*Sigh* Okay, it’s confession time.
You see, I have a deep dark past…
I used to like Twilight.
So you probably already knew that if you’ve followed my blog since the beginning. It’s not something I go out of my way to mention, but at the same time I am no longer embarrassed to admit I liked it at one stage.
Both Lindsey and Lauren have done excellent posts on this topic which are well worth checking out. I hope I can measure up!
I jumped on the Twilight bandwagon around a year or two before the film came out. After the first couple of chapters I was hooked, Bella felt like this uber cool grown up teen that I could admire. She cooked, she read difficult books, she was studious and had the courage to leave her whole world behind her and move to Forks (even if the logic didn’t make much sense). But with this, she was still shy and awkward which gave me something to empathise and identify with. Then the book introduced Edward Cullen and my tweenager brain went into overdrive. This man was perfect! He had awesome hair, he had awesome eyes, he oozed sex appeal! I had never come across a character like him before. Not only that but he was a gentleman and a knight in shining armour all in one. This man was every young girls dream! Where could I get me one of these? Could I rent one? If I moved to Forks would I find my Edward?!
Uh no, no I wouldn’t, but my brain saw this as a possibility at the time.
It’s shallow but true to say that Bella and Edward were the only part of the story I was interested in, although I only realised this in retrospect. I didn’t care about Bella’s school friends, Jacob, her dad, (why was he being so awkward about this healthy relationship, god) the Cullens or whoever was trying to kill the couple depending on the book. I just wanted to read about Edward, my future husband of course!
My obsession was full on, as with the rest of my friends. We would all doodle in our school planners or whatever sheet of paper was available, we would have in depth discussions about which guys in our life at the time were more like ‘Edward’ of a ‘Jacob’, we would defend our beloved characters to the ends of the earth and argue with anyone who disagreed otherwise. Amazingly, Twilight brought me and my best friends (some of which I am still friends with today) together. Those books gave us common ground on which to make our friendship. It became a tradition that we would go and see the films together no matter what was going on in our lives at the time, I saw the first film FOUR TIMES at the cinema, even though it was rubbish. But it was Twilight and it had Edward in it so who cared, right?
Unfortunately, my love for Stephenie Meyer’s series didn’t last. With the release of the first film came unwavering criticism. Endless insults were always attached to the series, the world turned and suddenly it felt like a death sentence to even like Twilight. People would give you snide looks and snarky remarks. It was no longer a bit of fun that I could have with my friends, it was a shameful thing. It meant you had no taste, that you were antifeminist and you had no appreciation for good literature.
Bella was no longer a stand up role model but and infatuated moody girl with no sense of self worth, Edward was a possessive, creepy stalker with an unhealthy obsession with a younger woman. The magic was being stripped away, but I still clung on to an extent.
Then I made my biggest mistake, I reread the books.
By this time I had experimented with a lot more literature. The school library had introduced me to teen cancer patients, the afterlife, witches and Gothic literature along with a ton of other paranormal romance books. I picked up a lot of those novels because Twilight had inspired me to do so, it had put even more life into the magical act of reading. But when I returned to Forks it had become a hollow place. I still loved the interactions between Bella and Edward, but most of the characters drove me nuts. I became uncomfortable with the way Bella seemed to be constantly looking to throw her life away for others, without searching for other options or looking at the bigger picture. Her self destructive nature was now disturbing instead of brave. Edward’s overly controlling actions that often went against Bella’s wishes also sat wrong with me now.
I had outgrown Twilight. Partly of my own doing, but also largely because of the media witch hunt that had targeted the books over many others novels that were just as bad.
At the end of the day, Twilight is just a set of novels. It was some lighthearted fun and entertainment and I picked the books up at the perfect age to enjoy them. The criticism was mostly warranted, but some took it too far and often placed things out of context. People started criticizing it when they had never even read the source material. It was held up as an example to society, and while I believe it is important for our world to criticize and analyse in order to learn, they approached it from a negative angle. Yes, there are many terrible messages in Twilight and I’m glad I was made aware of them so that I could learn, but when I read the books I didn’t actually take any of those messages on afterwards, in fact, I took a number of good messages from Twilight as strange as that sounds.
I always say that people should never feel ashamed of what they read and this is no exception. As far as I’m concerned, it’s okay to read Twilight for what it is, a bit of fun.
Which book are you most embarrassed to say you like/liked? What’s your view on Twilight? Feel free to let your outrage flow! If needs be, I’ll grab my boxing gloves. 😉
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Banner: My own, please do not reuse.
Twilight Books: My own, please do not reuse.