Terry Dresbach

Outlander Costume Designer

Reply To: On Objectification of Sam, et al


Without deep thought and just off the top of my head, one thing strikes:

14yo girls can behave like this in public. A few years on, it’s just not seemly. So here we have a perfect storm of the anonymity of the Internet and an enormous fan base of really anonymous women of all ages who have the easy opportunity (read: tumblr accounts) to act like, well, 14yo girls behind the cover of their computer screens.

And I’ve shared in some of it. Yes, I’ve got a tumblr account. And honestly, when my kids walk in the room …. I flip the window. And yes, I’ve got a 14yo daughter (conveniently for this post) who concedes that Sam is lovely to look at “even though he’s so old!”

I think that’s part of the hysteria from the older ladies, perhaps. Some of us may be old enough to be his mother but at least he’s not in his 20s (read: too young; ie., the age of our sons). Objectification, maybe, but there are limits.

It is clear to me that much of the ass-ogling (without limits) is from younger fans. There are clear demarcations in the behavior of Outlander fans by age, and this is entirely unscientific and conjecture on my part, but I think the clearest example of this is the emergence of Outlander fanfiction.

While there have always been grumblers about DG’s position in re fanfic, as a general rule we have respected it and there really hasn’t been any of it to find. This is unusual, because author condemnation has never been a bar to determined fanfiction writers. And there are older fanfiction writers (I’ve beta’d/edited for a number of them for years). But now? It’s exploded. Because younger fans are coming to the material through the show and without the loyalty to DG that most of us readers have.

So what’s my point. Not entirely sure that I’m not blaming this all on age, but maybe I am. Younger people have different boundaries. And while sexual liberation and freedom were part of my youth (and an important part of my world outlook), there are still boundaries that my generation hold on to that younger people just don’t care about in this everything-is-public and I-have-Instagram-therefore-I-am age.

I’ll probably reread this later and edit the hell out of it, but for now will not even spellcheck. Just clicking “submit.”