Jun 292010
 
Authors: Robyn Scherer

Today, the third installment of the Twilight movie series, “Eclipse,” was released. Around the United States, millions of fans, mostly female, will flock to the theaters and declare their allegiance to Team Edward or Team Jacob and glue their faces to the big screens.

This obsession with Twilight, and the characters in the books, has affected many girls of all ages, but it especially seems to grab the younger teenage girls.
After keeping myself out of the Twilight “loop,” my sister finally convinced me to read the books. Once I started, I was amazed at how fast I was engrossed in the series.

I remember when I went to see the second film, “New Moon,” on opening night. I was awestruck. Not because of the movie, but because of the number of young girls in attendance.

I’m not talking 15 or 16 year olds. I’m talking 10 or 12.

Girls this young aren’t supposed to date. They aren’t supposed to look at boys without shirts and drool over grown men. However, that is exactly what these young girls were doing.

They feel they can relate to main character Bella, the clumsy, awkward girl who never really fits in. Now, they are looking for their own Edward, not necessarily a real vampire, but in terms of how he acts.

This is where the fairy tale ends.

Twilight appeals to girls of that age because at that age they have no other worries than to fantasize –– no, dream –– about the man who will sweep them off their feet, their knights in shining armor.

This dream relates directly to Twilight, in which Edward is the knight. He is the one to fulfill these girls’ dreams, thus setting them up for failure in the real world.

Edward’s character represents what every female dreams about: someone who treats her like a princess all the time. Someone who listens, is engrossed in learning about her and who “would die without her in it (his life).”

Edward tells Bella, “You are my life,” and that is why Edward is such a dangerous character, outside of the book.

This relationship model sets girls up for failure later in life. They see what seems to be a “perfect” relationship, but the reality is that kind of relationship will not last.

With so many families split up today, many young children do not see a functioning relationship at home. They turn to movies and books, in which the relationships are normally hardly realistic. They believe true love should be like that.

However, once this generation of girls reaches high school and starts to date, it will quickly find out no guys like Edward exist. They will have to learn that a relationship has give and take.

That people need space and need to have a life “together,” not just a life about one person where the other follows along.

It would be nice to have some series out there that shows this, but we all know that rarely makes blockbusters.

I hope that young girls and their parents can see that however intriguing his series is, it does not showcase what real life is like. It is okay to enjoy a good story and to dream as long as one realizes it’s not always a reality.

Robyn Scherer is a graduate student pursuing a Master’s degree in integrated resource management. Her column will appear periodically throughout the summer. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 3:25 pm

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