When I picked up this book, my first thought was, "Is this white woman going to understand what it's like to be a person of color in this country?"
Who you callin' a bitch?
I'm not a Kristen Stewart fan. I'm not here to rhapsodize about her cheekbones (ravishing!) or how lovely she looks with a smoky eye (ethereal!) I'm here to issue a big, fat, sisterly cyber-hug to a fellow romantic fuck-up.
When I saw those pictures of Kristen Stewart smacking yummies with director Rupert Sanders, I definitely felt that voyeuristic thrill of, "Ooh! I'm looking at something I was never supposed to see!" But then, unexpectedly, I felt something else, something I never would've expected to feel: pity.
As much fun as it is to pile on a rich, pretty, thin 22-year-old and talk shit about her -- and I've done more than my fair share of hypocritical slut-shaming and shit-talking about cheaters -- maybe there's also room in our collective heart for some sympathy. Or, in my case (and maybe yours), empathy.
Have you ever cheated? It sucks. It feels like high treason, no matter how crappy your relationship, no matter how rocky things are, no matter how much your girlfriends tell you that you're just a good person who made a mistake. You are the bad guy. You hurt someone, and at least for a little while, you are awful. Being an ex-Catholic, I tend to go overboard with the self-haterade and guilt, but when cheating is the issue at stake, it's kinda hard not to see things in black and white -- until, inevitably, the reality of nuance creeps in.
By way of ejemplo: Kristen Stewart's boyfriend may have a cute English accent and sparkle in sunlight and kick ass at Quidditch and be a martyr to Noseless Ralph Fiennes, but he is presumably not perfect and may even have made his own mistakes in their relationship. Perhaps these mistakes include getting sexy with other ladies! We do not know. It's certainly not RPattz's fault that KStew cheated, but her actions don't canonize him as some sort of very, very handsome saint.
When she issued a statement of apology less than a day after the story broke, I was incredibly surprised at its seeming candor. It moved me more than anything I've seen her do onscreen.
I'm deeply sorry for the hurt and embarrassment I've caused to those close to me and everyone this has affected. This momentary indiscretion has jeopardized the most important thing in my life, the person I love and respect the most, Rob. I love him, I love him, I'm so sorry.
Unnnnggggh. That repetition of "I love him" -- it hit me right in the gut. (But do I believe that this was a one-time thing? Um, no. Not that it really matters, because I do not actually know these people IRL, and hey, maybe it was a one-time, multi-location, top-secret make-out sesh. Maybe some people choose to have their first kisses in broad daylight in parked cars in Los Angeles. It's possible!)
Remember being 22? Or 16? Or 30? Or 55? Remember being human? Remember fucking up and feeling shitty without the pressure of thousands of camera lenses and blogs and millions upon millions of human eyeballs trained upon your every move? I know Kristen Stewart chose a high-profile life and that paparazzi come along with the movie staaaaah territory. I know there are people who suffer far more for their (perceived) sins of the flesh. But man, do I feel bad for the kid. I get that's she's a grownass bish, but most people I know (myself included) were emotionally undeveloped fetuses at her age, and I doubt she's a more evolved specimen.
It's enormously tempting to turn one's rage on her make-out partner, a guy with a wife and kids, but I find myself having difficulty doing that, either. As with the mystery that is Robsten/KPattz/Stewinson, I don't know this fellow's relationship with his partner. I don't know if they're happy, or if they have some mutually abusive shitshow of a marriage, or if -- like most couples -- they're somewhere along the spectrum in between.
I do know, because the Internet told me, that his wife apparently deleted her Facebook and Twitter accounts. My hat is off to that lady, because if I were her I'd have a really hard time not Twitpic-ing "Twilight" production stills savagely altered with Perez Hilton-style doodles (and apparently she did Tweet one Snow White-themed image with a saucy caption, but considering the circumstances, that's hardly a mark on her character.)
In fact, I have to say that thus far, on Day Two of this particular ridiculous Hollywood scandal, pretty much everybody is acting as classy as possible, given the shitty circumstances: the Wife, the Other Woman, the Husband, and the Vampire Boyfriend, whose classiness has been demonstrated by his silence. And, obvs, Lady Gaga. Here's who has not been awesome: the press and creepy insane Robert Pattinson fans.
So as I type this out early in the morning after an emotional eating session with mozzarella sticks and a fried egg sandwich, I find myself hopeful for young KStew. Maybe she and Robby P. are donezo, but as my friend observed, "He's basically her high school boyfriend." She'll move on to other things, and so will he. Perhaps Rupert Sanders and his wife will put their marriage back together and find it stronger than ever. Perhaps they won't, and they'll each go off and meet other people who will help them to achieve new levels of happiness. Kristen Stewart isn't a whore or a slut or the devil incarnate. She's a human who did something human. And for now, for a few people, she's the bad guy. But this too shall pass.
After all, it's not as if she cheated on Ryan Gosling. That would be a sin against Baby Jesus.