This Friday, Breaking Dawn, the fourth installment of the Twilight saga, will be released in theaters. I’ve written about this book/movie series before and all the unrealistic expectations it creates for young women and future relationships. But what strikes me with this movie (and the corresponding book) is that the author in trying to send one message is actually sending a completely opposite one.
Stephenie Meyer, author of Twilight, worked hard to keep her characters chaste until their marriage. They struggled with the desires that come with dating and Edward’s hope to remain ‘traditional’ and wait until they were married before they entered into a sexual relationship. Kudos to Stephenie for writing a young adult novel that actually espouses values and maintains them throughout the story. (I’m overlooking the unrealistic ability to sleep in the same bed for nights on end without anything happening.)
And so after three books of remaining chaste, they marry in the first part of the fourth book, head off on their honeymoon and consummate their marriage. The scene in the book is not explicitly graphic, but it is certainly full of innuendo. The relationship is nothing scandalous between two married people – in fact it could be argued it is natural and normal.
But the trouble comes in depicting this in a teen novel. The average reader of these books is not a married adult woman. Teen girls who are dating for the first time are reading this and finding it romantic, exciting and intriguing. And now… they are going to see it depicted on the big screen.
All that talk about chastity and traditional values is about to be negated thanks to this ‘surreal’ sex scene that every major tabloid, media outlets, magazine and fan site is talking about. It is one of the most anticipated scenes and will no doubt be played over and over and over again. And that is an image that could end up doing more harm than all Edward’s chivalrous conversations in the books.
And with pre-ticket sales already breaking records, this is bound to be a movie that is seen by everyone and their mother. Unfortunately.