Sunday, July 21, 2013

Stuff Twilight Taught Me about Dating

(Along with other books, television ads, and movies.)

I know what you’re thinking, guys. I’m just going to rag on the media and literature because I’m a stuffy feminist who always has a bone to pick. And yeah... I kinda am.

But seriously. The question you’re probably asking is “What the hey? I thought Julia was a hard-core fan of Twilight when it came out and even had several bad fan fictions to prove it!” Wherein I would say… I don’t know you. Get out of here with that slander. (Except I totally did and I definitely do.)

I really did, though, guys.
via Tumblr Phanfics

 But that was before I became more in tune with the messages portrayed in media, novels, and popular culture. There are some really messed up themes portrayed to us externally, and we need to talk about some of those bad boys- no pun intended. So let’s take a minute to debunk these disillusions, shall we?

*This month I’ll be doing a three part blog series tackling the dating messages portrayed in popular advertisements, movies and books. The Twilight Saga is the first segment, so pull out your cheap plastic vampire fangs and your Team Alice shirt and let’s sink our pearly whites into some lit analysis.

Let’s start with Twilight.

Via York Vision

(For those of you who fan-girl-squee-LOOOOOOVE twilight, I'm warning you now, this is not a gushy I-so-love-twilight-Edward-please-bite-me blog post. I'm sorry. Turn back, Google image Robert Pattinson.)

Oh, the ever endearing forbidden love affair between a vampire, his human obsession, and her boy turned werewolf best friend. This story spans four books, a huge demographic of devotees, and a whole set of motion pictures. Twilight is kinda a big deal.

However, there are several TINSY little problems with Twilight’s representation of what should be valued in a relationship, ranging from the occasional "oh, he's a little jealous" to "did he really say he wanted to kill her?" Twilight has something for just about everyone! 


  1. Act as strange and/or rude as possible upon first meeting to assure puppy love obsession forever.

  2. As a love interest, it is totally your job to calm the tortured soul that is said object of obsession.

  3. It is absolutely okay to be attracted to violent nature of the person you’re into.

  4. Calling you the perfect brand of heroine is not creepy, but rather dreamy proclamation of affection. As is being told that you are a lamb, and said partner is a lion. Not creepy. Not at all.

  5. Your partner loves you very much. It is okay for them to be controlling in unnecessary situations.

  6. When you say “No” to the offer of marriage, it’s cool for them NOT to respect your decision.

  7. It is okay to stalk someone in order to “prevent” dangerous situations. (Port Angeles, people!)

  8. Break up with someone and leave them in a forest. That’ll show them you care.

  9. Make sure the last day you see your family is the day you get married.

  10. You can be in love with two people at once AND play games with their hearts until you make up your mind. 

  11. When you have a kid, said person that you rejected will fall in love with your child, ensuring a happily ever after for everyone (the child won’t know they're happy until later, when they realize some guy your mom rejected totally wants to marry them. Then they will have happily ever after too.)

  12. Threaten to kill yourself after you break up with your object of affection.

  13. Follow the person you are infatuated with everywhere she goes. Watch her sleep.

  14. Compare your relationship to Wuthering Heights Heathcliff and Cathy! I.e. extremely obsessive and bitter. GRAND.

  15. Make sure your most desired wish in your relationship is to die by your partners hands.

That looks painful...
via ReadBreathRelax

And sure, I may be writing this for laughs, but there are deep seated issues regarding Bella and Edward’s relationship. According to Psychology Today, there are multiple counts of relationship violence in the Twilight Saga. A witty online journal shows examples of this abusive relationship, and even uses the go-to abuse hotline for a bullet pointed list to go by. If your relationship shows even one of these, you are advised to call the National Domestic Violence Hotline. Bella and Edward exhibit fifteen. There is another great breakdown on how abusive the relationship was by Everyday Feminism, found here.

Via Gifsoup

For some, the Twilight Saga is a story of fantasy and romance- an adventure that ends in true love and happily ever afters. This story has a huge demographic, spanning both women and men, girls as young as 8 to older women in their 60s. I HAD A HUGE CRUSH ON EDWARD. I wanted a guy like that. And now I wonder what made me think this kind of behavior was appropriate, or why I thought I was straight back then.

At least you're an adorable stalker

And that’s my spiel on Bella and Edward. So the next time someone asks you what twilight taught you about dating, you'll know what to say. JACK SQUAT. Then introduce them to a more appropriate relationship in literature, like Romeo and Juliet! Just kidding, don't do that.


Megan Allen said...

You never stop being one of my favorite people. This blog is only getting better!

sharlyn said...

aaaah Jungle, i love you.

Julia Bodiford said...

Thank you guys! Your opinions mean a lot to me :)

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