We’re not going to make the “couple of the week” a regular feature. The reason there’s a couple of the week this week is because, well, of the all the celebrity couples you would have expected to be the most-talked-about couple this week, you would have never predicted that it would have been Keanu Reeves and Alexandra Grant, right?
They walked the carpet at the LACMA gala last weekend holding hands and it’s been headline news ever since. You know what’s interesting about all this? That event happened on Saturday night which means the photos were available on Saturday night. But it took over 48 hours for Keanu + Alexandra to really go viral and it only went viral when several publications put out the misleading headline that Keanu was finally going public with Alexandra or that they were making their first public appearance together – which is not true. They held hands at the Saint Laurent show in June.
We all saw those photos. They weren’t hiding. They haven’t been hiding. So why did it take so long for us to notice? And by “us” I mean collectively, the pop culture collective. Why was it over two days before Keanu and Alexandra’s LACMA carpet pictures became a moment? Why weren’t people declaring that Keanu and Alexandra were “making their first official red carpet debut” back in June at Saint Laurent? If it was anyone else, come on, we’d have labelled it, definitively.
Partly, maybe, it’s because Keanu is so low key and he doesn’t play the fame game, it’s hard to get an accurate read – or any sources leaking information – on him. But mostly, if we’re honest, it’s because of how we’ve been conditioned, right? An actor of Keanu’s status and beauty and age and he’s not dating a woman sub-25? Decades of seeing this, the Leos and the Johnnys and Jacks and George pre-Amal and the list is so long, too long, has normalised for us that a famous man in his 50s should only be seen with a woman who is in her 20s. Ummm…sometimes even in her teens. Like 18 and 19 are “legal” but they’re still teens, right? Or are we changing math vocab now too to accommodate the desires of men?
So no, Keanu and Alexandra aren’t new. We’ve been hearing reports all week from PEOPLE and E! about why he’s ready to go public with her now or how they turned their friendship into romance, making it seem like this is some kind of fresh relationship but… no… it’s been right in front of us. They haven’t gone out of their way to be discreet. They don’t run for cover when they’re out. You can’t even say they’ve been hiding in plain sight because that would suggest that the hiding has been intentional – and it hasn’t. Keanu and Alexandra are too cool to bother worrying or thinking about hiding or not hiding. This entire story and the way it’s unfolded was never their strategy, please. As IF Keanu Reeves sits around deciding with a publicist when he should go public with his relationship.
No, this story is about how we see male value and interpret female value and what we allowed to be normalised. Keanu is awesome for so many things – but he’s not awesome for this and we shouldn’t think of him as awesome for this. He should be the normal and the others, and you know who they are, should be the glitches …in The Matrix, ha!
Anyway, one final thought – it’s that time again, the time of year when PEOPLE Magazine declares its Sexiest Man Alive. I’ve been calling this since the first half of 2019. Who else could it be but Keanu Reeves? More on this next week.