Friday, February 11, 2011

Why I Dislike Twilight: Part 3

I caution you, readers. There's some sexual parallels that I draw, and it might get uncomfy for some of you younger ones.

A few months after the first Twilight movie came out, a friend and I had this joking repartee on the subject:

So... in the movie, they changed it, because in the book, Bella wasn't in her panties when Edward came to see her. That was the one part of the movie that everyone didn't like.
What?! That... that was... that was the entire point of the movie.
Uh-huh... explain.
Aaron: (this is where I start making stuff up, and inadvertently stumble upon the crux of the Twilight story)
That scene represents the entire movie. See, there, Edward and she make out, but they stop short of "doing anything" because he's afraid he'll go too far. So, they're doing something bad, but it's not all the way bad. And, like, her underwear is gray. And it's not lacey or anything; it's kinda normal. So, see, it represents her morality. She's in her underpants, but it's not overly-sexual or anything. But still, she's making out with a dude on her bed in her underpants. So... yeah. It's that gray color again. The moral grayness. It's that idea that a girl can walk the line between good and evil. That she can date the psycho stalker vampire, but it's okay because he'll still love her in the end. That you can walk the line between light and dark; night and day... the Twilight.
Aaron: I think I just stumbled upon the entire point of Twilight.
I think you did.

So that's it, essentially. The entire point of the Twilight story is contained within a girl's underpants. (double entendre fully intentional)
It's not a secret that most girls secretly fantasize about being with a "bad boy." So, of course, the fact that Twilight has a literal predator male—who is physically perfect, constantly dangerous, and utterly dominating—is highly appealing to that fantasy.
Twilight, on an emotional level, is for many girls what porn is for many men on a mental/physical level. A surface-level fantasy.

My real problem with it, however, is that it's a complete inversion of everything I believe in.

I grew up on real love stories, not nonsense. I was raised to believe that love was compassion, not obsession. True care, not simple desire. Something formed out of maturity, not blindness. I've grown up believing that the dream of true, honest companionship is something to be patiently, steadfastly waited for.
Let's look at this from a different perspective. What if the fabled princess didn't wait for her actual prince charming to come for her, but instead just ran off with the first obsessive guy that she met? How many fairy tales would be ruined? Heck, how many real-life potential fairy tale love stories are ruined by this sort of inadvertent shallowness?

In the third film, Bella says (in reference to choosing between marrying Edward and having a real life) that she needed to make a choice "between who I should be and who I am." Essentially, she's saying "I'm not quite right, so I won't make the right choice here."
Here's the problem with that: people decide who they are; they're not controlled by their nature. All Bella's doing in that scene is trying to justify what she knows is a bad decision by saying "I'm not perfect, therefore I can't do the right thing."

And that's it. That's the lie. The lie that choosing the bad boy over the good guy will yield a happy ending. The lie that embracing the darkness will allow light to shine through. As though even an undead being can somehow shine with light.

And it really makes me sick. It makes me worry.
For as long as I can remember (literally), all I've ever wanted to accomplish in my life is this:
Find whoever I'm supposed to be with—whomever she may be—and marry her. I've got other goals, too, but that one is paramount.
Am I going to be passed over because I'm not twisted enough to conform to some backward fantasy presented as true love? I really doubt it, but still. The very idea makes me furious on some level. For every time I remind myself that steadfast faith in love will win out eventually, there's a Twilight-style story there to say it won't.
And I really hate that.


  1. Love it, I absolutely agree and it was refreshing to read someone saying it.

    Here's my take on Twilight: