I have such a love-hate relationship with the Twilight series. I would never have picked them up if a friend hadn’t made me. But I’ll admit it, I read all four books (and enjoyed all but the last one). Until I started thinking about them.
I don’t know if it’s me in particular, but I am so conflicted about these books/movies. The girly part of me wants to squee like a schoolgirl when Edward comes on screen, or drool at Jacob’s abs. Sigh dreamily over their kisses.
As long as I can shut the other part of me off. Because that part screams in horror at the message that these books/movies put out. I have nothing against the institution of marriage, but you DO NOT need to be married to live a happy life. You do not have to stand around waiting for life to happen to you instead of making it happen yourself. Waiting for someone else to rescue you.
I went and saw the movie on Wednesday with a girlfriend who is Obsessed. And I do not use that term lightly. She loves these books and movies, has probably seen/read them dozens of times. She wept at the ending. And then begged me to go see it again with her.
I enjoyed the movie during, but afterwards I felt so …. dirty. So torn. Because the smart, feminist part of me knows that the message these books put out is wrong. That they’re doing our young women a disservice by telling them it’s ok to fall for a stalker, or wait for life to happen. No spoilers hopefully, but Edward spent much of the movie trying to convince Bella to marry him. Because that’s how he wants it. No regard for what *she* actually wants. And when she finally gives in – cue the soaring, triumphant music. Love has conquered all. Or is it coercion?
But the conditioned, fairy-tale princess part of me loves the drama and the romance. The possibility that there’s someone out there who just loves me for no reason. Even if I’m not exactly deserving.
And of course the writer part of me wonders about the quality of these books; the argument that the series caused a new generation of readers to love books. All well and good. But what kind of books? Are they all going to turn into girls who wait for life to happen to them too?
And that’s what makes me seriously question my sanity. How can it both infuriate and enthrall me at the same time? And, how can I actually enjoy it? What’s wrong with me? (well, ok, other than the obvious)
Does anyone else feel this way? Have you had a book/movie/guilty pleasure that you knew was bad for you but you couldn’t stop yourself? How do you resolve that dichotomy?
I await your answers eagerly! (I’d love to stop feeling so disgusted with myself!)