There’s a new moon ‘Eclipse’ on the horizon which makes this as good a time as any to discuss the unceasingly naive romantic notions that our movies and culture shove down the throats of girls, the worst of which center on – you guessed it – “relationships.”
Twilight shapes dysfunctional young girls
Let me be super clear that I’m not a Twilight hater, but I haven’t read any of Stephanie Myer’s series and I know that makes me an oddball (especially for a girl). So please pardon my self-acknowledged ignorance of the written material, but rest-assured that I’ve been informed clearly by those in the know that Myer does a great job of explaining “It” more fully in her books. Greater, I hope, than the ways the movie franchise has so-far handled “It”: True Love.
Oh. My. God. The new Twilight: Eclipse (isn’t that a kind of gum?) poster is so emo, I fear it may actually try to cut itself. (Agent Bedhead) *
Exactly. In our culture, it’s not like there’s a plethora of healthy amorous relationships for young girls to emulate to begin with. How is any self-respecting girl supposed to grow up to be a self-respecting woman in relationships (and even before that, single or in her quest for them) when this influential franchise puts out such misleading messages? Note the post break-up depression scene in New Moon, with female lead Bella sitting catatonic in a chair, numb to the passage of time as the seasons go morosely by. This is as if to ask, what sort of life could this interesting girl possibly have without a boy/man (albeit a hot century-old one needing SPF 300 and fang tip protectors) to define her?
(And yes, I do remember being eighteen, but I might’ve been closer to thirteen when everything registered “10” on the Richter scale of drama. I suppose, on top of my rant about pop culture’s schmaltzy selling of True Love, I’m a bit oldschool in my wariness of enabling yet more psycho-emotional developmental retardation in Gen Y and younger. That can’t be good for them…or us…)
When I was a teen, I connected with my future “perfect guy” by spiritually – and pragmatically – thinking about what qualifying qualities he would need: supportive of my vision and successes in life, a fully realized adult himself, and most of all… happy. I didn’t waste too much time on what he would look like, or if he would have to be rich, or what he would do for a living. (For the record, I did seriously debate whether or not I could ever marry for money… My answer was ‘no,’ which meant I would have to go out and make my own money!) To this day, I still spiritually conjure up what I want – and who I want – by knowing what does and doesn’t work for me. I’ve realized that developing a sense of self is very spiritual and all about connecting to your highest purpose.
What do you think?
Have we been so deeply imprinted by cultural messages that we’ve become disconnected from our own thoughts and values enough that the media can dictate how we feel about — well, ourselves and what we look for in relationships? The Twilight series plot points remind me of reasons why a lot of grown women I know seem to be frustrated and perpetually searching for some ideal man who doesn’t exist outside a fantasy serial. These beautiful women are waiting around for the “rescue” (whether amorous, financial or otherwise) before they give themselves permission to start living fully. Am I just under-informed or overwrought about the harmful message in this movie franchise’s True Love messaging?
Please, enlighten me, Twilight freakistas. The example of oh-so-desolate Bella simply triggered my internal dialogue. What do you think about the media’s harmful portrayal and perpetuation of True Love? Does the Twilight series fall in line with the rest of the negative relationship models out there?
* Since this article ran originally, I’ve been schooled that this sort of sarcasm is a dangerous exploitation of the self-harm that some people suffer from. That was and is not my intention, and I do not belittle the seriousness of such afflictions, but I leave the remark as is here for the expression that supports my article’s original point.
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