Grooming may just be the new romance passé
The world has come up with some odd dating terms in recent years: ghosting, orbiting and—as more recently highlighted by a Drake and Millie Bobby Brown friendship—grooming. Some might say that these terms are unnecessary because these cultures have existed for far longer than they’ve been termed, but the truth is there might be no better way to point out the wrongness of a deed than by naming it.
So to define what grooming actually is, let’s take Drake as an example.
The In Your Feelings singer, aged 31, is currently rumored to be dating Bella Harris, an 18-year-old model. Sure, May-December relationships aren’t exactly novel or passé anymore, but let’s keep in mind that these two first met when Harris was only 16. Two years ago, Drake was also suspected of dating then-18-year-old Hailey Baldwin, whom he met when she was just 14.
Millie is currently 14 and Drake will be 35 when she turns 18. Are we the only ones seeing a pattern?
Clearly, the answer is no. There’s been online uproar since news let out that the musician and actress have been exchanging messages. Sure, it could just be friendship, but let’s look at a few more facts: Millie shared that she goes to Drake for boy advice, the two openly say they miss each other and they have almost two decades between them.
Remove their international popularity and you just have a 31-year-old messaging a 14-year-old.
To be blunt, grooming is tailoring or targeting someone (arguably, a victim) for future use. It’s manipulative in that the groomer covertly tells the groomed how to behave, thereby training them for the time they become a little more…useful.
On the other hand, the one being groomed usually feels somewhat uplifted by the attention, time and gifts being given to them. They feel empowered because what youngling isn’t complimented when given attention by a mentor, an idol or anyone in position.
And therein lies the real problem: People of power taking complete advantage of their influence. And conversely, the real possibility of being taken advantage of, even if conversation and contact is—by all technical means—consensual.
But you see, what is legal is not necessarily moral.
Looking at the bigger picture, Drake and Millie’s friendship might really just be that: a friendship—I guess we’ll see in four years. But what’s being brought to light and has become a subject of debate is actually a decades’ old problem that we’re yet to solve. Drake’s recent behavior is a fresh bloom on an old tree.
From She The People
Dare we ask: Friendship?
Art Alexandra Lara