I recently just read an article by Pastor Mark Driscoll, on how Twilight is to girls what porn is to boys, it is titled, “A father’s fright of Twilight.” Interested? Here is a link to the article. Some I am sure will find the correlation a bit of a stretch, but he is definitely not the first one to make it. We all know how women are emotionally crazy, we obsess over the romance involving love, where men obsesses over the physical acts. Apparently we have an epidemic of teenagers trying to transform themselves into vampires because of this exact obsession with the romance of Twilight. I cannot quite wrap my head around how biting and drinking someone’s blood is romantic, but it is somehow to these kids.
One of my favorite books of all time is Ella Enchanted. I just read it again the other day for old times sake. My copy is very worn and the cover is torn some, in this case it is good to judge the book by it’s cover.
I received my copy from a teacher as an end-of-the-year gift when I was in fifth grade, and fell in love with the story. See, Ella is born in this fairytale land to a mother and father who are pretty well-off. At her birth a goofy fairy bestows upon her the “gift” of obedience. It ends up being a curse. Poor Ella has to do whatever she is ordered to do, her body does not allow for her not to. As you can imagine she finds herself in some pretty strange, and sometimes silly, predicaments. She can also be easily taken advantage of if anyone discovers her gift. Throughout the book she develops this love for the prince of the land, Char is his name. Char and Ella played with one another when they were little so they had built a small friendship, then throughout the story they have run-ins with each other where their feelings begin to develop into more. It’s a very sweet romance between the two. Tastefully done by the author Gail Levine.
I am pretty sure that when I read Ella Enchanted for the first time at 11 years old I did not attempt to make her world my reality. Somehow though girls have started to get lost in these fantasies, and unfortunately a series such as Twilight makes it seem that much more desirable.
For me I find myself torn, I am such a movie buff that I have a love/hate relationship with Hollywood. I love the art that it can produce but at the same time I hate the ideals that it churns out. I have confessed in a previous post, and will do so again now, that I have seen every Twilight movie in the theater. Is the story line a tad ridiculous? Yes, more than a tad. Were the books worth reading? Not so much. Yet somehow I was still sucked in enough to pay money to see the films on the big screen. Why?
I think for me it boils down to the relationships between the characters. Not just the romance between Edward and Bella, but the family ties that not only the vampire clan have but the werewolf pack as well. (Can I just say I never thought I would be blogging about Twilight? Good grief.) I like seeing the unique bonds they hold with one another. They are always fighting for something larger than themselves as well, their purpose is bigger than what they can imagine. You desperately wish you were in their world because it seems so grand, dangerously adventurous, and fun. Yes, fun. But that is what makes Hollywood so amazing, they can transform this outlandish story into something that is fun!
I know many other pastors who preach against these movies, I am by no means saying they are wrong for doing so, but I do feel that it is something for each household to take into consideration for themselves. I had a pastor when I was younger who was completely opposed to Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. I saw both, not in rebellion but because I didn’t necessarily agree that I was going to have my mind warped by either stories. After studying film in college I have grown a lot worse in dissecting movies, but I have always had a critical eye. Perhaps I have also been more grounded than others, but I never wanted to go purchase a broomstick and start chanting spells, or get caught up in a world of ogres or trolls.
I think Mark Driscoll has it right in that article, he stresses that parents need to be aware of what is happening socially in the world, and to talk with their kids about it. My first thought when reading the beginning of the piece was, “Where are all the parents in this?” Why have they not explained to their children early on the difference between reality and fantasy, true love and the idealistic love we see on screen? They are doing their kids no favors by shielding their eyes and crossing their fingers that they won’t run into any of the many issues that surround us all. Indeed girls, especially at the age of puberty, go bananas over romance. Everyone wants to be the popular cheerleader with the jock boyfriend, the nerdy art student with the slick poet, or the sweet innocent girl next door with the crazy, wild neighbor boy. Every girl wants to be a princess in their own way. It is unfortunate that our society has perverted this.
Sadly I am sure a lot of these teenagers who are going to the lengths of following after their “vamp” role models do not have homes where they have been taught what love is supposed to be. They try to imitate the euphoria they read about or watch on screen, chasing after it as if it’s something they can live in continually. It is simply a momentary experience that they will be attempting to recreate for the rest of their lives. It is the vortex that society has created and that Hollywood plays into.
I was blessed enough to be raised in a home where my parents showed what love was supposed to be like. My mom loaded the dishwasher the way my dad wanted it, my dad would paint the walls whatever color my mom fancied each year, they both would, and still do, take off and go to dinner together, my dad gives my mom flowers, and my mom irons his work shirts, and they talk with one another and listen (most of the time). It’s what loving someone looks like on a daily basis. You work at it, because just like everything else the result is that much better when you have poured your all into it.
This is a topic I get heated about. I think it’s because I try to make my writing as honest as possible. It’s nitty and gritty, I set out purposefully to not sugar coat a single thing. So when I hear about these girls living in alternate realities it drives me crazy, they will inevitably be lost forever if they don’t discover the truth. Poor things.
Help them people!