Terry Dresbach

Outlander Costume Designer

Reply To: On the Objectification of Sam, et al. PART II (added per the request of Terry)

Home Outlander Costuming Discussion Forums General Outlander Discussion On the Objectification of Sam, et al. PART II (added per the request of Terry) Reply To: On the Objectification of Sam, et al. PART II (added per the request of Terry)



Thank you for a very thoughful post. I would like to clarify my stance on the objectification of Sam.

Disclaimer: I don’t pretend to speak for anyone but myself.

The Wedding Night episode was a beautifully done show and I DO NOT IN ANY WAY see it as having objectified Sam Heughan. It was about Jamie and Claire and was sensitively done in a way that perfectly expressed the situation and feelings the two of them were dealing with. It also presented the sex between them not as something gratuitous intended only to titillate, but as the beginning of an amazing love story that will literally span centuries. It was also a wonderful step forward in presenting sex from and for the female view, something we have not seen before. I don’t believe either Sam or Cait were ill used or objectified in any way in that scene. They were not portrayed as objects for the sexual pleasure of the viewers but as two beloved characters in an integral scene from a book I love. It wan’t about the nudity it was about the emotion. The scenes were emotional and sensual and Sam and Cait are most definitely beautiful people but I personally wasn’t seeing them as Sam and Cait – I was watching Claire and Jamie and loved seeing that part of the book come to life in a new way. I certainly didn’t see it as coarse or offensive in any way. I loved the episode and found it to be lovely in so many ways. I and many posters here and elsewhere did celebrate what Ron and company did and were thrilled to see it done so much better than we might have expected. The show left me doing a happy dance when it was over!

What I DO see as objectification is the subsequent posting of pictures of Sam’s (the person not the character Jamie) ass all over the internet, the accompanying tasteless comments, some of them downright creepy, the obsessing over Sam’s personal romantic relationships, the crass jokes, the “stalking”, and posts I have (unfortunately and unwittingly) seen discussing the size of Sam’s penis,etc etc etc. Those are not about a character.They are about an actor who is doing an incredible job bringing that character to life for us and who has put himself in what is an uncomfortable position (filming sex scenes is not in any way sexy) in order to do the best job he can to bring that character to life. Using the justification, as some do, that “it’s ok because men have been doing it to women for years” is ingenous and dishonest. Just because men have behaved poorly doesn’t mean we as women should do the same.

In that vein I do believe DG’s comment fueled the fire and gave those who would behave that way implicit permission if not encouragement to do so. I am willing to stipulate that (a)she has a close relationship with Sam, (b) she was in a (new to her) position of public exposure of a size and scope she had not yet become used to and, thus (c) she did not realize the full effect her comment and subsequent tweets on the subject would have. But the fact is that she is in an influential position and like it or not many fans take their cue from her. One of the negatives of fame. Things you can say as a private person, when said in public venues to a worldwide audience (thanks to the internet) can have far reaching repercussions. That puts DG in a position of higher responsibility for what she says than that of an ordinary fan. From what I have heard, she has since discouraged objectification so I would think she has realized that. I don’t feel a need to discuss with her why she did what she did – that is in the past, it is her business, and I don’t have a right to judge her. But I don’t think it is out of bounds to mention that her initial comments did contribute to the atmosphere. That to me is simply a statement of fact.

So anyway that’s what I’ve got. I know we will not all agree and I will continue to respect the opinions of those who see it differently – after all that’s what keeps life interesting. And I love the posters here and all of your wonderful and thoughful insights and crazy fun discussions. Thank you all for being here and being you.