Why The Girls Loved 'Twilight'
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Why The Girls Loved 'Twilight'

The vampire phenomenon came and went, but why was it so beloved in the first place?

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Why The Girls Loved 'Twilight'
Lindsey / Flickr

The other day I was checking my Twitter feed and saw that someone had posted some tweet about the writing in "Twilight," the bestselling novel by Stephenie Meyer. Repressed memories suddenly came flooding back into my mind and I was back in middle school, trying to read the first book and hearing friends complain about the movies. I'm surprised that I had forgotten about "Twilight"; it was a huge franchise during its time, with four movies, spinoff novels, loads of merchandise, etc. It grew in more sad teenage girls and middle-aged moms than "Phantom of the Opera," and created a new wave of cynical critics and haters who would go on for hours about why the damn book series was so bad.

I was part of the latter category. I could not get through the first book, and I refused to see the movies after watching a clip online. It's just so bad. The plot is bland, the dialogue is rout and drab and the characters are either underwhelming or downright stupid. I can't believe people liked this series. And yet, people loved it! It was a bestselling series and a blockbuster hit! There are people who genuinely adored this series and fight passionately with others about it, and it all baffles me.

So why did "Twilight" do so well? If not for its ingenious writing or amazing story, then what? I spent too much time thinking about this. I know people have their own taste in what media they consume, but it's hard to believe so many girls liked this stuff that much. What drew people in?

The answer, I realized, was simple enough: the hotness factor. Edward Cullen is a very attractive character. He is a dashing and strong vampire, with just enough angst and tragic backstory to make the girls want to squeal. His pursuit of Bella Swan, the main character, may seem aggressive to the point of abusive at times, but the fact that Edward is attracted to a Plain Jane like Bella (who is really just a self-insert character for the reader/viewer) is intriguing to a young girl who may have never met a guy like Edward. Additionally, the love triangle between Bella, Edward and Jacob Black (remember, the werewolf?) meant girls were imagining two guys fighting over them rather than just one guy. It's a male wonderland!

Adolescence is a confusing time. Girls are trying to figure out their identities while also sorting through their heightened emotions. The boys around them are changing too, for better or for worse, and they suddenly seem so alien and distant to girls. The loneliness can be hard for some. What can fill the gaping hole in their hearts?

Why, fictional characters, of course! Escapism is a major element of our pop culture; we use books, TV shows and movies to escape the void of our empty lives. So it's not a surprise that girls would want a chance to escape their loneliness and pretend to have the perfect partner, even for a moment. In our imaginations, we have the chance to be whatever we want and to be with whoever we want to be with. So girls can imagine the characters in a book being their partner rather than a fictional being in a book.

Perhaps that's why Edward Cullen — and by extension, "Twilight" — is so appealing. It's a vessel for a girl's imagination, where they can believe a bloodsucking vampire is a pretty boy out for their affections. Maybe a second glance at the books and movies years later will make them realize that maybe it wasn't as great as they once thought it was, but that's not the point. The point is that for now, a girl is in a romantic and happy relationship with a hot dude who sparkles in the sunlight and can stop cars with his hands.

And you know you shouldn't bother someone when they are having a sweet dream, right?

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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