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The ‘Twilight’ Exposure

04/11/2012

I’ve had a strong dislike for the whole ‘Twilight’ universe ever since the first book came out. I called Bella a bland stock character who engulfs herself in the life of one man and is only happy when she  discards everything she is and, basically, becomes her man.

But here’s the thing: I hadn’t read or seen any of it. These opinions were derived from secondary sources like Wikipedia articles or reviews, and not actually from the source material. So I decided to give Twilight an honest chance by reading the first book — couldn’t get past 30 pages of dull writing, so I instead watched the movie.

So how do I feel now? Exactly the same. In fact, I feel worse about the series as a whole and what it stands for with the modern young woman. I have two main reasons why.

Reason 1: Bella is a terrible role model

I know Bella’s character is originally designed to be bland and unnoticeable so girls everywhere can insert themselves in her place and imagine they’re the object of Edward’s undying (pun intended) affections, but this isn’t entirely what happens — especially in the film.

Despite the fact that Bella has as much personality as a sofa, she is the main character. As a result, Bella is not merely a “fill in the blank,” she’s the person who young girls are supposed to strive to be. Why? Because she gets her happy ending. She’s, essentially, their role model. And why wouldn’t she be? Pretty much every attractive boy at the school is in love with her, including Edward the boy wonder.

So for girls who want their own Edward to notice them, all they need to do is follow Bella’s cute but clumsy example: Become a woman with no positive characteristics — only self-deprecating ones — and continually accept the terrible actions of your boyfriend.


Reason 2: Yes, Edward is an abusive boyfriend

I know the pitchforks may come out for this one, but the fact remains that Edward is an abuser. So many things this man, or vampire, does to this poor girl qualify as abusive characteristics.

First, Edward singles Bella out with his obsessive stares, knowing she is unremarkable except for this one quality that brings out the “animal” in him. Then he spends a good portion of the movie insulting, humiliating and ignoring her.

Once Bella’s become sufficiently interested with this boy who’s treated her poorly, he starts upping the stakes. He stalks her, watches her sleep and feels this need to “protect” her despite the fact that he’s constantly one moment away from literally killing her. He keeps telling her how dangerous he is and how she should avoid him, but he makes no effort to stop her obsession. In fact, he encourages it.

If you were to replace Edward’s status as a vampire with just that of a human male, every character in the book/movie would be telling her to run as far away as she could. Nothing he does can be considered gentle, kind or romantic in itself — only in comparison to the other monstrous acts he commits or thinks of committing.

We all have our animal urges and instincts — in fact, they’re why we have vampire and werewolf lore in the first place. But we don’t act on them because we’re better than that. Edward should not be admired for his constant temptations to kill his girlfriend — he should be condemned.

In conclusion

This movie was bad, and the book was even worse. I have no intention of continuing the series and anyone thinking of starting it up should plunge their heads in cold water.

“Twilight” is not love. It is, in the end, a century-old man preying on a 17-year-old girl who doesn’t try to know any better. He hurts her, she takes it and asks for more.

The author and director have created a disgusting world filled with two terrible characters who don’t deserve to become the symbol of true love for millions of young women everywhere.

I need to go lie down.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Ryan permalink
    04/11/2012 22:09

    Having been dragged to all but one of these terrible movies, I can tell you that it doesn’t get any better. In fact, it gets worse because she ends up in the middle of two of these insecure, possessive, abusive, and over-compensating “men” and the whole thing is encouraged by the story. Jacob is no better than Edward, and is in fact worse because Bella constantly expresses that she’s not into him romantically. He still treats her like his property though, and she leads him on just enough to piss off Edward. Later he decides that if he can’t have her he’ll just kill himself, and after that “profession of love”, she decides to marry him so he’ll make her a vampire. Then she gets pregnant with his kid, who apparently becomes betrothed to Jacob, which is probably the creepiest thing in a series of books filled with creepy things.

  2. Gretta Faun permalink
    15/12/2012 16:38

    Amazing post. Very honest.

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