I admit it. I love the Twilight books and the movies. No, I’m not a “Twihard’ or “Twimom.” I do not own an Edward comforter or life-size cutout. I don’t have SweetTart boxes, band-aids, or any other asinine product featuring the face of either Jacob or Edward. I don’t host or attend Twilight viewing parties. You will never see my old behind screaming and crying in a crowd after getting a glimpse of a 19-year-old kid at a Twilight cast appearance. I am perfectly sane. Everyone has a guilty pleasure and Twilight just happens to be mine.
After the spa, I went home to watch Twilight movies. That is why it was essential that my husband be out of the house. He HATES the Twilight thing. He’s embarrassed by my enjoyment of it. He is definitely not going to like this post. So, before I go on, I would like to apologize to my husband for any embarrassment this may cause.
Twilight inspires many strong feelings–mania, insanity, disdain, disapproval, nausea. I know the arguments and I’ve had to defend myself numerous times. I never get very far before being shouted down. Well, I want to explain, right now, on MY BLOG, why people who hate Twilight are wrong.
1. Twilight vampires are not real vampires. This argument is usually made by a guy. First of all, if you’re a guy you have no business even talking about Twilight. It’s not for guys. Guys like kung fu movies where a simple karate chop to the chest can, inexplicably, decapitate someone or where the laws of gravity are magically suspended, enabling kung fu masters to fly and fight at the same time. That’s not real kung fu, but do they want their wives or girlfriends pointing that out? No. It’s not for girls.
Secondly, there’s no such thing as a “real vampire.” I know there’s a weird society of goth freaks who drink blood and all that, but that doesn’t count. If it does, I’m pretty sure they’re not affected by garlic, crucifixes, or sunlight. Vampire myth varies from culture to culture anyway. If Stephanie Meyer wants to make her vampires sparkle, it’s her business.
2. Vampires are evil and all books and movies about vampires are too. If vampires existed, yes, they’d be evil. In most movies and books, vampires are evil, and Twilight is no exception. There just happens to be a very small number who aren’t. There is usually a religious edge to this argument. I find that very interesting, as Twilight deals primarily with “religious” themes. It supports some of the most fundamental religious views. Twilight is Pro-marriage, Pro-abstinence, and Pro-life. Furthermore, the vampires themselves are really just a great big religious metaphor. Vampires are “born” monsters. They are driven by desires of the flesh. Their natural inclination is to kill, to harm, to deceive, to ruin, and to copulate. There are a select few who think this is wrong and choose to live in a different way. They are outcasts. Objects of ridicule. Freaks. Any of this sounding familiar?
3. Twilight books are badly written “mainstream garbage”, not worthy of being read . I read everything. I’m not particularly interested in the opinion of “bookish” types who look down their upturned noses at any book that happens to sell well. The “artsy” world congratulates itself on the nonsensical garbage it inflicts upon the world, mistaking megalomania for depth. Are the Twilight books great literature? No. Are Twilight books serious reading? No. Is Stephanie Meyer a particularly talented writer? No. But one has to consider other factors when deciding if a book is “worth reading.” I am interested in the underlying themes, and the fact that there are some, is a plus. One also has to consider the intended audience. It’s teenagers, for goodness sake. Teenagers, who can’t concentrate long enough to read anything beyond a 140 character limit. Reading is a habit that is developed over time. Subject matters, but speaking as a mother of two daughters, there are worse things they could read than a book that encourages abstinence and finding a man who cares more for a young lady’s well-being than his own out-of-control hormones.
To credit Stephanie Meyer, she frequently references “serious literature” in her books. I was inspired to re-read Romeo and Juliet, Wuthering Heights, and all of Jane Austen while reading Twilight. With any luck, others will be inspired, too.
4. Twilight is for teenage girls. I concede this one. So, why is it so popular with women? Because all women were once teenaged girls. It’s nice to go back to the time when all you had to worry about was whether or not a guy liked you. It’s nice to remember the drama and overwhelming emotion of first love. It’s in there, with a healthy dose of romantic idealism thrown in. Twilight is basically Romantic fiction without all the quivering and heaving.
That’s my defense of Twilight. I’ve read the books more than once (I won’t admit how many more) and I’ve seen the movies (again, how many times is none of your business) and I like them, despite the bad acting and lackluster production. It’s absurd. It’s juvenile. It’s mindless. It’s the perfect Guilty Pleasure.