Um, no. A 15-year-old boy is not the fountain of youth.
Maybe Molly Shattuck was thinking otherwise when she allegedly spent a summer seducing and sexually assaulting one of her son’s 15-year-old classmates. It would make sense as motive, because the Baltimore socialite, who used to be married to former Constellation Energy CEO Mayo A. Shattuck III and who was famous a decade ago for being the NFL’s oldest cheerleader, seemed to be forever chasing the forever-young formula.
Shattuck, 47 and probably best described as Baltimore Barbie, was indicted on nine counts, including rape, in a Delaware courthouse this week. The grand jury investigation came after the mother of three took the alleged victim, along with her own kids, to a Bethany Beach vacation house over Labor Day weekend.
Court documents said she put her younger kids to bed and then asked the teen to come outside and help her walk the dog.
Then, investigators said, she bought the older kids a bunch of beer and sent the 15-year-old to bed. And then she allegedly followed him.
She pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges that she performed oral sex on the teen and was released on $84,000 bond, but she was also warned not to have any contact with children other than her own kids.
How did a woman like Shattuck wind up in a situation like this? She looks to me like a woman who pursues youth with more vigor than Ponce de Leon did. That’s what I think may be at the bottom of this case. Investigators said she even flirted with the victim on Instagram. Who next? Alex from Target?
It’s okay, you know, to be an adult.
Actress Frances McDormand expounded on the cult of youth in the New York Times last month.
“There’s no desire to be an adult,” she said. “Something happened culturally: No one is supposed to age past 45 — sartorially, cosmetically, attitudinally. Everybody dresses like a teenager. Everybody dyes their hair. Everybody is concerned about a smooth face.”
We’ve always been a culture that worships youth, but it’s been taken to whole new extremes in recent years. Renee Zellweger has become a verb for those women who surgically transform themselves into completely different forms. Men in the tech industry are getting hair transplants at 26 for fear of losing their jobs. Many of them work in Silicon Valley, where investors refuse to stake anyone over 32.
Last year, there were about 15 million cosmetic procedures performed in the United States, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. That was up about 3 percent from 2012. The quintessential plastics of breasts and noses? Flatline, or even slumping. The increase was fueled by eyelid surgery and facelifts. Yup. Youth over plain old perfection.
“Let’s face it: There used to be something tragic about even the most beautiful forty-two-year-old woman,” wrote Tom Junod in Esquire magazine this summer, naming such women as Sofia Vergara, Cameron Diaz and Jennifer Garner as hugely desirable and less pathetic today than Mrs. Robinson, who was also 42 back when she seduced The Graduate. Gee, thanks.
Isn’t that the role Molly Shattuck is accused of trying to play?
There has certainly been a spike in high-profile cases of women charged with raping or molesting boys.
It was just two weeks ago that a 22-year-old substitute teacher at a D.C. charter school was arrested for allegedly performing oral sex on a 17-year-old student during her first day on the job.
In September and October alone, two teachers were arrested on charges of having sex with a student in an apartment outside New Orleans, a teacher in New Jersey was accused of having sex with students in her car and a teacher in Connecticut was booked after allegedly threatening to fail a student for trying to stop the sex they had been having since the summer.
What is it with all the cougar action? No, wait. A cougar is an older woman who likes to date significantly younger men. These cases are rape, no matter what the motive.
If you read the court affidavit, you’ll see that Shattuck allegedly offered herself up to the boy for intercourse, but he refused and left the room that night. He had his dad pick him up the next morning. Clearly, he knew something wasn’t right.
Shattuck, apparently, doesn’t want to grow up. Even after she had her kids and was approaching 40, she wanted to be a cheerleader.
Since separating from her trophy husband, Shattuck has been marketing herself as a lifestyle guru with a book, Web site and exercise videos, urging everyone to tush-tuck, squat and guzzle gallons of water. So you can look as young and perky as she does. She was wearing lip gloss and funky glasses in her mug shot, still reaching for a youthful look, even as she was being booked on a third-degree rape charge.