Personally I cannot stand the Twilight series and the vampire craze that popular culture has been experiencing for the past 4 years. Specifically, the Twilight books and movies make me feel like I am reading the diary of a young teen girl who is infatuated by an “emo” boy. Boring! However, if I look at the film from the perspective of the target demographic, a teenage girl, I am able to see the appeal of the movie, as there are strong implications of sexuality and demonstrate the sense of millennial teenage angst about growing into one’s body.
We have definitely grown up in a culture where sex and sexual imagery is talked about and displayed everywhere. It seems like more and more that girls, boys, women, men, teenagers and adults are encouraged / are able to express themselves sexually with limited public backlash. However, I was surprised to see that in the first Twilight film that the protagonist is a girl, Bella, who seems to be very uncomfortable and not confident with her body and shies away from interactions in which attention is drawn to it. As McGeough suggests in her article “Twilight and Transformations of Flesh: Reading the Body in Contemporary Youth Culture,” Twilight embodies the paradox, that teens are exposed to sexualized images of female bodies in popular culture, while girls are urged to participate in the virginity movement, and it “offers the creative possibility of combing admission and acceptance of the desire for sexual pleasure with the resolve to remain chaste” (McGeough, 91). While Bella is extremely sexually attracted to the charming and handsome looks of the vampire Edward Cullen, the couple must restrain themselves from any type of sexual activity to prevent Bella (the millennial girl) from being hurt. Furthermore, I applaud the ability of the Twilight film in it’s ability to encourage millennial teens to be open and honest about the sexual desires as they grow up and travel through puberty, while also offering a moral message that describes the values of self-control and pureness.
Additionally, I want to admonish the Twilight film for being extremely poorly produced with horrific acting, and a very boring plot.