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)


I’m afraid that I’m going to have to respectfully disagree with you Cocolalou…

I think they’re never completely innocent with the objectification they experience. They are eager to expose themselves. You don’t accept to expose your (naked) body to millions of viewers’ eyes if you are not ok with consequences, even if at first you couldn’t exactly figure out what the consequences might be. I never bought the statement of actors swearing they are shy persons and don’t like the idea of being unveiled to the audience.

I don’t think that actors are guilty of anything other than pursuing their craft. They are not necessarily “eager to expose themselves.” They are artists who WANT to act out things that are emotional, and difficult, and complex. For instance, Outlander has sex in it. That does not mean that it is just about sex. I doubt that the actors involved read the script and thought “WOO HOO a chance to show the world my arse!” I think that they read the script and thought about how amazing the story was, and the characters, and they decided that they simply HAD to play that role and if it had nudity in it, so be it.

Of course actors can be shy, and reclusive, and nervous, and awkward…just like anyone else. Just because they undertake a profession that puts them in the public eye does not automatically mean they are a narcissist. Those in the public eye often develop a persona in order to cope with the public/personal divide. The playful Sam seen on social media could well be the persona used to keep the PR going, to appear charming and affable. I wouldn’t presume to know what he is like personally, but most public figures find ways to cope with it and their private self often bears little resemblance to their public persona.

Some of the comments I have read seem perilously close to that slippery slope where individuals are blamed. I don’t believe that is your intention, but it reminds me of when people talk about woman who wear revealing clothing/go out alone in a bad part of town/drink in public/etc. must want to be cat-called or groped or whatever.

Appearing in a TV show that includes nudity does not mean that you forfeit your right to respect and dignity.
And actors shouldn’t have to “choose another job” because viewers and fans can’t distinguish the actor from the role he/she plays.

This is not just about Sam, or whether he likes or dislikes the attention, or whether he encourages it. Although, I doubt that he would remain a “fan favorite” for long if he actually put some of the rabid fans in their place for their extreme behavior. Whatever his own thoughts might be, he has to try to keep the fans happy, keep the publicity machine going, and try to do so with whatever grace and dignity he can. (Not an easy task when people are trying to check out what is under your kilt.)