Forgive me readers for I have sinned. Yesterday I…I…Oh it’s so bad I can barely admit it. Yesterday Isaweclipse. It was awful, oh it was so awful. I am traumatised for life. Believe me, I had no say in the matter. We were in Melbourne with some family friends, and the parentals went to see Jersey Boys, leaving the five children to roam the city. Movies were the obvious option and outnumbered four to one, with the threat of grounding for being selfish, I was forced into cinema eight which was showing the dreaded movie. The best part was, of course, the Harry Potter trailer. Seeing it on the big screen was so amazing I cannot even begin to explain it.
The movie was so bad I spent it hysterically laughing at its sheer stupidity. I apologise to those at the five o’clock showing at Melbourne Central, I’m sure my running commentary of how ugly rpattz is/how annoying kstew is/how stupid the whole thing is, was not exactly what you paid to hear. When it got to the proposal scene, the ring was so outrageously hideous I felt like reaching into the movie, slapping Bella and telling her not to marry anyone who would give such a fugly ring (superficial? me? never.).
That all said, watching it reminded me just why I used to be so obsessed with it. Sure, the story is awfully written and the actors have made it even more painful, but the underlying love story has the power to be rather addictive. Every girl on this planet wants to be loved, which is a pretty simple concept. Stephenie Meyer has built on this, and has given an intense love story where a shell of a female main character (duh, so every girl can easily imagine herself as Bella) has not one, but two, perfect guys head over heels in love with her. The idea of ‘Edward’ is something every girl wants to some degree. A guy that is willing to do anything for them. And then there’s Jacob. I am only slightly ashamed to say I swooned when he explained imprinting. The whole concept of an emotional attachment so deep that nothing else matters…it’s all anyone could ask for. Then there’s also the fact that Edward refuses to sleep with Bella until after their wedding day. Let’s, just for a moment, forget that he’s a creepily abusive 108 year old vampire, and acknowledge him as a regular teenage boy. Having him value her so much that he wants to prove their love in such a romantic way as getting married before they jump into bed, well, let’s just say that gross sparkling skin aside, it made me want to have a guy like Edward. As much as I hate the series and constantly abuse it, it has moments where I even have to acknowledge the dreaminess of the love story (let’s face it, I’m a sucker for a good love story).
Last Monday, Erica over at GWAS wrote a post about the deeper love concepts in the twilight saga, and as usual, I loved it. She writes:
“To have a pop cultural force as powerful as Twilight present teens with the idea that abstaining from pre-marital sex is an option – and a very attractive one at that – is almost revolutionary. This could spawn an abstinence movement bigger than the purity ring thing. And I honestly don’t think that would be a bad thing. How many girls regret sexual encounters with guys who were, to quote Wayne’s World, not worthy? I certainly do.
I do believe school-aged teens (and even primary schoolers, as they start younger these days) should be educated about sex, but where Twilight fills the gap in the dialogue is the exploration of the EMOTIONAL ties (all that talk about “imprinting”, etc.) that a sexual relationship creates.
The chivalrous Edward’s valuing of Bella for more than her ability to satisfy his sexual needs is one of the more valuable contributions the film franchise makes. How ironic that such a pop cultural force should imbue values so seemingly anachronistic, but which stand the test of time.”
Exactly. Just, exactly.
In the comments that followed the post, one reader did refer to the train wreck which is formally referred to as Breaking Dawn, and Erica admitted she was not aware of the downright disturbing things that go down. I don’t care if you haven’t read it and I’m ruining it for you, but the concept of a demon baby, and then super-sexy Jacob imprinting on said demon baby, just ruins everything. To me, imprinting is like the moment where you find your soul mate and you realise there’s no-one else in the world better for you. That you’ve found your Prince Charming. Your Mr. Right. Your happily ever after. To have Jacob have that moment with a newborn is just…wrong on so many levels. Stephenie Meyer actually had a shred of decency, a line throughout her awful ‘saga’ that made me sit up and pay attention, and she had to destroy it. Way to go. Don’t even get me started on the amount of sex in BD, either. I get they’re married, but really, she only got married to have sex, which is a stupid reason to get married in the first place, and then I don’t need to spend a gazillion pages reading about vampire’s sex lives. Just no. I hate that Stephenie Meyer spent three books shunning sex, and then devoted her longest book to it.
Of course, the fact that Edward is a creepy stalker abusive boyfriend who watches Bella’s every moment and steals her car motor so she can’t visit her other guy friends is also undoing all the ‘good work’ in the series. Sure, he won’t have sex with her, but he’ll read the minds of everyone around her and kidnap her if anyone thinks of her as anything other than ‘his’. It is, on a certain level, putting the idea that abusively controlling boyfriends are not only acceptable, but the cool thing to have, into the minds of the preteens obsessed with the series. These girls want their own Edward so badly it worries me that they’re going to be more willing to get themselves into dangerous relationships as they get older. One of my mum’s best friends is a librarian at a high school and last time I saw her she was telling me that she put an article from a teen mag (it was either GF or DOLLY, can’t remember) into every copy of novels from the twilight saga her library owned. This article explained the realities behind abusive relationships and what to do if you find yourself in one. I think this is such a great idea. Sure, it’s fine for us to let the tweens obsess over the books (been there, done that), but we also need to remind them of what’s acceptable in a relationship and what’s not. Blurred lines in this area are not only really lame, but really dangerous.
At the end of the day, if you ask me, Nick Jonas is a much better candidate for pure, chivalrous prince charming of our pop-cultural times 😛
frangipani princess xoxo