he only strengthened his grip.
“You’re a feisty one aren’t you… come hang out with me and my friends. We’re having a small… get together tonight in my apartment.” He slurred his words together as the smell of alcohol reeked in your nose. “Or else you’ll regret it!”
Horrified and disgusted, you tried to reach for your phone. “Someone help me!”
Suddenly, the hand that was so persistently grabbing onto you let go and you found yourself watching the pervert lying on the ground and next to him… your boyfriend??!
While you stood there shocked, Youngmin was caught up in anger and punched the man over and over again. “Youngmin, stop!” You pulled Youngmin back and he immediately went from being furious to extremely concerned.
“Y/N, let’s go back to your apartment…”
Confused at his sudden change of emotion, you realized he was staring at your arms which were red from being scratched into and your leg which was still throbbing from your fall earlier.
Before you could say anything Youngmin grabbed your waist and legs and carried you bridal style (you could still walk fine but Youngmin is extra af) until you reached your apartment. Once he unlocked your apartment (of course he knew the passcode by heart) Youngmin put you on the kitchen counter and began patting your scratches with an antibacterial wipe. When you winced at the sharp pain Youngmin stopped and placed his hand on your cheek. “Are you okay? This will only hurt a little bit more.”
He squeezed your hand while he finished cleaning you up but you couldn’t help but see the hurt in his eyes. “Youngmin what’s wrong?”
Youngmin finished putting on the last band aid on you before sighing. “I can’t believe something could have happened to you. The thought of you being hurt, I just….”
You leaned over to kiss his nose before he could continue. “I know something bad could have happened to me, but thanks to you, it didn’t.” Youngmin smiled, flustered and happy that you were okay.
You both spent the rest of the night cuddling on the couch watching your favorite tv shows before you fell asleep, your face buried in his chest. Playing with your fingers as you slept next to him, Youngmin realized he had never felt that type of anxiety and hurt for anyone else because he had never loved anyone as much as he loved you.