Monday, November 24, 2008

To all the Twilight-er-pated

SPOILER ALERT: Before you read this, I just want to warn you that while I wont spoil the ending for you all, I may just spoil the whole Twilight concept for you. Read with caution. If you love Twilight, loved the story, loved the books, loved the movie you may want to stop reading.

To be fair, I really enjoyed reading the books. (Actually I only read the first 2. I will get to the others as soon as I find a few extra moments in my life.) I went and saw the move on Saturday and I really liked it. I liked its quirky style. I dug the way the director chose to do things. I even kinda dug Bella's Technicolor dream when she is gonna get bit by Edward in all its "softcore porn fantasy" feel, you know kinda Elvira mistress of the dark-ish meets the legendary Vincent Price - "House of Usher"- ish. I like to call it "gaudy goth".
So you ask, what could possibly be wrong to spoil all the fun?

I was talking to a coworker on Friday about my plans to see Twilight. It was a big deal cause I hadn't been to a movie since V for Vendetta. Well over 2 years. She hadn't even heard of Twilignt. So I started to give her the basic overview. You know... Blada blada blada vampire love story. Her response was not the usual "that sounded painfully embarissing for you to admit you actually would read that kinda book" sigh. It was, "Oh, so a typical forbidden love story. Bad guy, good girl. Danger." I was like, "Yeah, ok."

Well, Damn it, Tessa, it got me thinking way too hard about it. And all I could keep coming back to was:

Granted, my response comes from a lifetime of failed romances that began as, "if he could only see what I see when I look at him, he would realize how amazing he is and would accomplish amazing things". What keeps replaying in my head is that dumb mutual story about the indian and the snake. --You knew what I was when you picked me up-- But do you think all of my "project men", my "lost causes", my "my love can fix it" men were really snakes? Of course not. (Im oozing sarcasm right not... OOZING. I just dont want it to be too subtle.) They were different. Including the I just want to stomp all over the moral line of what I can and cant do guy that dismissed me the minute I decided I would rather go on a mission than give it up to him, the Montana find that teared up when we taught him the first discussion, but quickly forgot what he had learned when things got tough, and of course my drug addict baby daddy.
Before I get into too much trouble. I must say: I do not dismiss or deny what I saw in them. It was there and they were amazing but they didn't know it and they didn't really want to know it and that was the problem. From hard, hurtful, tearfilled lessons I have learned that some gambles, some dangers are just NOT worth the risk.

Maybe I spent one too many days in my Gender Differences Psych class and maybe it was a little to women's lib doctrine-ish. I know, I know, we laugh at those professors that condemn Disney for teaching little girls that they have to be saved by a prince. They are all quacks. But really guys. What are we reading and what are we teaching little girls about love? That it is more romantic when its dangerous? That its ok if he's the "bad guy" -- the books words not mine. That their love can save them? That its ok to change who you are so you can be like them so you can be together? That love should be so overpowering that you want give up everything to be with the man you love... your family, your friends, your whole life, literally?

Let me tell you from personal experience... That is not love, my friends. It is at times exciting and fun and there is nothing more heady than a new love with a "bad boy", but it turns into a nightmare very quickly. It is NOT LOVE. Its a form a mental abuse.

Now, once again. To be fair, I have not read the rest of the series and Im sure I will and Im sure I will enjoy it as much as I did the others. As of now, I do not know if Bella "changes" for Edward. But the overarching message, intentional or not, is dangerous to young, impressionable, twitterpated little girl hearts. And those are the target readers. Girls who haven't been faced with the consequences of a "my love can save him" attitude. And like I said earlier, some dangers are not worth the risk.


Lunt Family said...

I totally understand how you feel. The second book is the worst and i could hardly get through it. I couldn't believe that a girl would be that depressed for that long over a boy at such a young age. If she was older I probably would understand a little bit more but to be in high school and that in love. I felt the same way about what this was teaching young girls. But it does get better. Read the rest of the books I think you will enjoy them.

Jeanne said...

Wow Em, I hadn't thought about it like THAT...but you are exactly right!!!

You're brilliant, know that?

Ho Ching Happenings said...

Amen Sister