How Much PDA is Too Much?
"All the world loves a lover," Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote. Bull. When it comes to public displays of affection (both verbal and physical), some might come off as braggy.
“All the world loves a lover,” Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote. Bull.
Don't know if you've noticed, but PDAs (that is, public displays of affection) seem to be on the rise—at least in Hollywood–and I'm not entirely sure how I feel about all the touch-feely overflow of feelings. Now, before you assume that I'm some kind of romantic killjoy, know this: There are some sentimental gestures that make me go "Aww…"
At last month’s Golden Globes, George Clooney, accepting the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award (seriously? the guy’s 53, for crying out loud) gave a romantic call-out to his new wife, Amal, saying, "It's a humbling thing when you find someone to love. Even better if you've been waiting your whole life…Amal, whatever alchemy it is that brought us together, I couldn't be more proud to be your husband."
OK, props to George—that was pretty touching.
Big Bang Theory star Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting has been releasing Insta pics of her wedding to tennis pro Ryan Sweeting, a full year after their nuptials. This past New Year's Eve, she posted on her dog Norman’s Instagram, and gushed: "One year ago today I married someone who truly changed my life. Ryan, you are kind, gentle, patient, giving, silly, and the most loving creature on earth. You are my everything. Happy 1 year anniversary my love." Another shot, this one of the bride’s pink Vera Wang gown and veil, was captioned #dreamwedding.
A tad cloying, but kind of cute.
The most recent pronouncement of unbridled passion came courtesy of Ashton Kutcher, who, at a tech conference in Sydney, Australia, of all places—couldn’t help but gush about the status of his relationship with Mila Kunis, mom of his 4-month-old daughter Wyatt: “Last week I was walking with Mila Kunis, who's my fiancée. I get to have sex with her, it's amazing...She plays the Queen of Humanity [in new film Jupiter Ascending]. I have sex with the Queen of Humanity."
Here, though, is what really gets our panties in a bunch: Those celebs who prefer action to words. Take, for instance, last week’s Grammy Awards, which were awash in red carpet canoodling: Ariana Grande getting cozy with boyfriend Big Sean, Nicole Kidman nuzzling with Keith Urban, Kanye keepin’ it classy by grabbing two handfuls of Kim’s caboose.
A Swedish study found that you can actually get a kind of psychological high from watching two people caress in public (“Even when we are only watching sensual skin contact, we can experience its emotional meaning without actually feeling the touch directly,” noted India Morrison, PhD, one of the researchers behind the study.)
Sorry to the Swedes, but we're not totally buying it. It’s hard to get all warm and fuzzy from something that seems, well, kind of contrived; affection that seems more like affectation. Is this about genuine feelings or more about giving great photo op? Maybe a killer Versace dress doesn’t cut it anymore; maybe you have to up the paparazzi stakes with a performance.
And then there’s that whole bragging thing. When it comes to these kinds of displays, “placement and location makes a big difference," notes Peter Pearson, PhD, co-director of The Couples Institute in Menlo Park, California. “At an airport, no one is offended, but at a Starbucks or on a red carpet it may seem like exhibitionism—I got it and you don’t. It may be interpreted as flaunting.”
So with the Oscars—prime PDA territory—just a few days away, how about taking the nuzzling down a notch, people? We’ll assume things are smokin’ at home by virtue of you not being plastered on TMZ or nabbing a mention on People’s “Passages” page, under the header Split. Until then, we're good.
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