Please welcome our FIRST EVER Smarty Pants contributor, Kelcie! She's a junior at American University, and her favorite cocktail is a frozen margarita. CUE APPLAUSE/MIMOSA TOASTING.
I will be the first to admit this: I have spent an inordinate amount of time thinking about why I dislike the Twilight series. The Twilight Saga kept me genuinely intrigued for about six months, and infuriated for the subsequent two years.
I read all four books, and then read a bunch of articles about why people love/hate Twilight. I understood both sides. I got that Mormon propaganda was being blatantly shoved in my face with the abstinence-only agenda, but I also remembered what it was like to be totally obsessed with your first boyfriend and convince yourself you were going to get married. Eventually, I stopped admitting I liked the books---don't-judge-me-please---to just admitting I read them---just-to-see-what-the-hype-was-about. Now I tell people my sister makes me see the movies.
Finally, after seeing the third movie with my sister I understand why I have such a dislike for Twilight: I am neither Team Edward nor Team Jacob. Why? They are both terrible, awful excuses for male romantic leads.
Edward is your basic control-freak nightmare. He does everything with the intentions of keeping Bella safe, yet gets her in danger ALL THE TIME. More than that, he complains about it. He cries like a little boy about how sad he is that she is always in danger and how he wishes she wouldn't love him so much. So not only is he super protective, he also is manipulative. He knows Bella loves him and would never leave him. But he says little things all the time like, "I wish you wouldn't say that," or "I'm just waiting for you to turn around and run. I'll be happy when you do." Um? What kind of situation does that put a 16 year old girl in? Oh, I know---the kind that makes you want to stay. Look, I was 16 not too long ago and I looooved danger. It doesn't have to be real danger, like rolling on E or building a meth lab in the basement of your high school, considering (as we all know) Bella is kind of a loser. But just enough danger that Bella feels dangerous; like knowing a coven of vampires lives a couple of miles down the road. What I liked even more was that us-against-the-world feeling every teenager experiences when they have a best friend/significant other/someone other than their parents. Bella knows Edward will literally take a bullet for her and simultaneously be the reason someone is shooting at her. Add some hormones to the mix, and he has complete control over what she does.
He knows it too, which is why he does things like disconnect her engine when his sister can't see Bella's future anymore. (Which is so rude; Alice is supposed to be Bella's FRIEND. The least she could do is not rat out on Bella all the time, especially when Alice knows that Bella's just going to see Jacob.) And what kills me about that scene in Eclipse is that he says something like, "If you don't want me to come over tonight, I'll understand if you shut your window."
What does Bella do? She slams the window shut, because she's pissed WHICH SHE SHOULD BE. But then she remembers she has NO ONE ELSE IN THE WORLD and opens it as wide as it can go. So Edward still shows up that night. So basically, she permits him to do these manipulative and controlling things because she knows she has nothing better. Also, I bet she's super lonely considering Edward won't let her actually have friends. So she allows it.
You would think I would be Team Jacob, but seeing the third Twilight movie completely turned me off to Jacob. Not Taylor Lautner, who is yummy and I would love to see in the flesh (preferably minus clothes), but the character Jacob. Here's the bottom line: Jacob is an angry person. Angry people do not make good boyfriends. Why? They transform into wolves and/or beat their girlfriends. I had completely forgotten about everything that went down in the third book until I saw the scene where Bella tells Jacob she's going to transform into a vamp after graduation. In the book, Jacob gets so angry he starts shaking uncontrollably and almost phases. In the movie he 100% looked like he was going to grab her by her wrist and slap her across the face. What's worse, in true Bella fashion, Kristen Stewart looked confused and then hurt at his outburst, but never scared. She did not even flinch. I was scared. Jacob was shaking with a freaking wrench in his hand. THAT SCARES ME.
Regardless, Jacob has clearly displayed that even though he's a "human," his werewolf-y temper makes him out of control. In the second book, he is the happiest male character I've ever read about until he falls in love with Bella. Then he gets all emo about ridiculous things (WAHHH WHY CAN'T I IMPRINTTT) and sulks and hits things and goes running. Excuse me? Is that how a gentleman should act? I'm pretty Stephenie Meyer was going for the big cuddly bear effect in the books, but it's just not how it came off.
But by the third book, he's a total martyr. His love for Bella gets way out of hand and instead of dealing with it and letting her go, he goes on this wild goose chase to get her back. Instead of supporting Bella, he constantly tries to fight Edward which is obvs NOT the way to get to someone's heart. Here's a good example of Jacob's martyrdom: When he tells Bella he'll kill himself in the battle at the end of the third book. I get that he's in love with her, but COME ON. You are not going to kill yourself, you just want Bella to kiss you. Which she does, by the way, because Bella is most easily manipulated person in the world. How do you kiss someone you KNOW is in love with you when you just got engaged? Oh I know, a) a manipulative wifebeater tricked you into it or b) you're a bitch. I'm going to leave the imprinting, potential pedophilia out of this post because I feel that it goes without saying.
In conclusion, I am Team Mike, who is the only male character in the book who is seemingly balanced. Oh, and he's a human. Weird.
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