Forbidden Love: The Ezra Fitz Syndrome

As a loyal viewer of more television shows than I have time for, I often root for the more difficult character relationships: the nerd and the cheerleader, the queen bee and the bad boy, the best friends who are clearly in love but don’t want to shake things up. There’s something about the struggle, the built-up tension, the entire situation that makes us anticipate that first step toward becoming a couple. Of course, there’s one unconventional pairing that’s starting to become more common: the teacher/student relationship.

I may be open-minded, but for some reason, I am completely appalled by this trend. Just today, in fact, as I caught up on Pretty Little Liars and Skins, I witnessed two of these couples — Mr. Ezra Fitz and Aria, as well as Chris and Tina. In the past, Serena Van der Woodsen of Gossip Girl and Prudie of The Jane Austen Book Club, among many others, have been guilty of this as well.

Although I think it is completely inappropriate to be romantically involved with someone who controls your grades (as well as someone who preys upon much younger students), a lot of other viewers don’t seem to agree. Ezra and Aria are a fan favorite as far as Pretty Little Liars pairings go, and the show sympathetically displays the challenges they face as a couple. What scares me is that young girls will see how perfect Ezra is on the show, and suddenly feel that it’s okay to get involved with a teacher. We see these situations arise in the news all the time and the thought disgusts us, so why do we condone it on TV?

Many people argue that the law shouldn’t use age to discriminate against love, and I understand the argument; I have taken sexual behaviors classes and understand the discrepancies in ages of consent. However, regardless of how old each party is, I disagree with the idea of students dating one of the teachers, especially in middle and high school.

This is more of a rant than anything else, but I do wish pop culture would stop glamorizing this!

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