Is Twilight a joke? Apparently, many teenage girls don’t think so. It has been a hugely popular series of books and now a movie franchise. I am guessing a man wrote the definition for Twilight in the Urban Dictionary. It reads: “A film/book created for the sceney-bob 12 year-olds, and fat girls who want to obsess and fawn over something other than the Jonas Brothers. It is now a ridiculous fad which has taken hold over retarded girls 10-20+ who think the meaning of love is co-dependency.”
I enjoy Goth Romances and Vampire stories. The Horror Classic Dracula sucked me in back in 1992. The Vampire Diaries and Interview with A Vampire both became instant favorites after that. But recent Twilight Series lacks any real bite in my opinion. I couldn’t even finish the first book when I tried to read it a couple of years ago. It moved slowly and nothing really happened. It reminded me of a Harlequin Romance or Soap Opera.
Because I ran out of good movies to watch and I was curious, I got Twilight from Netflix. The movie was boring as well. Bella just doesn’t seem comfortable in her own skin. She gives off the whole “Don’t touch me” vibe. Bella is awkward and all her conversations with Edward come off as awkward as well.
Anyway, I realized that you could insert the word “alcoholic” or “drug addict” in place of “vampire” and the plot would still work. For some reason it is okay to romanticize the co-dependent relationship if the guy is a vampire. Vampires are suave and sexy so it is easy to over look how dark and dangerous they are! Edward tells Bella that he is a monster, but she doesn’t care. To Bella, Edward positively sparkles with supernatural beauty. To Edward, Bella is the perfect victim. He remains sympathetic only because he tries to resist his urges. He is tortured by his desire, so we forgive him. His love for her triumphs the danger that he puts her in.
Dracula was about repressed sexuality in the Victorian Age. Interview with a Vampire was also about sex, but more so about love and loss. I identified with Louis because of his grief and his search for Identity. The Vampire Diaries continues the theme of grief, but also explores love, sex and jealousy.
Elena is vulnerable, but smart and strong. She has depth and complex emotions. She is not completely innocent, nor is she completely bad. Although there is a hint of the unhealthy relationship element in Vampire Diaries, it isn’t as pronounced or noticeable as it is Twilight. While both Damon and Stefan can move among humans in daylight hours, neither of them sparkle. They require a ring or talisman to protect them form burning in the sun, which is how it should be!
Once upon a time, sexuality was connected to various myths and folklore. The Vampire grew out of superstition and fear surrounding sexuality. It was elevated to a symbol of the beast within us in literature. The Vampire embodies our animalistic instincts. Today, sex is less taboo. Alcoholism and addiction are the demons today and still somewhat of taboo topics. Sex is not the enemy. Abuse is the enemy. Prejudice and intolerance is the enemy—particularly in HBO’s True Blood series.
If Meyer had used Twilight as a cautionary tale or treated the subject matter better, I’d feel better about the series. Sadly, many girls with low self-esteems have and will continue to identify with Bella. Instead of thinking of the boy who treats them badly as bad, they will romanticize them instead. Twilight does indeed promote love as co-dependent instead of healthy. Its popularity stems from the thousands of girls who are co-dependent or who have been co-dependent.
You would think that I would identify with Twilight’s co-dependent themes as I have been in co-dependent relationships myself, but I don’t particularly care for the series. It isn’t dark enough or edgy enough for my tastes. It is too shallow and pulls way too many punches. I’d like to say I am over my need for the dark night and Vampires, but some part of me still enjoys an occasional bite!