I’m on Team Edward….please don’t tell anyone

There’s this website called My Life Is Average.  People submit “average” things that happen to them during their day, and they all appear in one giant list for people to read.  For example:

“Today, I dropped my pen in math class. I was suprised not to hear it drop so I looked down to see it standing up-right inbetween two tiles in the floor. New favorite ninja pen? I think so.” MLIA

It’s suprisingly addictive to read about all of the average things that happen to other people.  I’m kinda jealous – if “average” means watching old men do wheelies in their wheel chairs and meeting hot  boys because one randomly picked you up and carried you across the street, then heck, i wish my life was more average!  (okay, I would only wish for that last one if I were still single.  And I would wish that that hot boy was Nathan.)

I have noticed that there are two topics that pop up more frequently than others on this website.  One is anything to do with making fun of Miley Cyrus, and the other is anything where the underlying message is “Harry Potter is waaaay better than Twilight”.

Baby oh baby, who wouldn't want to fawn over him? The multitudes, apparently.

I have to wonder why this is.  While Harry Potter could no question kick Edward Cullen’s literary ass, I am curious about the overwhelming desire for people to disassociate themselves from Twilight.

In the last month, hundreds, thousands of Twilight haters have shown up out of nowhere.  Of course, on sites such as MLIA, along with Facebook, Twitter, etc, lets face it – we only post what we want others to know about us, what we believe will make us appear awesome in the eyes of others.  And it seems like the multitudes are dying for us to know that they are definitely anti-Bella and Edward. 

When did it become a faux pas to admit to enjoying the books (or movies)?  When I went to buy the second book in the series, New Moon, last summer, I had to make several stops before I actually found it; it was sold out most places.  I had the “have you read it yet” conversation with a lot of friends, and when I finally found the book and was paying, the cashier told me emphatically that she thought  it was a really good book.  In short, people liked Twilight, and they admitted it. 

Well.  Here’s a shocker for you: I like Twilight.  I do.  Not in a buy-the-t-shirt-and-movie-poster way, and not even in a wow-what-a-great-story! kind of way.  I like it because it was entertaining.  That’s it.  It was an easy story to get into, easy to slip into and escape for an hour or two at a time.  A story doesn’t have to have a Pulitzer Prize or Oscar Award stamp of approval in order for me to admit that I found it enjoyable.  Sheesh. 

But it seems to me that it is something more than a predictable story and slightly cheesy characterization that’s prompting the great anti-Twilight debate.  Perhaps subconsciously, people think that the story is too popular for how mediocre it is.  Doesn’t really explain the giant shift in public opion though.  Or maybe the movie did a too-shabby job of translating the story in the books, and all of the nay-sayers are basing their opinions on sappy trailers?

But I’m curious.  Any ideas out there?  Because I haven’t been able to figure this one out yet.


6 thoughts on “I’m on Team Edward….please don’t tell anyone

  1. I was in the airport in Hawaii and I almost bought New Moon. But, it felt wrong. I think you are onto something. It’s one of those books that are so addicting, yet so unworthy of such a following. I love twilight, but its not something I would openly share with a stranger. Its not brilliant, its not literary, its clumsy and lovable, ridiculous and easy. It’s an escape from the real world. The easiest one yet … hmm maybe that’s something …

  2. I thought the books were well written. I also thought they did what very few books ever even attempt to do: tell an excellent LOVE story. Love is usually secondary in most novels. In the Twilight Series the love story IS the story. The rest of the story is secondary.

    They are good books. That’s that. I wasn’t too keen on the first movie (haven’t seen the second). Would actually have thought it totally sucked if I hadn’t read the book. So maybe you are right about the movies spoiling things.

    Do you really think the books are only second rate? I thought, for what they are, and they don’t pretend to be “literary fiction”, they are excellent.

    • The more I think about it the more I’m inclined to think that it is the movies that is causing people to react as such. You’re right Kim, the books are what they are. I like them. I like the movies, but ONLY because I like the books, and can fill in the blanks that the movies leave wide open. And seriously? If I were basing my opinions solely on the movies, I’d totally go for Jacob over Edward. Edward is a handsome, glittery shell of a character who at first comes across as almost stalkeresque – big fail on someone’s part for neglecting to develop him and his relationship with Bella.

      But what about something like Harry Potter? Again, great books, not so great movie adaptations. Why was there no uproaring about that like there is about Twilight? Or maybe there was a few years ago when HP hype was at its height, and I’ve forgotten about it?

      One of my friends made an interesting observation about Twilight. He says that the character of Bella is more or less a shell – the author describes her appearance in very little detail, and gives her characteristics and insecurities that most people can relate to. He makes it really easy for female readers to slip themselves into her shoes. On the other hand, Edward is described in great detail. He’s perfect – AND he’s totally and completely into Bella. Every woman’s fantasy, right? Anyway, I thought it was interesting.

  3. The reason that I hate the “Twilight” franchise so passionately is not for the terrible (yes, TERRIBLE) writing quality, nor is it for the pile of mediocre that is the movie adaptations (so far). No, I hate Twilight because it is encouraging women to get sucked into (and in some cases idolize) a relationship, or a series of relationships, that are unhealthy, codependent at best and completely subjugating at worst. The Twilight franchise has thousands upon thousands of women swooning over a hyper-controlling glittering stalker and wanting to be in the shoes of a vapid, whiny, weak half-person who is not complete until she latches onto someone around whom she can build her whole existence. In the world of this feminist academic, that is WAY NOT COOL.

    • I would say you’re pretty dead-on, sarah. And I maintain that if Bella had any brains at all she would have chosen Jacob. He was a way better character than Edward. But then i guess the plot down the road would have not made sense. Just curious – have you read any of the Twilight series or are these observations you’ve gathered from trailers and conversation?

      I like Twilight like I like Lady Gaga’s music – it’s vapid, it’s shallow, and I would certainly never take it seriously. But frick, it’s catchy.

      • I read the first couple of chapters of the first book, and then I couldn’t handle any more. I have seen both films that have been released and I’ve discussed and read widely on the topic. And yeah, I can totally appreciate where you are coming from, and your reasons for enjoying the series, and I would never come down on you for that. My problem is more with the broad fan base, that seems to cover an alarming proportion of young women (and some not so young ones too!) that just devour these books and end up exalting these archaic and unhealthy ideas about gender and relationships. Any media output that tries to charm women into believing that feminism is a) over, b) for ugly women who can’t get dates, or, worst, c) irrelevant, really gets my inner alarm bells a-ringing, especially when people are gobbling it down in droves.

        It’s interesting that you bring up Lady Gaga as well… while she is also problematic, I don’t know that I would exactly draw a parallel there. Stephanie Meyer wears her outdated mormon ideas of gender on her sleeve, certainly. Lady Gaga, on the other hand, while problematic, seems to construct her persona very deliberately. It’s not a stretch to read her as a satirical figure, albeit one who is perhaps a little too subtle for her general audience. I don’t think the same case could be made for Meyer. But you are right in that both seem to be consumed in similar ways by the majority of fans.

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