“Where were her parents?” we all asked when 16-year-old aspiring actress and model, Courtney Stodden, married 52-year-old Lost actor Doug Hutchison. But let’s not be too hard on her mom. Y’know teenagers…always running off with bit players from ABC series.
But now that Courtney is headed for the VH-1 reality series Couples’ Therapy, I think it’s fair to ask again: where are her parents? Where is anyone with sense? A grocery clerk? A passerby walking a dog? A parking meter? Surely, there is someone or something ready to say to this 17-year-old girl: “Y’know, I’m not sure VH-1 is the place to turn that frown upside down?”
See, I don’t expect her life partner to offer her counsel. HE MARRIED A CHILD. All the wisdom Doug Hutchison has to offer her is how to marry a child and what to do while waiting in day-long lines for gas.
And I don’t expect Courtney to be her own advocate here. Courtney, whose collagen-plugged mugging, literal pumpkin-straddling, and might-be-salacious-but-too-inarticulate-to-tell Twitter feed has tested the will of every blogger, observer, and human being who was trying so hard to remember that she was the child here.
Let’s be frank: she was taken advantage of but is also taking advantage of the planet. Courtney Stodden wanted so desperately to be famous that she built a public persona on marrying someone 36 years her senior before she hit her senior year. She didn’t grow up in Fraggle Rock. She knew she’d find a reality show “in” somehow. Someone with that laser focus on terrible ideas can’t stop themselves.
So I’m not sure where to turn with my incredulity over this entirely-unsurprising news. In equally unsurprising news, we’ve mulled this very issue over a few times here on MamaPop. Most of us are parents. All of us have the sense God gave grass. We look at the 24-hour celebrity news cycle (um, yeah…you know…just look and then turn back to our very big fancy books) and know Courtney Stodden is playing to a type that we’ve all set up. That we’ve all celebrated. And as I mentioned as the outset, we’ve all looked to her mother and wondered what in the world she was thinking.
And, yes, we all look to Doug Hutchison and blame him. For taking advantage of a young girl. A girl he met when she signed up for his online acting class AND OH MY GOD WHERE, AT CHRISHANSONSKITCHENETTE.ORG?
But for this latest facepalm—for Courtney Stodden signing on for a reality show about marriage counseling when she should be packing for college—we’re failing to lay blame where blame is due. Simon. Van. Kempen. Yes. Simon, body pride advocate and husband to Real Housewives of New York’s Alex McCord.
F0ppish, shameless, love-t0-loathe-and-love-him-again Simon. Van Kempen and McCord will also appear on VH1′s new season of Couples’ Therapy.
And Simon, of all people, had the influence and mindset to say, “Wait. I’m going to be on this show with whom?” The man LIVES to keep up with the Joneses and mix with the right company. And while he may be, like most reality stars, a D-Lister, he comes from a magical, ratings-filled land called Bravo. Twenty bucks says he has slightly more pull than a D- minus sideshow attraction like Doug Hutchison. Couldn’t he have vetoed Courtney Stodden as co-star? Or declined if—quelle horreur—Stodden got to VH-1 first? Honestly, Simon, as a fellow pretentious person, I’m surprised at you.
But, you tell me, readers: Simons of the reality TV world aside, has Courtney Stodden already gone so far off the rails that it wasn’t anyone’s responsibility to stop her but her own?