- Tell young girls it's not cool to stay with someone after they've abandoned you in a cold forest and told you they don't love you nor want to be with you. [What Bella really needed was a friend to tell her, He's just not into you.]
- Tell young girls it's not cool to flirt with a friend who likes you just because he can help you with things like building a motorcycle. [Which, by the way, what 15 year-old can build a motorcycle?! Come on, Stephanie!]
- Tell young girls it's not cool to put yourself life-threatening situation even if visions of the pale man who dumped you in a forest occur. [Duh! He dumped you. He's just not that into you.]
- Tell young girls it's not cool when your life is threatened or in danger in the presence of a man who can throw you across a room. [Yes, even if he says he's sorry and will never do it again.]
- Tell young girls it's not cool to steal a sports car in a foreign country and drive recklessly in attempts to save a man who said he didn't love you from committing suicide.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Kisses to break sleeping spells, glass slippers and fairy godmothers, cursed apples and magic spells conjure up sweet Disney tales. If we're honest with ourselves, Walt's appropriation of fairy tales have formed Generation X's ideal romance. White horses, princes with kingdoms, harmless [yet difficult] obstacles to overcome are part and parcel of most young women's fantasy with love.* There's nothing intrinsically wrong with loving love, but it's very important to recognize the commodification of fairy tales and mass marketed romance that has pandered to young girls for the last thirty years.
But Generation Y is tired of Prince Charming and his polished savoir faire. There's a new hunk in dreams and he doesn't need pixie dust to sparkle. Edward Cullen is taking over dreams... yes, even mine.**
Disconcerting as it may be to some, Twilight and the umpteen books in the series are forming a new wave of fairy tale dreamers. Except, I have some qualms and issues needing to be addressed in regards to dating and romance via the philosophy of Stephanie Meyer. And yes, I'm the perfect person to address dating! Okay, okay, maybe the single girl in the last stages of her 20s isn't an expert on dating, but I'm an expert in identifying social trends and philosophical influence of mass media. So--cut me some slack!
I'm not bashing the series. Nor the movie. Nor Kristin Stewart and her very odd, singular Bella expression of I'm-confused-yet-sexy-and-breathy which bugs me to no end. All I'm saying is beware of the poison in the apple--it may look shiny and tasty, but when eaten, there is danger deep within.
Few cautions to pass along to young/dumb/innocent readers:
Have I read Twilight? Yes. Have I watched the movies? Yes. Did I enjoy them? Yes. All I'm asking is for people to recognize the underlying messages and sudden philosophical, ethical, and metaphysical subtleties in popular media.
If Hosea's warning is true, then consider me your romantic life-line.
*I have friends who to this day dream of getting married in Snow White's castle in front of Fantasy Land. One girl I knew rented Cinderella's stagecoach and eight white horses to pull her up to her ceremony. [Note: It cost $6,000 for her 3-minute entrance.]
** I read Twilight in one day. Er, more like 9.73 hours. And yes, I dreamed I kissed Edward Cullen in Forks. I'm serious. Like, dead serious.