Most of you have probably guessed by now that I’m, um, not the biggest fan of the Twilight saga. And no, it’s not just because Robert Pattinson’s eyebrows look like caterpillars that are apt to crawl off his face mid-interview. Nor is it that when it comes to pretty vampires, I’d take Thomas Raith over a Cullen any day. My problem is, thankfully, a little less superficial than that.
If you’ve ever met a “Twihard”, ever set foot into Hot Topic, ever frequented a paranormal romance message board, you’ll know that the fans divide themselves into two groups: Team Edward and Team Jacob. (Not counting the small fraction of fandom that’s into the whole Bella-and-James thing, which is just a whole other can of WRONG AND ABUSIVE.) According to fans – and, hell, the books and films themselves – the heroine (AND I USE THIS TERM QUITE LOOSELY HERE) Bella must be with one of the two. She MUST have a man. So much for letting a girl love the single life – that’s ridiculous. She can’t live, let alone have a happy and fulfilling life, as a single woman, or at least that’s what the books imply.
But wouldn’t our lovestruck protagonist be better off on her own? I mean, look at the choices.
Hundred-plus year old vampire Edward is the first choice. Yeah, I said it, he’s over a hundred. You know how old Bella is? SEVENTEEN. That, my dear readers, is as far as I know ILLEGAL. And also statutory rape and pedophilia. Ebebophilia? Whatever. That’s still, like, a century’s difference. Ick. Also, he watches her while she sleeps and follows her around, controlling who she can and can’t be friends with. Oh, and did I mention that in the final book, when he, ahem, deflowers Bella, he BREAKS THE HEADBOARD OF THE BED and she wakes up covered in bruises? DOES ANYONE ELSE FIND THIS AS DODGY AS I DO?
On the other hand, there’s Jacob, a werewolf. (With quite fabulous hair in the first film, I must say. If only Taylor Lautner didn’t have an eight-year-old’s face and a male model’s abs…) Now, I like Jacob quite a bit better – he’s the snarky, less flashy everydude to Edward’s perfect and eternal sparkliness – but even he’s a bit of a jerk. Despite Bella’s protests, he forces her to kiss him, which is icky enough and then when Bella’s father finds out, he congratulates Jacob and laughs. LAUGHS AT HIS DAUGHTER BEING PRACTICALLY SEXUALLY ASSAULTED. What the hell, Stephanie Meyer?
Quite honestly, the only thing that could lessen the overwhelming aura of squick that surrounds Twilight for me would be if “TEAM BELLA” T-shirts started popping up. If Meyers herself admitted what a twisted and semi-abusive relationship her leads share instead of presenting them as the picture-perfect, albeit undead, couple. If Buffy somehow found her way into Forks – okay, now I’m going into personal wish fulfillment territory.
But seriously. It would be awesome.