Eight WaysTwilight is Better Than Real Life


In Real Life: I feel mousy, self-conscious, clumsy and insecure. I will spend high school being awkwardly groped at sporting events by boys for whom I have no particular affinity, and then after I reject traditional standards of beauty for myself I will marry a man who mostly stays out of my way and with whom I struggle to enjoy sexual chemistry.

In Twilight: I feel mousy, self-conscious, clumsy and insecure. I am the perfect partner for a heart-stoppingly gorgeous supernatural super-strong man who will live forever and love me forever until time stops.


In Real Life: Now that I have a boyfriend I don’t really feel like seeing my shitty friends anymore and when I am finally overcome with guilt for completely blowing them off I make a half-hearted attempt to reach out and they can no longer make time for me, resentful that I have been too absorbed with my relationship to feign interest in them.

In Twilight: My gorgeous supernatural partner has invited me into his world and I no longer need anyone or anything else. My family and friends hang around expressing their concern until I feel like acknowledging them again.


In Real Life: My gorgeous, powerful boyfriend enjoyed my company for a while, but when I became needy he started to think about how every other girl in school also is attracted to him and given that he has lived for a couple centuries and will live forever he thought about seeking someone more ‘on his level.’

In Twilight: Despite my lack of discernible ‘special’ traits, my gorgeous, powerful boyfriend maintains his eternal devotion to me and is demonstrably suicidal when separated from me.


In Real Life: My boyfriend leaves me inexplicably, probably to have an affair with someone else or because I was too demanding or otherwise not good enough. I am never able to process or understand the breakup.

In Twilight: My boyfriend leaves me inexplicably, but I later learn he was simply trying to ‘protect’ me and suffered immensely in exactly the same ‘wrenching’ fashion as I. We reunite and he promises never to abandon me again.


In Real Life: The hot guy on whom I relied when I had problems with my boyfriend is pissed at me for leading him on. He decided he had too much self-respect to stand around watching me make out with my boyfriend and that he had better things to do with his life than spend it waiting around on me. We are no longer friends because when he got over the heartbreak he felt used and misled.

In Twilight: The hot guy on whom I relied when I had problems with my other hot guy will always love me, being my friend forever even though I went back to my boyfriend. He loved me for its own sake, not because he was expecting something back. If things do not work out with my boyfriend, he will still be waiting.


In Real Life: My boyfriend disabled my car to prevent me from seeing a male friend. My friends, family and I are creeped out by this controlling behavior that could portend future abuse.

In Twilight: I am a prize at the core of a centuries-old war between two supernatural races. These two men are fighting over me and both have my well-being at heart.


In Real Life: I really enjoy the emotional rapport that my boyfriend and I have and yet I feel he is pressuring me to be more sexual than I would otherwise prefer. I often wonder what portion of our relationship is explained by his physical interest in me, and fear being ‘used for sex.’ As a result, using my sexuality is the only time I feel assured of my power in any interaction with men, but I must be cautious not to push it too far or else I must be responsible for their reactions.

In Twilight: Even when I feel ready for sex and would like to do it with my boyfriend, he resists, telling me it is a sacred thing we should do when we are married and he loves me too much to place my virtue at risk. My boyfriend encourages me to use self-restraint and blames himself for his response to my body.


In Real Life: I have a confusing and painful future full of loneliness, indecision and unwanted responsibility to look forward to when I graduate high school.

In Twilight: I have an eternity of sparkling, great sex, lying in fields and gamboling in the woods with my hot boyfriend who will love me until the end of time to look forward to when I graduate high school.


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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=505759069 Julian Tully Alexander

    seems problematic.

  • http://twitter.com/rawiya rawiya

    i've been avoiding twilight for years but i think i'm going to give in and give it a shot.

    if i become obsessed, i'll blame you, leigh.

    • http://www.facebook.com/wingedthing Leigh Alexander

      i definitely became obsessed, it was one of those things where i was like 'gonna watch this to make fun of it/hate it' and suddenly turned into me watching the movies like 5x

      • http://twitter.com/rawiya rawiya

        that's what i did with harry potter!

      • http://www.facebook.com/wingedthing Leigh Alexander

        yep, me too, except twilight is straight up garbage and even more addictive

  • http://hbgwhem.tumblr.com/ hbgwhem.tumblr.com

    In Real Life: On the day before Thanksgiving last year, I went to see New Moon with a girl that I hooked up with the night before, and my mother at a mall that they wanted to make 'the greenest in America' but then they ran out of money to build it so it was just a colossal waste of resources. Seeing New Moon with my girl and my mom was a pretty good way to relieve the “Tom, why is there a strange girl at our dinnertable who looks like she's going to puke?” vibes that the day started with. I went back to Jersey after Thanksgiving and rationalized it by saying I was just 'protecting her' by leaving. She didn't show up in a yellow sports car with hot ass Ashley Greene to make sure that I didn't expose myself to a crowd so I deemed the relationship not Twilighty enough and we don't talk now. For Christmas that year, my mother buys me 'New Moon' trading cards.

  • http://fedinger.tumblr.com Franny

    My problem with Twilight, as a moderate feminist who has read the books (well, read the first two. Couldn't get past the first 50 pages of the last two.), is not that it extols finding a man and devoting yourself to him, it's all the baggage that comes with it.

    I am all for commitment and devoted relationships and I have no problem with women wanting to be taken care of by men (to an extent); I believe good relationships should make you feel like the truest woman and your man feel like the truest man (or, to speak gender neutrally, truest self). But I cannot forgive Stephanie Meyer for making what is essentially abuse seem okay. I was intrigued by the reversal of gender norms with the man insisting the relationship remain chaste but using sex to manipulate anyone, man or woman, to do what you want is wrong. This is the exact wrong way to encourage abstinence sexual responsibility. Edward openly feels guilty about being sexually attracted to Bella. I grew up Catholic, I am an expert in guilt surrounding sexuality, and to me, this abstinence parable is just more of the same. I can't even give Stephanie Meyer an A for effort.

  • Michael Walbridge

    The fact is too many women are going to love the girl porn that is Twilight, it's nice to think everything's going to be the way you want it and that's why boys and girls have their porns to look to

    Also, I could tell you something about a 'Mormon Agenda'

  • http://twitter.com/Mythrander Alexander K. D'Arata

    I'm a pretty radical feminist, and I know you really don't care for my kind, so I'll keep it brief. My biggest problem is how much the stories reinforce the fact that men are men and women are women. If we ever want to get anywhere we have to start seeing each other as people.

    I'm not expecting miracles from a crappy teen romance, but a little show of effort from Meyer would be nice. I could have probably coped with her dialing the masculinity and femininity up to eleven if she had just thrown some (respectable) gays in there.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=576775385 Benjamin Seow

    maybe its not about men and women, but about god, mankind and demons?

  • http://justyourusual.blogspot.com Esra

    Bella will only be a role model to people who have a tendency to be like her in the first place. Let's be honest, most females who are into the books/films don't actually give a toss about bella – they're in it for Jacob and Edward. And like you so rightly said, there ARE women out there who have the need/want for male security and those will be the women who relate. And so what? I think the essence of feminism is great: we should be seen as the equals of men, I'm a bit of femisist myself in that sense. But recently, it's become yet another conformity that we feel pressured by. Instead of promoting freedom of women to do/be what they want – it cages us, making us feel fickle if we do otherwise.

    Nicely done.

  • Anon

    Yikes, this article made me hate the books even more than I already did, and that’s quite a feat. 

  • Glooooooria

    If these books had been around when I was in high school, I would have completely been obsessed, falling in love with the characters and becoming delusional when it came to real situations in real life. This article is great as it lays the situations out on the table that would burst the little high school girls’ love bubble. Take a note all you babes who are shaking their heads at this article. Don’t become diluted. Just watch 16 and pregnant.

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