In case you couldn’t tell by the hoards of twitter-patted teenage girls and women alike, we are but a week away from the dawning of Twilight; Eclipse. Stephanie Meyer has created an apocalyptic frenzy amongst these women with her excruciating detailed account of the forbidden love triangle between Bella, her vampire beau, Edward, and her werewolf savior, Jacob. It took the past two movies for Edward and Jacob to come clean to Bella about their moonlighting gigs, and now they will be reluctantly uniting to save Bella from a savage vampire death.
The vampire lore that has recently engulfed popular media has been economically profitable beyond wildest imaginations, but where does this popularity stem from? Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein over a century ago so the idea of folklore demons and monsters is not new to our society, as we have seen it re-hashed in popular media with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Dracula, but why the current frenzy in popular media?
Perhaps it stems from the illicit connotation of repressed sex found within the writing of Stephanie Meyer, and expanded upon by all vampire lore that followed in its wake. Even the cover of the first book of the Twilight series depicts a woman’s hands holding an apple, the ultimate icon of Eve giving into temptation and creating original sin. Sarah Michelle Gellar’s Buffy-character didn’t have this illicit sex factor (beyond her short skirts); she just had the killing vampire factor. True Blood knows vampire sex sells, as the brigade of posters around town promoting Season 3 read “VILF.”
The love triangle in Twilight, full of longing glances and tantalizing touches, plays directly into the sexual repression found in American society, more so than European society. In Britain, the first Twilight went straight to DVD because the Brits did not gulp up the forbidden kool-aid vat of vampire blood. Why? Perhaps because sex is not as repressed within their society, or maybe they just find wizards with wands sexier.
Or is the frenzy simply because American women will take any romantic hero at this point. Europe still feeds off of the romantic whims of Don Quixote, while Americans are lured down the path of John Wayne, but then learn he will always chose his horse over his gal. Is Edward Cullen the new and improved version of John Wayne because instead of choosing his horse and the open trail, he chooses the girl, and then willingly raises an army of vampires and werewolves alike to protect her from evil forces that live along side us?
If that’s the case, sign me up—but I think I’ll take Jacob over Edward, pasty has never been my thing. And as the tagline of the movie says, “it all begins with a choice…” I guess I drank the kool-aid and made my choice.