By Jordan Hearne
With the “Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1” only hours away from its grand opening, teenage girls and women at the age where they should know better are going a little crazy.
The obsession with the book and movie series has completely influenced American culture, and with the fourth movie on the verge of public release, I’m beginning to notice a potentially unhealthy mindset when it comes to the Twilight generation. The storyline is much deeper and involved than your typical fairytale romance with death, danger, and the question of someone’s soul brought up at every turn. With all of this ingrained into the subconscious of today’s teens and college-aged women, what exactly has become the picture of the ideal soulmate?
I imagine if you were to really break down what women find appealing, it would result in the following personals ad: Single girl seeking pale, buff man who sometimes wants to drink my blood. Must be able to run 45 miles in seven seconds and be bulletproof. Ability to walk in sunlight is a plus, but glitter is acceptable. Men under the age of 172 years need not apply.
The thing that seems to draw most teenage girls (and in some cases, teenage girls’ mothers), into the Twilight world is the love story between the central characters, Edward and Bella. The entire plot revolves around the theme of forbidden love and pits Edward as a beautiful statue of David with morals and manners, passionate and seductive with super-strength and the ability to read minds. He chooses to spend all of eternity devoted to his love, Bella, opting to watch her sleep rather than leave her side and fight the urge to kill her. This seems a little clingy.
This story has turned into relationship propaganda that has ultimately skewed women’s ideas of how relationships work.
Let’s really analyze the character of Edward, for example. He is polite, which is attractive, but technically he is really 104 years old. Most people past the age of 80 seem to have good manners, so this information makes sense. Still, I’m not quite ready to put on my tight jeans and go fishing for a stud at my local nursing home.
Edward is also dedicated to the heroine, climbing through her window to be with her every second of her life. First, no matter how much a boy lifts those weights, reaching my third floor window is going to be pretty improbable. Second, if a guy has that much time to spend on me, that’s creepy and bordering on a restraining order.
Armed with this analysis, why are girls still willing to buy into this fictional world and practically punish themselves by harboring an obsession with an unattainable man? The addiction to this series could potentially be compared to the worldwide sensation of the Harry Potter series, which drew in a broader and even more involved audience. Still, that story line was focused on a giant good versus evil battle in a world where reality was suspended and magic was the key component. The Twilight story attempts to exist within the real world, throwing out the possibility that vampires and werewolves are really out there and on the prowl for a new girlfriend.
Regardless of how obsession with a forbidden-love, other-worldly relationship can be psychologically damaging, movie-goers will be lining up hours before the newest Twilight film premieres, ready to dive back into a world where the perfect man never dies and struggles each day to not kill you. If this is what women are keeping in the back of their minds as a comparison when dating, then the country’s marriage rate is in for a drastic drop.
Jordan Hearne is a senior film and digital media major from Garland and is a reporter for the Lariat.