Scott Disick Is Dating Another Teenager. And People Are Crying Foul.
The “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” star, who is 37, just stepped out with 19-year-old model Amelia Hamlin.
The intermingling of celebrities from different reality shows and realms of the entertainment world typically make for humorous internet fodder. When Keeping Up With the Kardashians star Scott Disick and model Amelia Hamlin, daughter of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Lisa Rinna and actor Harry Hamlin, were spotted at a restaurant together a few weeks ago, Real Housewives fans on social media couldn’t help but joke about the possibility of Rinna finally having somewhat of an interesting storyline next season—or that the former Days of Our Lives actress could possibly become Disick’s mother-in-law.
But when new photos of Disick, 37, and Hamlin, 19, canoodling on a Santa Barbara beach surfaced last week, seeming to confirm some kind of romantic relationship, the couple’s glaring age difference sparked a heated discussion on Twitter about Disick’s troubling dating habits.
Back in 2017, Disick—then 34—was rumored to be dating 19-year-old Sofia Richie. It was eventually confirmed on Keeping Up With The Kardashians that the two were an item, with Richie making a rather awkward appearance on the program joining Disick, his ex Kourtney Kardashian, and their three children on a family vacation. While news of their relationship initially raised eyebrows online, the pair was able to maintain a public courtship for nearly three years without the internet interrogating every paparazzi photo of them holding hands.
Maybe it was Richie’s status as a new, fairly unknown name in the realm of Instagram models with famous dads at the time (her father is none other than Lionel Richie) that helped the couple remain relatively low-profile, or that the main members of the Kardashian clan were sucking up all of the social media oxygen with their own controversial antics. (Though it did inspire the piece, “Dear Scott Disick: Stop Hooking Up With Teenagers”) But nothing reignites and amplifies the scorn of progressive Twitter users like a 37-year-old man romantically linked to yet another 19-year-old woman.
It didn’t take long for Disick to become a trending topic on Twitter for most of the day on Tuesday, as users accused the reality star of exhibiting predatory behavior. “Scott Disick continually dating women younger than 20 is SICKENING,” wrote one user. Another joked, “Scott disick be like oh covid’s 19?”, with the tweet receiving over 400,000 likes. The story even earned Disick comparisons to Prince Charles, whose toxic relationship with Princess Diana is being portrayed on the current season of The Crown. Prince Charles met Princess Diana when she was 16, and the two started dating when she was 18 and he was 31.
It’s fair to say that age-gap discourse on Twitter could benefit from a little nuance. In an article for Mel Magazine, Madeleine Holden wrote about a series of viral tweets condemning age gaps in adult relationships, many of them suggesting that older men who engage in them are actually pedophiles, a notion frequently peddled across the internet by right-wing trolls. She breaks down the concerns that people have about women who are several years younger than their male partners, usually 10 or more, that allude to sexism and often ignore other factors in relationships that can create power imbalances and unhealthy dynamics. In a similar piece for British GQ, Justin Myers suggests that power imbalances are often inevitable in relationships as “class, wealth, life experiences (which doesn’t always correlate with age), education or emotional maturity”—I would also argue race—are often at play and can be more relevant factors in creating opportunities for mistreatment, control, manipulation, and abuse by one partner to the other.
For example, Disick has publicly struggled with alcohol and drug use on and off for the past 13 years he’s appeared on Keeping Up With The Kardashians. And in a recent episode, the family discusses his latest stint at a treatment center this past May for substance-abuse issues. Maybe it’s more or at least equally as worrying that Hamlin is allegedly entering a relationship with someone who suffers from longstanding sobriety issues, something most 19-year-olds, let alone non-teenage adults, aren’t equipped to handle, than the fact that he has 18 more years of life experience than she does. For Disick, electing to spend time with someone in their prime partying years—although, Hamlin’s not old enough to legally drink, and we’re still in a pandemic, both of which mean nothing to rich kids—also seems like a glaringly bad and unhealthy scenario for him as well. On a very basic level, it also makes you wonder why a nearly 40-year-old man with three kids, one of them closer to Hamlin’s age than he is, would choose to spend time with someone who was just recently a kid.
But that’s half of the complaints about age gaps in adult heterosexual relationships, isn’t it? That men can choose to exclusively date younger women with ease while older women often have a smaller dating pool of younger men willing to court them. It’s this gendered paradox that earns men like Disick, Leonardo DiCaprio, Zach Braff, and many more Hollywood men charges of having a limited view of female attractiveness, and a paternal outlook toward women. But so do a lot of straight men, honestly, no matter how old they are and whether or not they’re in relationships with women that are deemed age-appropriate.
Does Disick deserve to be questioned, mocked, and condemned by the internet nonetheless? Sure. He’s made it clear that he doesn’t care.