New Thoughts on New Moon
I’ll close my eyes, bite my lip,
and reveal something about myself that I’m not certain I approve of: I am a fan
of the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer. While I was out shopping with my
husband, he expressed his disapproval of the recent phenomenon that has
resulted in so much hype from adolescent girls. He especially disliked the hype
surrounding Robert Pattinson, who seems to be a fixation for many adolescent
teen girls. As I tried to defend the series, I thought again of how I could
help him and myself understand the draw.
Although I’m not certain what most adolescent teen girls think about the movie, I doubt that Robert Pattinson is the sole reason for the huge obsession. Twilight became something of an obsession for many adolescents even before he came onto the picture. Perhaps it was the brooding, seemingly unattainable Edward that caused the beginning of the obsession. Or perhaps it was the more familiar, cuddly Jacob Black that appealed to girls. Yet characters such as these are not new to the young adult crowd. If not just the characters, then perhaps what draws girls to books is that the Twilight saga is a story about an impossible love. A vampire loves a human girl and both struggle with the complications of their relationship.
But why say that this is the draw? Another complicated relationship featured prominently in a movie that became something of an obsession for teen girls: Titanic. Many of the actions and behaviors of teenage and adolescent girls when that movie came out are similar to the actions and behaviors of the Twilight crowd. As with Titanic, girls are buying magazines and pouring over the latest news about Robert Pattinson. They are watching the movies over and over again and shrieking at events that feature any tidbit of Twilight. And in the process they are earning the ire of the older, more intelligent crowd. If this generation of girls is anything like the generation of adolescent girls who liked Titanic, then in a few years or so they will hide all traces of their former Twilight obsession and laugh at how stupid others were to get carried away by the hype. They will assert the utter stupidity of actions that they were once culpable of.
Yet, why? Yes, the actions and hype of adolescent girls surrounding the Twilight saga are far from intelligent. But why is this group held up to so much more censure than their counterparts: adolescent teen boys? Sure, adolescent boys don’t scream and attract as much attention. But isn’t their something equally laughable about their activities: burping up pop, having farting contests, playing video games where the main activity is killing one another? Should that not also be an object of scorn for the older crowd? Why is it usually adolescent teen girls that face scorn for their acting on impulses that are more removed from the older crowd?
Perhaps the obvious answer is that teen girls actions in this area are more public whereas adolescent teen boys actions aren’t as public. Or perhaps it’s just a more accepted notion that boys will be rowdy when they are adolescents whereas girls are held to a stricter standard of behavior. Either way, it seems that boys will pass unscathed by the pressure to not like or do certain actions whereas girls will again grow up and laugh with embarrassment when they think back on their fixations.
In conclusion, I’m not sure that I will see the New Moon movie when it comes out at midnight. I know I will grate at the shrieks and giggles that other girls will admit. Yet even as I write this, I wonder why I still fail to understand this mark of adolescence or why I’m not as bothered by the fact that somewhere a group of adolescent boys are getting giddy over killing each other in some video game.
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