Mary-Kate Olsen and Olivier Sarkozy: Leave Them Alone

As the other half of a billion dollar empire, famous twin Mary-Kate Olsen, has recently earned even more prestige to add to her résumé with a recent win of the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s Womenswear award. And while this honor certainly has attracted fashion bloggers and style headlines, Mary Kate’s name has been circling major press on account of her current relationship with Olivier Sarkozy, the half brother of former french president Nicholas Sarkozy. The makings of their romance details better than even the most scandalous of "Gossip Girl" episodes. While billionairess Mary-Kate is only 26, sixteen years younger than Sarkozy (42) and judging by tabloid photos she is also the same height as his young daughter, making for the obvious question, “Is he her father or her boyfriend?”  But the media and the public have seen a younger woman with an older man before so why have recent headlines and comments dubbed the Olsen/Sarkozy relationship “repulsive,” “peculiar,” “sick,” “lolita-esque,” and even “perverse”?  

The coupling of Mary-Kate and Olivier strike a nerve because even in 2012 it is perceived as greatly unconventional. Olsen who is constantly photographed with her venti Starbucks and oversized, draped, sometimes goth clothing, may not be the picture of a pulled together, chic woman a la Kate Middleton or Katie Holmes (who was 27 when she married a 44 year old Tom Cruise). But Mary-Kate is certainly differently as she smokes casually in front of Sarkozy's young daughter. And many have argued that Mary-Kate’s manner is proof that she is too immature to date such an older man, but judging by her background in creating fashion empires Mary-Kate has more than proven herself as an astute businesswoman and probably not on the same maturity scale as other twenty-somethings her age. Maybe the public is unnerved because Sarkozy is a father of young children, managing director of the Caryle Group, part of a great political family and thus is required to date more conservatively. That, any good father would be thinking about his children and the effects a relationship could impose on them. Just by a few pictures many have concluded that something is mentally wrong with the both of them or maybe there is even deviant behavior going on behind closed doors. Many have argued that Olsen is too young emotionally for Sarkozy that he is manipulating or taking advantage of her. But why is the world imposing opinions when there is no proof that these two adults are hurting anyone?  Because it just does not look right.

The problem lies in the weighted expectations for what is deemed socially acceptable. When you have a couple that does not fit a normal stereotype or adhere to expected values, it turns people off. Judging by reaction and comments, Olsen and Sarkozy do not exude a cookie-cutter romantic, "awww-inspiring" or "storybook" relationship. But why do they have to? Here are two people that have lived extraordinary lives and may never live up to the public’s definition of normal. Reports have largely indicated that both Mary-Kate and Olivier are having “great, happy times,” so why the negative hype?  Just as the world loves to obsess over the special magic created by famous perfect fairytale couples, there is something equally as satisfying when the public is allowed to rip a part relationships that seem less than ideal.