By Grace Hagan, August 6 2023—
Leonardo DiCaprio’s favouritism towards women 25 years old and under shows his peculiar attachment to his youth. The DiCaprio name is not about Leonardo himself — instead, we associate it with fame, social credibility and infinite access to exclusive resources. DiCaprio’s name mends his perceived undesirability and arguably predatory behaviour. Internet users have had intense discussions about the unethical nature of age gaps and the sexualization of young women.
“Oh, look, Leo is babysitting again,” one commentator wrote on Instagram about DiCaprio and Camilla Morrone’s 22-year age gap.
DiCaprio’s infatuation with 19 to 25 year-old women highlights the metaphorical parent-child dynamic of age gaps. His attraction to younger women highlights a type of control that encourages teenage girls to romanticize age gaps. When they become legal, 48-year-old Dicaprio can pray on younger women without earning the same demonization as others who do the same.
The younger party is manipulated to believe that their sexualization is healthy, sustainable, and has the same longevity as a traditional relationship. However, once they reach 25, DiCaprio has — in the past — ended the relationship as the women no longer have the same allure that once attracted him. By aging, the woman holds up a mirror before him, and DiCaprio screams in absolute horror.
Camilla Morrone, a 26-year-old actress, allegedly met the retired heartthrob when she was 14 and he was 34. DiCaprio met Morrone through Al Pacino, 81, who is currently dating Noor Alfallah, 29, and was Morrone’s stepfather. Many speculate that Leonardo DiCaprio groomed Camilla Morrone to prepare her for a consensual, romantic partnership in an attempt to omit the taboo nature of their relationship. Subsequently, Leonardo DiCaprio broke up with her in August, right after her 25th birthday in 2022.
Fyodor Dostoevsky’s once said that “the best way to keep a prisoner from escaping is to make sure he never knows he’s in prison,” in the context of DiCaprio, the statement suggests that the women involved are unaware that they are placeholders for older men’s boredom. Many young women know their youth is preyed upon, giving DiCaprio an empirical sense of power. His apathy towards them assumingly is misconstrued as the girl “not being the right fit,” which creates a dynamic where DiCaprio’s latest interest becomes dependent on his validation to feel fresh, new, and in demand in the dating and business world.
DiCaprio is attracted to powerful, independent female figures such as Naomi Campbell, who was age-appropriate during their assumed fling in 1995. However, his strategic pursuit of high-top models and actresses suggests that DiCaprio has a fixation on exclusivity. DiCaprio’s attachment to his youth is a reminder that after one’s first singular experience with being young, anything after the matter is an imitation of something better, something completely unattainable.
By dating younger women, DiCaprio immortalizes himself and experiences youth second-handedly, a privilege not allotted to the everyday man who, ideally, is criminalized for his fixation on younger women. By dating younger women, DiCaprio draws attention to female autonomy and how it must be taken from women to conceal the emotional fragmentation of older men. The women create a docile, naive and submissive caricature to mend the enormity of the male ego. They must become unreactive to manipulation, coercion and hyper-sexualization of the female body and regulate themselves within a space that does not create room for their dreams and aspirations outside of their sexuality.
According to NCBI, older adults had more success in rejecting impulsivity and regulating their behaviour to be productive, goal-oriented and sustainable. The younger party is more likely to succumb to their impulsivities and natural lack of experience, a point of contention for socioeconomic status, emotional intelligence, problem-solving skills and long-term goals. An age-gap relationship does not necessarily mean that the nature of the relationship is tyrannical or overly sexualized. Many people from different ethnic backgrounds and classes have dated people half their age, loved with the purest complexities of their hearts and took no solace in manipulating young people or exerting power over them.
DiCaprio puts a time limit on love because conventionality is a non-linear continuum defamiliarizing itself while it is being defined. Being placed on a pedestal at such a young age for being thin, athletic, symmetrical, brilliant and talented creates a grandiose expectation for himself and the women he encounters. However, DiCaprio can access all the resources to mend his grief with conditional love. It is important for everyone to assess what they need to feel loved and safe in their environment to replicate healthy, sustainable relationships without vanity diluting the motivations for a romantic partnership.
This article is a part of our Opinions section and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Gauntlet editorial board.