FAIL. Nerds everywhere know this word pretty well and use it rather frequently to describe the most deplorable things imaginable. Well, my dear friends… there has been a lot of really bad crap produced over time, but rarely has there been crap of such a great magnitude that it’s also dangerous. I am, of course, referring to the ridiculous pile of garbage more commonly known as Twilight.
There are so many areas that Twilight becomes such an epic fail that I hardly know where to begin. We could talk about the sheer excess of mediocre writing which drives the entire series. Someone did a count once, for the entire 4 book series, showing that the words “perfect” and “perfectly” appear a total of 278 times. “Beauty” and “beautiful” come up a mere 221 times, paling in comparison. And, I kid you not, “rainbow sparkles” is mentioned at least twice in every book.
We could discuss the lack of characterization in the entire series. The main character, Bella, has absolutely no defining characteristics beyond feeling “plain, ugly, and dull.” Oh, and she’s incredibly clumsy. Her love interest Edward is “absolutely perfect in every way…” and you are just supposed to take her word for that because the only description he ever gets is that he’s “absolutely beautiful and perfect, like a marble statue.” The adults in the series are all exceptionally moronic, having no idea what’s going on around them. The human kids in the story are treated like worthless pieces of garbage who Bella clearly doesn’t give a shit about. The only other “potential” love interest even introduced simply acts like a douchebag for most of the series and, really, you know she’s never going to end up with him because he’s not “perfect” and she doesn’t want to spend “the rest of eternity with him forever and ever.”
I could go into the lack of total conflict the entire series… unless you count the fact that Edward won’t bone her until they get married a conflict. A couple of mean, nasty vampires want to kill Bella at a few points throughout the series, but their entire screen time runs for, oh, probably less than 100 pages the entire series. The most distressing moment in the series is when another boy kisses Bella (oh no!) and she’s conflicted for about the time it takes her to drive home.
I could certainly go into all of that. There’s plenty of fodder to rage on for days relating to the entire four book series without even touching the insults that Stephenie Meyer has done to traditional vampire mythology and, well, decent writing. But I don’t even want to get into that. The biggest part about Twilight that really has me raging relates to how incredibly dangerous these books are.
Let’s think about this for a minute. While, scarily enough, the entire world seems fascinated by what Twilight puts out there, who is the biggest target demographic? Teenage girls. Now, take a look at the main character. It’s someone who, for all purposes, is a blatant Mary Sue. She’s got no distinguishable features except for being plain, awkward, and clumsy. Show me teenage girls who have never felt like that during their lives. It’s a door straight into the series which girls can latch onto.
Now, let’s take a quick glance of what happens during Twilight. Spoilers ahead but, really, I’m just doing you a huge favor by getting this done for you.
- Bella moves to a dumpy little town to live with her estranged father who genuinely seems to care about her but doesn’t know how to show it. She repays this favor by treating him like an asshole and generally ignoring everything he says.
- She meets a boy who is kind of rude to her and she’s turned off… but kind of attracted to it at the same time. He quickly reveals that the two of them are meant to be FOREVER. This is her first boyfriend and she is naturally instantly in love.
He displays stalker tendencies, including following her around everywhere and breaking into her house every night to watch her sleep.
- After a while, he decides to break up with her and she is so hurt, she literally falls into a zombie-like state for months. (Literally, when this happens, the book is BLANK for about 12 pages.)
- She meets a boy who genuinely likes her and respects her for who she is, but she doesn’t give a piss about him because he’s not perfect and sparkly and he doesn’t act like a stalker. He encourages her to have her own interests and activities and this actually means that he doesn’t really care about her enough.
- She does, however, determine that if she can’t be with her first boyfriend, that she’d rather be dead. So she tries to kill herself over and over again so she’ll get him back.
- They end up getting back together and things are so perfect, she decides that she wants nothing more than to be with him forever and ever, so she decides to not go to college and give up on her entire future so she can be with him.
- Straight out of high school, she gets married and pregnant.
- In the end, she ends up fundamentally changing who she is as a person so that she can be with this one true love of her life forever and ever.
Now, I’m sorry, but is this something that you feel comfortable with young, impressionable, irrational teenagers reading? These young girls latch onto Bella and adopt her story as their own personal mantras. Sure, Edward is described as “perfect” and we all know that’s something which teenage boys aren’t… but… Edward doesn’t do anything to be deemed perfect except for express interest in this girl. I smell a recipe for disaster.
On top of all of that, the images of women portrayed in these stories are downright offensive! Edward doesn’t like Bella doing anything without him, he treats her like some fragile creature who can’t do anything for herself, and he encourages her not to go to college and just be with him forever. This girl is being put out there as someone for teenage girls to emulate and she’s, frankly, a spineless simpering asshole.
I would hope that teen girls are smarter than this… but I feel like the legions of Twilight fans are already proving me wrong here. Add to the fact that these series of books are like a How-To manual for predatory teenage boys and an entire generation is now being used, abused, and disillusioned. I mean, really, “I can’t be with you because I’m too dangerous.” As a 26 year old adult, that gets *my* panties wet. I can’t even imagine what hormonal young girls feel when hearing that.
Most importantly, though, I feel like adults who encourage Twilight should be held accountable. I can forgive young, naïve teenagers for not seeing through this charade of bullshit. They don’t know any better. They can go out there and make mistakes,
that’s part of living. But you shouldn’t encourage them to make mistakes which are going to hurt them to this degree. Everyone gets hurt and becomes bitter from their first broken heart, that’s natural. But when the story they hold most dear encourages reckless behavior with suicidal tendencies to get over this…? Unforgiveable. Adults should know better and those parents who love Twilight just as much as their teen daughters should be shot in the face.
As a nerd, I have a lot of rage for the sheer destruction this series is causing young people everywhere. I can’t even give it the silver lining of, “At least it’s encouraging kids to read,” because the writing involved is garbage! I have, honestly, read better written SLASH FANFICTION. Stephenie Meyer, with these books, is encouraging young women to accept less, become subservient, have no backbone, and not handle any of their own problems. She’s telling them that if they are good enough, a man will take care of them. That’s infuriating. Books like this are why Sarah Palin is seen as a strong woman to admire and why the Octomom gets so much notoriety.
It’s truly disgusting.
Oh… and like this isn’t also true…