California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

    Fifty Shades of No: Obsession Isn’t Love

    “Fifty Shades of Grey” is known for its vivid portrayal of a BDSM relationship. BDSM derives from three acronyms, standing for bondage, discipline, dominance, submission and masochism.  The trilogy has mysterious yet intriguing character depictions and is a popular movie series that has taken after the novel written by E.L. James.

    The novel “Fifty Shades of Grey” is characterized as an erotic adult fiction. In the storyline, Anastasia Steele is an innocent literature student who is asked to interview Christian Grey, a successful yet intimidating entrepreneur. Grey becomes obsessed by the need to control Anastasia in their sexual relationship and Anastasia is unable to resist.

    “The first movie portrayed an unhealthy relationship and it may be uncomfortable to watch for some,” said junior Heather Wilson-Hooker.

    If people are going to partake in this sexual activity, consent between both parties is imperative for people to understand.

    “Fifty Shades of Grey” centers around this particular concept. For example, Christian is constantly reminding Anastasia to sign the consent contract for their sexual relationship. Consent is important, but it shouldn’t be constantly pushed upon another individual. Both the novel and films take this very taboo topic of BDSM and expose all of the consequences and relevant conversations surrounding it. Perhaps this is why fans are so fascinated with the series.

    “It isn’t the healthiest portrayal of BDSM. The biggest issue you can see is the dialogue between Christian and Anastasia where there is a level of control that Christian says he has that is overly assertive,” Wilson-Hooker said.

    There is a belief that people don’t respect or treat their loved ones with the respect they deserve. According to a study published in the Washington Post, 50 percent of married men cheat on their significant other. This notion of unhealthy love is also portrayed in the movie.

    The article notes that, “many people are loath to admit that they cheat and research on cheating may underestimate its prevalence.”

    There is also an absurdly far-fetched plot line. If Christian Grey was an average-looking man with a low income job, people would have perceived the film in a drastically different light. The fact that Anastasia is originally interested in him solely based off his appearance and wealth is purely superficial. In the end, Anastasia is emotionally and physically drained for a man that takes her to rock bottom.

    Along with heavy criticism from the public and media, there has also been a widespread amount of accolade and interest for both the novel and movies.

    “The reason why I like Fifty Shades of Grey is because the lead actors and actresses in the movies are not as well known and aren’t your typical glamorous Hollywood stars,” said sophomore Stefan Trader.

    Although a fictional story, “Fifty Shades of Grey” objectifies women, glorifies an abusive relationship and does not promote an idealistic version of love. Love is not obsession or possession over another human being. Rather, it’s a shared partnership that rests on essential values of trust, honesty and support.


    Kendra Salo