I am not one to tell people that my diversions are better than theirs; that is why I’m reluctant to join the chorus of the educated voices that bash the popular vampire saga, Twilight, just for fun. The saga has earned $1.7 billion dollars in box office revenues and sold 32.5 million books.
The impact of the series, written by Stephanie Meyer, on my generation and the ones after mine is undeniable. The saga depicts the life of a teenager who falls in love with a vampire, who is, to say the least, absolutely charming. Now, here is where the problem begins.
The character is too perfect. He is the ideal gentleman, unlike regular vampires his skin shines when exposed to sunlight, he is astonishingly strong and remains an “ultra-cool shy guy.” Did I mention he is forever young? He has lived 107 years and remains a virgin despite being surrounded by an entourage of Abercrombie and Fitch models all his life. Edward Cullen is viewed as the perfect man, although there is a bit of a problem; he does not exist. Nonetheless, his concept remains, and it is now engraved in the hearts of a sea of girls who long for him, the quintessential lover.
Love for such a flawless character may seem obnoxious, but it is not; it is a fundamental factor when these girls define love, it is as perfect as it is unrealistic. Millions of girls will grow up to become women and spouses. While many will forget their platonic crush, many will not. And so, many will marry and when they discover regular men are full of defects, as they surely will, they will feel unfulfilled.
Marriage has become somewhat superfluous because of the common misconceptions about love that people tend to set into their relationships. Never before has the expectation of true love in marriages been so demanding and unrealistic.
After lovers tie the knot, an idealized image gives way to a more realistic one; this can lead to disappointment, loss of love, distress and ultimately divorce . Throughout history, the relationship between the sexes has become one of the main philosophical debates of mankind; the best example of the complexity of this relationship may well be love, as George Bernard Shaw defined it, “the influence of most violent, most insane, most delusive and most transient of passions.”
Childish dreams, crushes and role models have surely overreached the boundaries of entertainment and expanded to shape our core definitions: love, marriage, happiness are now tainted by the ever present phantom of “what we deserve.”
Jon Bon Jovi, River Phoenix and even Cory Haim grew old, languished or drugged themselves to death and for all their fans, disillusionment ensued. How will the romantic vampire die?
It is a matter of time and fashion, and yet, I am certain that 80 years from now an old bachelorette will dream of being kissed and touched by a vampire that glows in the sun.