Take one look at Sandra Bullock and you’ll probably feel warm inside—she’s the sweet, demure southern belle we have come to fall in love with. Whether or not you enjoyed her performance in “The Blind Side,” you were definitely rooting for her to go home with the gold statue at the Academy Awards. She’s absolutely lovable—who else could successfully sing the Ying Yang Twins’ “Get Low” on camera and still have self-respect? She is the all-American actress, the friend and sister, the role model, the artist we can’t get enough of. She also seemed to have such a refreshing relationship with her husband Jesse James. He was different than the Hollywood stereotype, sporting tattoos and riding motorcycles. He stayed out of the limelight but supported his wife throughout her acting career. Yet, even the man who strayed away from Hollywood committed the ultimate Hollywood crime—he cheated. After that, poor Sandra’s life doesn’t seem so sweet.
Apparently, there was more than one mistress for the man who Bullock praised during her “Best Actress” acceptance speech. Michelle McGee, a sultry tattoo model who could give Kat Von D a wake-up call, revealed her multiple affairs with the motorcyclist through the text messages they sent to each other. Three other women have surfaced, claiming affairs that lasted years. Michelle Smith, a stripper; Brigitte Daguerre, a photographer; and an unidentified model have all come clean about their relationships with James.
The situation is ridiculous. Is it so hard for men, and even women, to stay faithful in relationships? It’s a peculiar habit in Hollywood—the appeal of connections, limitless social networking and attractive fame-seekers up and down the boulevard make infidelity a popular trend. The most famous entertainers have been involved in relationship scandals, sex tape incidents (Paris Hilton, anyone?), and very-public break-ups. Cheating is so common that people have even become desensitized to it. Although my heart goes out to Sandra, the surprise is nowhere to be found.
I found the incident to be an issue when my relatively old English professor made a comment about such breaking news in class. It must have been a strikingly significant event for her if an old-fashioned woman took the time to bring it up in class. This is a woman who has been married for decades. The recent rise in cheating, infidelity and divorce has clearly been noticed, even by those who seem to have the ideal marriage. I, for one, have no real answer as to why people, specifically men, cheat. If I had to guess, I would give credit to boredom or just pursuing the wrong relationship. People who rush into relationships never seem to fare well, in my opinion.
The threat of cheating is frightening. Perfect marriages don’t seem to exist anymore. The thrill of the chase seems to be the only part of a relationship that seems worthwhile and the comfort and maintenance of a relationship seems to have dwindled in importance over the years, resulting in frequent cheating and deception. It’s a realization I am sure those in pursuit of love and happiness have feared. Sex, flirtatious behavior and promiscuity is an extension of our culture these days, and cheating has been one of the negative consequences of such modern changes.
Bullock, who has fallen victim to these sad discoveries, was only married to James for five years. During that short period, she even took care of and acted as a mother figure toward his children. Many media outlets are comparing Sandra Bullock’s situation to that of Tiger Woods’ wife, Elin. Even though they were unfortunate victims of cheating, these women are certainly capable of rising above the mess their husbands made. They can also revel in the lack of care their husbands put into their affairs—texting mistresses inappropriate messages, all the while believing they would not get caught. It wasn’t tactful. It is also no surprise their mistresses came out with the truth, either. These days, everyone is looking for their 15 minutes of fame, even if it gives them the image of the “other woman.” These are the prices of fame but people like Sandra Bullock can rest easy knowing she made a name for herself through talent- not by teasing married men.