Today the third Twilight saga movie, Eclipse, will be released into theaters. I admit to more than just a passing interest in the saga, but I am certainly not a fanatic. I’ll not be waiting in line to see a midnight showing. Nor do I sport Team Jacob or Team Edward gear. But there is something oddly irresistible about the series by Stephenie Meyer. This fact has angst-filled teens, college-aged women and even middle-aged mothers all pining for more vampire/human interaction. And that is a scary thought, especially for men everywhere. Women around the world have been eclipsed by the saga and the men are the ones who suffer.
I do feel bad for the men who will get dragged to the theater in the days ahead and forced to watch the pale-faced Edward profess his undying love for Bella. But it is more than enduring two hours of a chick flick. Edward, and Jacob, have created an impossible to reach ideal that does more than mess with the silly romantic notions of teenagers.
Forget the stoic Lord Darcy or even the impulsive Heathcliff. Edward Cullen is in a heartthrob class all his own. The 200-year old vampire literally roles everything desirable into one overly alluring package; one that girls (and women) everywhere now use as the model for what they want in a man.
Edward is brilliant, musically talented and sensitive. He’s noble and a gentleman at all times; and extremely attractive. He keeps his passions in check and seems to have superhuman strength that allows him to avoid temptation at all times even when he surrounds himself with it. He’s hopelessly devoted and rich enough to buy Bella anything she’d ever want. And let’s not forget: he is in love with Bella, the girl who is so ordinary every woman on the planet can relate to her.
How can any man compete with this? It’s impossible and they end up losing.
For example: a year ago my high school-aged brother called me and asked what it meant that when his girlfriend referred to him as her ‘Jacob’. I laughed and told him to get ready because they were about to break up. The poor guy was confused; and I needed to explain that Jacob is merely the safe-bet not the one Bella wants to be with, not the one she can’t live without. His response was to tell me I spent too much time analyzing pop culture. But, true to my prediction, weeks later she broke up with him. It wasn’t my brother’s fault. She was looking for her Edward. He was just Jacob.