But when one of my roommates started reading Twilight last year, I started to see a darker side to the harmless teen fad. She would literally lock herself in her room for hours, days on end, and read. She read the books three times in six months, and each time, she would disappear for whole afternoons. If it was a matter of school or Twilight, Twilight won every single time. She went to the midnight showing of the most recent movie and reread the books yet again.
This was bordering on obsession. I’m a fan of the Harry Potter books, and when I read them, it was hard to put them down, but neither I nor any of my friends who read these books would read them that many times or for that long. Yet my roommate is just one of many girls I know who have the symptoms of the “Twi-hard” fan. This made me start to wonder exactly why Twilight sucks so many girls in.
Twilight, like many examples of chick flicks and chick lit, revolves around one girl. In the first eight pages of the first book, the only description of Bella that’s offered is what kind of shirt she’s wearing. The rest of the books don’t elaborate much on what Bella looks like, either, except to emphasize how average she is. She doesn’t have a very unique personality, despite the fact that she does an exorbitant amount of complaining when things don’t go her way.
Girls, insert yourselves into Bella’s shoes.
The appeal of Twilight and other such entertainment aimed at women is that the protagonist could be anyone. It’s easy for girls and women to put themselves in the position of the main character by emotionally identifying with her. And the fact that these protagonists have at least one, and maybe more, ultra-sexy, ridiculously devoted men running after them only sweetens the deal. What woman wouldn’t want that?
This is why so much of chick entertainment is emotional porn, and why women obsessively watch and read it. But what’s the big deal, really? If my friends want to waste hours of their lives reading Twilight over and over again, they should be able to do it, right?
But I think this addiction is comparable to real pornography. It can affect relationships and outside activities, and suck away money and time. Many men complain that their wives are too obsessed with the books. One woman even wrote into an online advice column to complain that she didn’t understand why her husband was upset when she bought an Edward Cullen pillowcase and blanket. This obsession with emotional pornography comes between many husbands and wives, and sometimes, the roles are reversed and the women feel ignored by their husbands because of a similar addiction to emotional entertainment.